Favorite Things: Year End Review

Hello Friends

I have missed you.

This isn’t so much a year recap, more like a “where did you go for a whole month”. Welcome to the last bit of random from 2017. I’m not sad to see 2017 go and welcome a brand new year. We love the new and the bold stirring in our hearts as we step into 2018.

The holiday season came in like a wrecking ball. I had never in my life felt more behind. In reality, I hadn’t been more behind. This includes the year where we had just started a church and Ray ended up in the hospital needing two blood transfusions just a couple weeks before Christmas. Then again, that is the kind of thing that stops everything in it’s tracks and not much else matters. It’s really wrong of me to compare but I still do. This past month was just all of life all over the place. There was a lot of good but a lot is a lot regardless. We managed to get all the things done, all the gifts wrapped, get to Georgia to spend some much needed time with my family and make it back to Austin in one piece (with a couple of colds and coughs to go with it…but we made it). That drive is far. But those people God gave for me to call family are worth it.

With the hustle and bustle things didn’t exactly go the way I planned. I am confident that we did no more than 6 days of Advent as a family. Six days may be me being a little generous. I know for sure that we did 5. I did the She Reads Truth study on my own and still had to use those blessed grace days that they include to get caught up. I am really glad that my kids know what Christmas is all about because I am pretty sure they got more Advent-type reading watching Charlie Brown this year. Since life doesn’t slow down unless you make it, we may have to rearrange when we do things next year. Lesson learned. Again.

Our church did our annual tacos and coffee outreach with the homeless community downtown. We do different things throughout the year but this is one that we do every year on the Sunday before Christmas. I kind of love that a big group of us show up for church service post-outreach and looking like we have been outside all morning. This has never been what we do to do our good deed. This isn’t something we do so we can pat ourselves on the back. I think there was one picture that Katie got and it was of our backs as we were pouring coffee and prepping hot chocolate. I love how our kids love this. I love how they see people and how that challenges me. We do because we have to do something and we won’t let overwhelming need stop us from starting. Love your neighbor. It’s simple. Sometimes it seems small and sometimes it seems really big. Both matter. And sometimes loving your neighbor looks like tacos, coffee and hot chocolate (and bus passes and other things…but we start with tacos and go from there…that is a life lesson if I have ever heard one).

Every year is different. Every year we learn something new. Every year we learn to love better than before. We look at the past and say good-bye to what we must and say a giant HELLO to the new.

I have some things in the works…including a lot more Favorite Things for 2018. Let’s do this!



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