Thirteen for ’13

I know it’s cliche to spend New Years’ Eve looking back in reflection.  The truth is, I really prefer looking forward.  But, this blog is my journal of sorts–my recording of these days, and reflect, I must.

Tonight, our family will spend some moments recounting 13 of the greatest blessings of 2013.  We began this year with very high expectations.  Simply knowing deep in all six of our guts that it would be a banner year.  And since 13 is such a great number for us, we just sat back and anticipated amazingness.

We thought we were moving.  We did not. But, there were a million other little ways that God just threw blessings our way.  I picture a batting cage with that machine throwing ball after ball in our direction–too many to even keep up with.

My heart is practically erupting in thankfulness.

And also, in expectation as I look ahead.  You see, not too long ago, our family let go of the need to prove our love for God.  That sounds way too much like the law–like religion.  Whenever we try to prove our love for Him, we end up with lists and rules and laws and rituals and it starts  to look less like a relationship and more like religion.

A stranger sat at our table a handful of years ago and told us that we were about to begin to tap in–even just a bit–into the massive, unexplainable love of God.  Through sorrow and joy we have looked for it, longed for it, been drowned in it.  Being loved isn’t about great circumstances, though there have been many great circumstances that could have only come from His hand, rather it is about the deep-seated knowing that the path is sure, the hands are held, the love sustains and covers.

Knowing and acknowledging His love for us turned the page from religion to relationship in a way we couldn’t have seen without having jumped in the deep end.  We stripped our faith down to buck-naked and took the plunge trusting that this love was enough.  And, oh, was it.  It ceased being about what anyone told us it should look like and turned into a simple response to being loved.   He called.  We responded.  We got to know Him outside of any building or framework or rulebook.

And from that place, I write.  About His goodness in the little things like my pleasurable afternoon coffee and the miracle of a new baby that is my grandchild.  About pennies on walls and food provided.  About getting older and friendships.  All of it makes me smile and know, positively KNOW that I am loved.

So here’s my list of thirteen joys for ’13.  You don’t have to care about them.  They are my silly little blessings marking my travel across this last year.  They are a testament to a God Who cares about me enough to care about what matters to me.  And they help me mark this moment.

1.  I truly grew up this year when I fell in love with coffee.  I always said I wasn’t old enough to drink it.  Now, I like it a LOT.  It started black and evolved to cream and sugar.  And coffee shops.  One cup a day…or so.

2. Time to enjoy writing and the fun success of my little blog project.  Who knew?  So much fun, though.

3. The work we got done on this house this year to prepare it to sell.  Whew!  We worked HARD!!  But it is freshened up inside and out and will be ready to be reintroduced to the market very soon.

4. Officially teaching my last piano lesson.  Enough said.

5. My friends.  Oh, I have just the absolute best friends.  Each is essential to me.  Each relationship has grown this year.  I am beyond grateful for each one of these beautiful ladies.

6. A release in my spirit to move.  It took a long time for this girl to get on board the moving train.  I feel ready.  Today, I feel ready.  Hoping I stay ready.

7. New friendships.  Wow!  God has brought some powerful, loving NEW friends into my life this year!!!  They have each brought healing to my heart in various ways.  Just when I thought my friendship cup was full!!!

8. The relief of my son’s fantastic job in which he is thriving.  It soothes a mother’s heart to know her kids are doing well–blooming where they are planted and all.

9.  I survived turning 40.  I had been dreading it for some time.  Somehow, I even appreciate it now.  It’s kind of a neat view from here.

10.  Closeness with my husband.  It sounds cliche to even say it, but I love this man more now than I ever have.  Every time I even look at him I’m twitterpated.    We are closer than ever and really ENJOYING this time in our life together.

11.  Getting so close with my Kyrsten.  She and I have bonded so much this year.  And she is fifteen so who would’ve thunk that it could even be possible to be so close?  We sing, we play, we watch movies and shows, we travel, we giggle, we cry.  I love my girl.

12.  Learning my Addie was pregnant!!  And then becoming a Grandma!!!  Being part of the birth!!!  This one is ridiculously good.

13.  Hope for healing.  Some health issues that I won’t give importance to have acted much like thorns in my flesh for as long as I can remember.  I believe a healing is in the works.  That’s all I’ll say about that…for now…stay tuned.

That’s it.  This is my list.  My heart is full.

Happy New Year, all.

Christmas Eve Dinner

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