This past year was filled with beauty.
And each bit of that beauty was hard fought for.
It was a year of dreams fulfilled and hearts broken and messes made and faith chosen.
Looking through my blog post for the past 12 months, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the people who love me well, for all the experiences I have been blessed to have, and for all the memories that I have had the chance to make.
But it was still a hard year. There is no glossing that over.
In many ways 2013 was a year spent recovering from 2012.
2012 was a dozy. Reading the blog post from that year is a little bit like riding a roller coaster (- take my advice, grab the Dramamine before revisiting.)
I walked into 2013 barely on two feet, still a little shell shocked from all that 2012 had unleashed.
There was much celebration and laughter this year - and many tears, and questions, and road blocks.
From the Book to all the speaking and promoting, to my Grandaddy's passing, to the addition of a part-time child - it has been a year of taking things as they come, with very little preparation.
There were warnings and pep talks, and those who have traveled these roads before me did what they could to help, but some things just have to be experienced first-hand in order to be known.
I feel as if I experienced most of 2013 in a survival-esque trance.
I worked hard at being present to the moment at hand as much as possible- stolen time-outs with Sweet Man, gatherings of friends and family, baking or creating or reading with the kids- soaking up joy and laughter and lightness of heart whenever and wherever I found it.
I tried to do my best to take care of my family and help with my extended family- doing what needed to be done at each turn, helping to relieve what burdens I could of my Grandaddy's passing and my Nana's transition into widowhood.
I did what I could to promote my little book, launching it out into the world, praying it would find it's way into the hands and hearts of anyone who might need a little inspiration, a morsel of encouragement, a bit of hope. I said yes to each offer to promote the book, learning the hard way what works for me and what doesn't.
And through it all, I constantly fought to get myself back into some semblance of an Right-Side-Up position.
Now that Christmas has passed, and the pains of labor have done their job and brought us the gift of new life, I am being swept up once again in that blessed promise that joy comes in the morning. I am reveling in the quiet that fills my house on the cold winter mornings in this week before school starts, storing up the silence and peace like a squirrel hoarding nuts before a blizzard.
And I am saying my goodbyes to things done and things left undone this year, and I am leaving them where they lie. I am laying down all that 2013 was and wasn't. I am putting it to bed.
And I am welcoming the brave new year, with my arms spread open, my hands held high, feet dancing on the kitchen floor, with faith, and hope, and love, buried deep within.
God bless the broken boat that brings us back.(Jason Isbell)
Happy New Year friends.