I’ve always thought it funny that people want to say that January 1st is going to be the start of their new routine/schedule/habit.
Because…let’s be real.
So many of us aren’t waking up to an alarm clock on January 1st. There are party foods and noisemakers scattered throughout the house, the crockpot probably still has that cheese dip in it, and you know a few of you had a little too much of the bubbly and are FEELING IT today. No judgment here, my friends. No judgment here.
Still, I’ve always loved the idea of a fresh start…a new beginning…a blank page.
And while I gave up on resolutions awhile ago and then moved on to calling them “goals” (gave that up eventually too…), I am a list-maker and I always vow to start anew with The Lists in the new year.
The Lists are anything that can be listed. Literally.
Tasks I need to complete, books I want to read, books I actually DID read, projects I want to do…I have lists for my lists. Does that make me sound intriguing and multi-layered and mysterious? Or…probably more just a weirdo with some slight OCD tendencies.
Either way, at the end of the year I can never find my lists so I can’t tell you if I’ve ever been successful. I don’t know if I lose them by accident, or if I subconsciously intentionally lose them so I can’t tell how much I DIDN’T do.
I always find myself intrigued by reading other people’s lists and goals though. As well as reading the “goodbye” sentiments to the past year. Some can claim that 2014 was a great year and they are thankful for the memories and they hope that 2015 is just as great.
But then there are others who bid the past year a hearty good riddance. A year fraught with pain and loss and sadness heaped upon sadness. Those make my heart hurt. And in the vein of being real and honest, they scare me a little. What is to say that my 2015 will not reflect a year I’d rather forget?
We all have good years and we all have bad years…and none of us knows what this next year will bring. But I have one hope…One Hope that sustains me, holds me up when it would seem that the world is devoting itself solely to destroying me. One Hope that presses me forward when I would rather lie down and forget it all.
As the old hymn says,
My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.
Without the hope that we have in knowing that an Almighty God holds our future, knows our past, and even has the power to comfort us before the loss occurs or the pain even sets in, I wonder how I could stand and carry on in the face of an uncertainty like that.
Following a life, a calling, a purpose that God leads us into is not always without risk.
In C.S. Lewis’ classic The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Susan asks with nervousness and uncertainty about Aslan the lion,
‘Is he–quite safe?…’
‘Safe?’ said Mr. Beaver… ‘Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you.’
2014 was, for the Parrises, a year of renewal, redemption…and also a journey in faith and trust.
After months of searching, God brought us to First Baptist Church of Moncks Corner into a community of people that I absolutely adore. God has used these people to begin to heal the wounds of the past.
We were able to find a beautiful older home out in the country that we have slowly been able to transform. And the neighbors aren’t too bad, either.
We were able to take the kids to Disney World back in March…a trip that was just as magical as we had hoped it would be.
We rescued a dog, and later, a cat to add to our loud and rambunctious brood. They fit right into our family…bless their hearts.
Jack started Kindergarten, and I started the search for what to do with my time. The jury is still out on the result of that one.
We spent a week with Stephen’s extended family during Christmas, and the memories that we made here in Charleston that week will be some of the most treasured ones as my kids grow up.
And we said goodbye to Stephen’s Granny…a bittersweet time. She is happy and free now after years of being trapped by the horror that is Alzheimer’s disease.
It was a year that stretched my faith. A year that caused my trust in a Hope that I couldn’t always see to expand with each answered prayer.
I don’t know what 2015 holds. I only know that there is One who holds my heart, my family, and my future in His loving hands.
And so with that, here’s to another remarkable year in the Parris house!
If the sugar content in my children’s bloodstreams right now is any indication of the amount of energy that will course through our lives this year…well, you should probably all take cover.