(Originally posted on Facebook at the beginning of 2018)
2017 has finally come to an end. It was a year marked by the darkness of our world, due to the violent choices of others. To end the lives of others and oneself is a horrible reminder of the evil that inhabits our lives. We saw the beginning of a presidency that will make its mark in history. We looked on as a country come together when a hurricane tried to destroy the human spirit. If 2016 was defined by protests and banding together, 2017 saw the increase of loss. In our country, we saw lines continue to be drawn as we lost our sense of decency and respect towards our fellow sons of adam and daughters of eve.
HOWEVER, while it is very easy to focus on the darkness that consumes the planet and in our own lives, it is easy to forget the light. In some situations, it can look like a bonfire blazing up to heavens,and other times it is a match struck by force. No matter how dark things may become, our light extinguishes the darkness and gives us all hope. Hope that there is not amount of darkness that cannot be overcome by the light. One of the biggest half-truths we are sold is that everything will be worked out for good since we have received the unwavering and never ending love of the maker of heaven and earth. I agree wholeheartedly that everything does work together for our good, but what is often happens is we may not see its fulfillment in our lifetimes or prayers answered in the way we wanted. In my last two months at my old job, I would pray daily for a new one to come into my life. The prayer got answered but not how we expected.
AS I sit here with my daughters eating breakfast and slowly exhaling 2017 and inhaling 2018’s new mercies, I can’t help but reminisce about the past 365 days. 2017 brought us many memories. We welcomed in February Sophie Alice who laughs and walks around the house with delight and curiosity, Elinor Sadie is daily less like a toddler and more like a little girl full of spunk and wonder. We bought our first house and gained the responsibilities that come with being home owners. We found joy and encouragement through the communities we poured ourselves and in one another as we are coming up on 5 years of marriage. We watched and sang along countless times with Moana and Maui. We also saw me grow as an educator and learner as I worked for two very different schools and subjects and grades. Life in 2017 wasn’t easy or void of tears, but it allowed us to become more whole.
Looking ahead to 2018 and starting a new chapter, both on and offline, I am reminded of the truth that in life’s deep waters or flaming fires, we are not alone. Whatever 2018 may thrown in our faces, we cling to our lightpost who promises to make all things new and is on the move. Melting our the frost of 2017 into the lush pastures of 2018. We wake up with to knowing no matter how uncertain things might be with my unemployment or how to guide two crazy daughters, Jesus holds all things together and is actively melting the frost of 2017 into the lush pastures of 2018.
2017 in pictures
Resolutions for 2018
- Read: I have challenged myself to read more every year for the past 5 years. This year is no different as I am going to try to read 1 book a month. I have a tendency to read mutiple books at the same time, which causes me to not finish any of them. My original goal was one per week, but realistically speaking, one per month is easier to complete. I have already selected the books, fiction and non-fiction, theology and memoirs, even some poetry and short stories too.
- Write: Writing has been a conduit to my many thoughts and ideas. As I look through this blog, I truly wish I could have finished many of the series I started. The goal I have set for myself is to write 200 words once a week. Again, it might not seem that crazy, but with two rambunctious daughters keeping me on my toes, finding time to slow down and write is difficult.
- Be Present: This year will mark our 5th wedding anniversary, Ellie’s 4th birthday, Sophie’s 1st birthday, and my 32 birthday. I am daily amazed at the advancement of technology, and the decline of human interaction. Social Media draws more division than unity, but it doesn’t have to. I want to be more fully engaged in the lives of those around me, instead of a screen showing me a small fraction of their lives. I had to reboot my accounts because I lost my ability to connect with those closet to me. Don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with Facebook or Instagram, but if that’s our only outlet into the lives of others, we’re missing out on something wonderful. Human connection is far more meaningful than hitting a heart or thumbs up to show our appreciation.