I can barely believe I'm starting my fifth year on this planet without Nick.
Time has a way of marching forward regardless of my unwillingness to see it pass.
I remember vividly the feelings I had early in my grief when I didn't want to get to this place.....
this place where Christmas became less about who was missing and more about who was present.
For a long time, I couldn't bear to look at Nick's pictures without feeling overwhelming sadness.
Now I can look at them and smile, remembering fondly all the love and joy he brought and still brings to our family.
I'm really not sure how this happened, and honestly,
part of me wants to fight it.
I never wanted to get use to Nick not being right around the corner,
ready to surprise me or say something silly.
I never wanted to wake up and not feel that chest-crushing agony as I remembered, once again, he was gone.
But, somehow, it's happened.
Our family laughs again.
Our family plays games again.
Our family celebrates again.
Our family dreams again.
As the mom in the midst of all of this adjusting and change, I have to fight the urge to protest.
I have to fight the desire to stand up and say, "What about Nick?!?!"
And, I have to keep going back to Him who understands me more than anyone here ever could.
The One who gave His own Son up for me,
the One who patiently watches me dive into life on this planet headstrong,
not always thinking about how His Son fits into my plans.....
I'm sure He fights the desire OFTEN to protest,
to somehow stand up and say,
"What about Jesus?"
I'm sure He watches my life unfold, smiling when the unfolding reveals layers of me that have been wrapped in moments with Him.
And I'm sure He works hard to be patient with all of the unfolding of time that reveals layers of me wrapped in things of much less significance.
As a new year begins, I am thankful for four words that remind me that even though my life and my grief are constantly changing, God never does.
As I began my reading in my chronological Bible for January 1st,
I was struck with the first four words of Scripture,
"In the beginning, God..."
My desire for this new year is to keep God in the beginning of all new parts of my life.
I want every breath, every moment, every word to be wrapped in Him.
No matter how much my life changes, I am thankful for one constant assurance,
God is with me in every new beginning.
And He is with you too.
He is here as we start new jobs, new diets, new relationships, new commitments, new habits..........
He's also here as we commit to letting go of bad habits and bad relationships.
From the beginning of time, He has been the God of new beginnings.
January is an opportunity to wipe your slate clean and have a do-over in life.
I challenge you to make a list of all the ways you want to grow this year.
And I challenge to be sure every decision is wrapped tightly in Him.
My word for this year is "Listen."
I want to talk less and listen more.
I want to be more aware than ever of His presence.
I want to know what God wants me to know and do what He wants me to do.
I was cleaning in my kitchen the other day after feeling very convicted by the Scripture in James that says,
"be quick to listen and slow to speak,"
and I accidently knocked one of the figurines from one of my Nativity sets off the windowsill above my kitchen sink.
I don't know why I was surprised when I realized that not only was it the most stubborn character in the Nativity scene it was also now missing one ear!
God was already beginning to speak to me in 2013.
He was saying, "No matter how hard you fight me, you will learn to listen this year."
So, I'm keeping my sweet little donkey right in front of me all year long..........
as a reminder.
God is with me in this new beginning,
this year of listening.
And I want you to remember that He is with you too.
I've missed you over the past two weeks as I've shared time with my family.
I'm looking forward to sharing this new year with each of you.
I'd love to hear your word for the year.
Leave a comment or email me anytime.
Praying for you today as always,