Christmas cards? Sending Christmas cards, photos, letters? Man oh man, so not happening for me this year. Well, seeing as how it is New Year’s Eve and no one got a Christmas card, I guess that cat is out of the bag! LOL! I am over my head in so many areas. I feel accomplished just knowing my laundry is done. Whoot-whoot! *Fist bump* Happy dancing. My husband is happy about it, too! LOL! I apologize to anyone who normally gets a card, gift, photo, letter from us. But you know what? Sometimes life just intervenes and things fall off. I am already guilty because my middle son’s December birthday gift is still sitting on the floor in front of my desk. I have bags of receipts to go through before I burn them. I have tons of filing to catch up on, and forms to complete and medical junk to deal with for my mom. I am buried under the minutiae of life. Buried. I got the tree up and minimal decor up. We were able to actually get gifts for everyone. Some of our family just got them – yesterday! LOL! Becoming a caregiver for my mom has thrown me for a loop.
Our lives are so crazy, we made Gingerbread houses with the grandkids and kids LAST NIGHT! LOL! At least we did it within the 12 Days of Christmas!! And technically, for those of us who keep a liturgical calendar, Christmas is not over until Epiphany, which is January 8th this year! And trust me, I am hoping to take down our tree by then. But with the way my life is going these days, it could very well be later! Certainly by Easter! Ha-Ha-Ha!
Now we are all faced with this the pressure of starting a New Year. Resolutions? Are you kidding me? I think resolutions are great, when you are taking the time to sincerely think about your life, and set about to make sincere, real changes. Those sorts of resolutions are awesome. “Have more fun” or “Work Less” or “See the sunsets” resolutions sort of bug me. They are generic statements, although to not be too judgmental, some people are like me, and are so over their heads with things happening, that trite and pre-typed resolutions are all we can grasp right now. God knows, and knows well, the areas in which I need to change. I have such great intentions – my follow through stinks. I am still battling being overweight (for the past 30+ years); I started my Advent preparation with a Bible Study I was so excited about but only completed one week of; our eating habits and Whole 30 eluded us; staying on top of all the myriad things that surround caring for someone using Medicare/Medicaid and administering healthcare and medications – man, did that get complicated! Adding in daily radiation treatments, and weekly wound care; well, that sort of put me over the edge. I never even decorated the Christmas cookies I made (they were being eaten plain…I guess that’s a compliment in a way). There are so many things I have not done. They weigh heavily. Truly, they do.
Some of the great things I have done is to work on friendships and spending time with people I like and admire, and want to be closer to, when I get the opportunity. This past week, my wonderful husband worked from home so I could get a few hours away with a friend. We drove into the local mountains and went to this wonderfully remote place where I perused natural grains stacked in 100 lb. bags almost as tall as me, and natural, organic herbs and spices lining the shelves and imparting their wonderful aromas! And there were quite a number of Bosch/NutriMill products – it was hard not to be like a little kid in a candy store. The view of the river and valley were breath-taking, from the home attached to this little shop. While I was there, I texted with my husband. And so, for our 33rd Anniversary, my husband said it was okay to buy a new mixer. (My last one was given to me for an anniversary 30 or so years ago and is pretty close to dying on me). My girlfriend and I loaded up her car with her orders, another mutual friend’s order, and my new mixer. Off down the snowy road we traveled, marveling at God’s beauty all around us. I pinch myself and remind myself not to take living here for granted, ever! The new mixer I got was so awesome, the next morning I made 2 loaves of bread and yesterday made a Pistachio Fluff and NY Cheesecake. I guess I can get motivated! LOL! The time away inspired me to be creative. I needed that.
For me, this next year, I want to focus on our overall health. We desperately need to be physically healthy. (Here we come Whole 30, or maybe even Keto). But our emotional and spiritual health is equally as important. God has promised us over and over again that He will never give us more than we can handle. But I think what we, His children, continually miss, is that it is not all about us handling it. Because we are not in this alone – ever. God is continually by our side. Our job is to acknowledge Him, and to accept His unconditional love for us. Doing anything is easier, knowing our loving God walks alongside each of us. And we each have our Guardian Angel walking with us. Some days I think my angel is shaking his head, doing a forehead slap, or sighing over one of my poor choices.
I love to read. It actually makes me get excited to read a good book or series. I am reading one now that I did not think would appeal to me, but it has. Books like this get inside me, and I find myself thinking of the story, even throughout my day! It is a story about the death of Audrey, a young teenager, who becomes a Huntress, helping to protect mankind from demonic influence. The description of heaven, and Audrey’s conversations with God, are just amazing. I actually stopped reading to think about some of the conversations. They caused me to pause and think about my relationship with God. I love these books. And they have inspired my desire to grow closer to God, again. I keep veering off course, and yanking myself back onboard, heading towards God. Again. And again. Thanks be to God that He is merciful and always ready to listen, to forgive. And He never leaves me. It is me who takes that step away from Him. What makes me think I know more than God, I will never know. But it sure messes me up!!! I can relate to Audrey so very much!!
The quote above is from Huntress, the first book in the After Life series by Julie Hall. And it speaks to me, to all of us, really. God is ready to work with us, to use us, wherever we are. He is not expecting perfection. But He also waits on our free will, to choose Him, over and over again. And so for this next year, I am aiming to please God. I may not please people around me. I may not live up to others’ expectations of me. I may never get around to mailing out Christmas cards, ever again. But I will celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas; I will keep my tree and paltry decor up until after Epiphany. I will fast and feast throughout this next year. I will follow my heart, and my God, and choose to be His daughter. And each time I fall, each time my guardian angel cringes, each time…I will look for their support (God and my poor, overworked, Guardian Angel) and for their waiting hands, outstretched, to haul me back up and help me regain the right pathway. Again. And again. Until He calls me home. May your New Year be blessed and may you grow closer to God. Happy New Year – and welcome 2018!!!