My favorite time of the entire Holiday Season is this week between Christmas and New Year's. Pressure's off, house is in a big enough to make you really want to do something about it. The days alternate between accomplishment and laziness. It's a time to look back and look forward. Transition, if you will. And while it's tempting to post my resolutions in some attempt at accountability, I'm taking a moment to pause and look back at the year made famous to be our last, ever, and ponder a dozen of the high points.
1. The Last Weeks of Summer--in which a weird set of circumstances left us with a 10-week stretch without a pay-day. It was a time to see God work amazing financial miracles, and I learned to stretch, shop and cook like I never have before. I've brought a lot of new habits into our breathing-room budget. Pre-peeled baby carrots are a luxury I might never visit again.
2. My boys--of course. Seeing Jackson land the job at a frozen yogurt place--a job for which he'd been patiently waiting for almost a year. Seeing the change in Ryan over a summer of lifeguarding at a water park--one day he was just standing taller, with more confidence. Speaking of taller...seeing my youngest, Charlie, finally grow to be taller than me. Some bittersweetness there!
3. My amazing husband, Mikey, losing 50 pounds. Nothing fancy--just counting calories and playing disc golf. Love seeing his health improve before our very eyes!
4. Spending a week playing "nanny" to my friend's beautiful daughter, Lorelai. It was right in the midst of a whirlwind of difficult days in our home. It was truly like a mini-resort leaving the world of drama-ridden teenagers to spend endless hours snuggling with a baby.
5. Ferb. One day, during the last week of school, with absolutely nobody's blessing or permission, one of the boys brought home a kitten. Today she's a spoiled, clueless, enormous cat, and I adore her!
6. The Family Reunion -- In all, we had about 6 hours together, but how sweet to gather together 5 generations, 10 family groups, aged 90 to 1. All of us loving each other, and loving the Lord.
7. Losing the Christy for Forsaking All Others. Yeah, it would have been cool to win, but then I wouldn't have had the awesome experience of sitting in a bar with my agent, Bill Jensen, and drinking a beer while debating the false church in the book of Revelations. All in a fancy dress!
8. Winning Mentor of the Year at the ACFW conference a few weeks later--because as much as I know God has called me to write, I know He has called me to work with other writers.
9. Ditching our DVR. At first, it was a grand gesture to reduce a monthly bill, but while I don't really watch less TV, I find my watching infinately more purposeful! Of course, that all might change when Mad Men starts up again...
10. Summer movies--one luxury we kept in the tough times. One theater has $5 showings in the late afternoons, so we had a regular Sunday "date" with another couple. Best movie of the summer? Hands down, Premium Rush. Worst? The Master. (I will not honor it with a link.)
11. Giving up, cutting back, cutting down on church commitments. God just very clearly told me--"Stop." And I did. A few weeks ago I talked to a woman who, in the middle of our conversation, confessed she had no idea who I was. It felt wonderful.
12. The constant, ever-present, day-by-moment-by-second renewal of God's faithfulness. They aren't just new every morning, they are new with every breath. This year, perhaps more than any other, is testament to that.