A New Day!

Yesterday, Matt and I celebrated Christmas early with my mom since we will be spending Christmas day with Matt's family.  We had a blast playing games and talking and laughing.  Matt made us Coq au Vin.   It was wonderful, but I am not sure how any recipe that calls for brandy, wine, and bacon could be any less than wonderful.  We opened gifts as well, and included in my stocking was a new calendar for my purse.  This is a bit of a tradition.  My mom has been giving me a new calendar since I was a young kid.  Every year, I have looked forward to flipping though my calendar from the previous year, reminiscing about all the things I have done and transferring birthdays and holidays and such to my new calendar. 

Today, I had a little time left in my lunch hour so I held my annual "transferring of the calendars."  Though there were plenty of fun things like movie nights and coffee dates with friends and dinners with my husband, my calendar from this last year was marked with sadness.  Dates of funerals and burials.  Markings of trips to visit injured or sick friends and family.  Anniversaries of the passing of my son. 

After transferring significant dates, I got the overwhelming sense that I was done being consumed with the sadness of last year.  Will I forget what this past year has held...absolutely not.  Have the deep wounds of my heart healed...not totally and I don't think they ever will be healed completely this side of eternity.  But I have had enough of marking my days by sadness and grief.

There is something so freeing about transferring the important dates of life into a new fresh calendar and just leaving behind the tragic days.  So in honor of my birthday tomorrow and a fresh start on my own calendar, at the end of lunch today, with all my might, I chucked my calendar from last year into the trash.  I will not forget the lessons that I have learned.  I will always carry the scars and bittersweet memories of this year, but God is showing me that I can move forward with the hope I have in him.  Am I naive enough to think the future will be nothing but happiness and roses?  No.  But if I have learned anything from this year, its that my hope and joy is not based on the circumstances of this life.  It is based on the Solid Rock of my faith.  No matter what comes my way, He will be there to walk through it with me.

" Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them.  He is your Keeper.  He has kept you hitherto.  Hold fast to his dear hand, and he will lead you safely through all things; and, when you cannot stand, he will bear you in his arms.  Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow.  Our Father will either shield you from suffering, or he will give you strength to bear it."
- Saint Francis de Sales.


My crowning achievement...

The crowning achievement of my day was finding a home for these two cuties:
I don't know that its possible to be in a bad mood while looking at those sweet faces. Trust me, if I didn't already have 2 cats (that I love) and a tight 800 square foot condo, these lovelies would be coming home with me! But I am thrilled to know that they will have a great home with an awesome couple that is so excited to welcome them! (and that I can visit and play with them :-) )


Thankfully the tears and grief of yesterday morning have given way to an almost childlike giddiness and joy today.  Some might call that an epic mood swing but I call it an answer to prayer!  Seriously.  Just this morning at Bible study with the ladies of my gospel community, I mentioned that I have had a hard time lately - especially in light of the holidays. I asked for prayer that I would have joy for this Christmas season.  I was expecting it a little closer to Christmas, but I will take it today!

May your weekend and your holiday preparations be full of moments of laughter and joy - a joy that is rooted in the real meaning of Christmas - that God's love for us is so vast that he would send his only Son to earth to redeem us to himself. What more reason do you need to be giddy?

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
-Ephesians 3: 14-19



2 years ago today, I sat in the ultrasound room and found out I would miscarry my first little one.

10 months ago today, I sat in the ultrasound room and found out Isaiah's heart had stopped beating.

1 month ago today, cancer took my cousins life.

In general, I am doing better.  I am sleeping consistently through the night. I am spending more time laughing with and treasuring my friends and family. I am finding more hope and more joy in each day.  I am closer to my husband than I ever could have imagined.  My faith is taking deeper, more meaningful roots.

Despite these wonderful changes, some days are still tough.

Today my heart aches for what was lost and what could have been...