Before the year ends…

I started writing this shortly before the New Year on December 31. I knew then that I probably wouldn’t publish it in 2018. And I feel good about being right about that. But I kind of want you to hear it, the way I wrote it when it was still 2018. So here you go.

Right now it’s 10:33 p.m. on New Years Eve. My kids are asleep, my husband is in bed reading, I’m watching one last episode of Parks and Rec before I head to bed. It’s all perfectly normal. One wouldn’t guess that in less than two hours the New Year will reach our time zone. Or that we actually live just a few miles away from the biggest New Years Eve party happening in the world. (Not to mention that it’s also our 13 year wedding anniversary.)

But tonight, it’s quiet. 2018 has been a year of lots of new for us. Learning to know (and continue to love) our city, new school for the kids, new conversation patterns, one more new book released for Brandon, another one written, a joint book contract for the two of us…lots of good.

But I think, if we’re honest, there’s also been a sort of dark cloud in our home. As we learn to shepherd and to steer a child with anxiety, I think we’re all learning a new way to function together. And it can make coming into the new year a little hap hazard.

But here’s what I know. Tonight we had cheese dip for dinner, we snuggled on the couch, we watched fireworks (from Singapore and London…thanks YouTube) with the kids, we laughed until we cried. It wasn’t all beautiful. Truth be told, we were all sort of crabby today, and I’ve got a terrible sinus infection. But it was simple. It was us in our purest form and I got a glimpse, a stand-still moment of what I love about us. We’ll celebrate our anniversary this weekend, in coming years we’ll stay up till midnight…but for tonight, we’re resting in the simplicity of quiet.

In the end, that’s what I hope for in 2019. More of the simple. More of the sacred. Simply put, more of the quiet that leaves room for Jesus.

So, as I go to bed having taken all of the medication, with a few dirty dishes in the sink, and too many shoes by the front door, I’m also deeply thankful. Hopeful. We’ve got a lot of learning to continue to do in 2019. Big decisions to make and such. E will start Kindergarten in September, and J will run full force into 2nd grade. We’ll continue at the church we have come to love deeply. I am hopeful about a possible freelance project, and Brandon & I will write a book. Not to mention the fact that Brandon will continue to devote his time to the mission and vision of City to City. 

So, Happy New Year, friends. May you and yours be blessed. May you find joy in unexpected places, hope in the midst of the mundane, and true beauty along the way.

This is us on New Years Eve. E with the messy hair, me with the puffy face, J with the Ninja pose, and Brandon holding it all together like an actual person.

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