“Hope smiles on the threshold of the year to come.”

~Lord Alfred Tennyson

New year resolutions are a tricky sort of thing. The last few days of December I like to consider the past 12 months and make decisions, not necessarily resolutions, because the word resolution sounds a bit daunting and semi-impossible to me.

Last year I made a decision and issued myself the challenge of writing every day for the coming year. Today marks 365. I’d be lying if I said it was a joy and pleasure every day to sit and stare at the computer praying ideas worth writing about would skitter across my mind. Many times I woke up at night to scribble down something so I wouldn’t lose the thought. I often caught myself daydreaming how I would write things out. I felt like Cameron Diaz’ character in The Holiday when her mind played her life’s events out like copy for ads and she couldn’t get the voices to be quiet. That’s when I understood why many playwrights and classical authors drank too much or went a little crazy.

As I think about it, a year long writing project has not only been a discipline I never thought I could handle, it’s been like free therapy. I lost my brother-in-law and a life long friend to cancer. I’m still in disbelief from a car accident that took a young friend much too early. And I finished out the promise I made to Mom just before she died, “Don’t worry about Dad, I’ll take care of him.” The first half of the year I walked with him on his journey to join her.

I’ve had the honor and privilege of traveling with friends and family this year, writing from new and wonderful places. I’ve been reminded time and time again nothing is more important than relationships. That’s really all we own.

When I look back at the year I think of decisions I’d like to make for the next one, things I’d really like to do. I’d like to be kinder and more appreciative. I’d like to be in less of a hurry and I want to pursue a deeper awareness of God’s grace and love. I hope to remember everyone I meet is fighting a battle of sorts and that a smile and a hug is all most people want or need.

So here’s to an exciting new year full of anticipation and promise. Thanks for your encouragement to press on. You’ve helped me live out a decision I was just stubborn enough to not give up on.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

~Jeremiah 29-11


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