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.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.
-James 4:13-16 NLT
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?