Friday, December 31, 2010

One Last Glance

 It's that time of year again.

I'm looking out into a night sky that spans an entire year. Scratch that, I'm looking out at two. One behind me, one before me. Here I sit, on the couch of my childhood, under my mom's tartan blanket, and I might as well be perched on a high-wire. I'm precisely suspended between reflections and dreams. It's amazing to me how with one tick of the clock, everything feels brand new, full of possibility, ripe with second chances.

I just returned from a trip down memory lane, via my archives. I laughed a sympathetic laugh for that girl, doing her dangdest to love the bleak month of January. (Here, here, here and here.) So help me Hannah, if I could do it last year, I can surely do it again.

And then I read my post from exactly one year ago, written from this very same sofa. I read it once, then I read it again, to Cory, because if there's any person on this earth who understands all that last year was, it is him. We walked it together, every step of the way.

My word was Intentional, and to a degree, it fit. I thought of my word over and over again as I spent my days carving out space for Siley, adding him to the mix. I believed last year and I believe tonight that things don't just happen because you'd like them to. Sometimes a whole lot of effort is required.

On the flip-side, I have seen from the (dis)comfort of the very front row that all of the good intentions in the world ammount to nothing when God has something different in mind.

365 days ago, I had no clue that all of our talk about contentment in the new year would mean that our income would be cut by 60% in the span of two months. I had no idea that our tiny kernal of a feeling about serving others would grow in the way that it has. And if you had told me, last year, that we would be selling our house? Well, I very well may have slapped you.

I read these words a few months ago and they washed me new with gleaming, crystalline truth:
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” 16 Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.
-James 4:13-16 NLT
I have no idea what 2011 might hold. It would be pointless to guess. I know that there are things on my mind, some silly and some grand. I do have some plans up my sleeve (more on that tomorrow) and I am charmed and exhilarated by the stretch of white lined up long and clean before me, begging for the touch of a brush. Do you ever think God is excited on New Year's eve? I think so. I think He's smiling down, rooting for us to trust. I think He's pumped to show us more of His plan for us, because He knows it's good.

We've got a fresh start on our hands, Baby. It's a brand new book, the spine unscarred, the pages smooth.

Let's rock 2011, wanna?


  1. Wanna! =)

    Excellent post! Happy 2011!

  2. I love how you paint the white page with words...

    so beautiful. I'm ready for this new year, thanks for askin'. ;)

  3. ooh, let's! so glad to be a-travelin' this life alongside're good company, dearie.

  4. I'm ready!
    Happy 2011 Minivan Momma w/Moxie! ;-0
    (I'm NOT gonna admit that I sometimes really want one. I kinda dig my truck drivin' momma "mystique!")

  5. Yep, I'm ready to open that book....

    Happy New Year,

  6. Happy New Year! I hope you have a blessed 2011.

  7. Well said! Happy New Year!

    Joy K.

  8. As Anne Shirley would say, "Every day is fresh with no mistakes in it." (Big Anne of Green Gables fan here). Yes. By all means. Let's rock it!

  9. You are always the poet...and I am always the fan.


  10. Both feet forward, all in, I wanna give it a go. The bruises still hurt from this past year, and the scars at as reminders of years gone by, and the skip isn't in my step, but I wanna give all I have every day.....Happy New Year.

  11. ~*~*Happy New Year!!!*~*~Hugs,Rachel

    *French Farmhouse 425*

  12. Well said...plans for good and not for destruction. with a future and a hope.

    Dreaming Big 2011

  13. It''s gonna be a best seller baby! Ollie is coming and now Maggie is having a baby. God is good. He takes care of our every need.

  14. Lovely post!
    Yes....let's ROCK 2011:)

    Happy New year~

  15. I really adore this space and am so happy I found you. I am not Christian. What I love about your words is that they express universal hopefulness, optimism and good. THAT is something I believe in. Humans share more commonalities than differences. The blogosphere adds an exclamation point to that sentence. xo

  16. Happy New Year Shannan! May your year be filled with gallons of salsa you sweet girl you!!!

  17. Your new header photo made me choke on my coffee. It's a beaut! Gorgeous. Took my breath away. I miss your barn. And your silo. And your Silo, for that matter. Did you ever go into the dark recesses on a salvage trip? I seem to remember some pretty cool stuff in that side room.
    In other news, you have exceeded the triple digits in regards to your following. You're in the quads now. Just in case you weren't paying attention.
    This is going to be a big year for you, Farmgirl. I just know it. Big doins. Good things.
    p.s. It's below zero here. Again.
    p.p.s. Get your biscuits to Montucky, girl.
    p.p.p.s. But wait till it's warmer.

  18. Through some random blog-stalking, I just discovered your blog & I'm in love! I'm a Christian, grew up on a farm & want to adopt some day... thanks for sharing some of your life with us!

  19. oh my goodness your blog and your family are absolutely beautiful. Happy new year!

  20. I love thinking about God getting excited for us. I remember distinctly feeling that every Easter when so many were baptized and also when my little one was baptized.
    Let's rock it... for HIM~

  21. I love a fresh sparkly start. It's just a blank canvas waiting for me to paint on. Here's to a rockin' 2011.

  22. I'm absolutely ready for a fresh start. Glad God finally got to me and reminded me that we can have one every day! I'm re-entering the blog world as an author and I'll be discussing that very thing soon. I'd be humbled if anyone would join me at

    Bring on 2011!!

  23. I'm looking out into a night sky that spans an entire year...

    LOVE this line. love all of this post. love you and your heart and how i hope to meet you one day. you've become so dear to me.

  24. You write so beautifully, I rarely leave here without a smile, I love the attitude and energy that comes through your words.

  25. Law, girl. I almost burned some pizzas gettin' stuck in here again. Looking so forward to reading your new book in 2011!
    P.S. that new banner is just GORgeous!

  26. Such beautiful photos and words! xoxo