I don’t usually set resolutions for the new year, but as 2016 moved toward 2017 I kept hearing this word come up in a variety of situations, conversations and readings.
To abide, to stay with, to be present, was my aim for 2017. I wanted to get better at abiding with God of course, and I thought a lot about 1 John 4 over the summer months. I spent time sitting with God, offering nothing, just trying to be with Him. It’s not an easy thing to do.
What I didn’t anticipate in 2017 was how much I would learn about abiding with others, particularly Jason and the kids.
I feel good about the figurative (and sometimes literal) blood, sweat and tears, I put into loving God and loving others in 2017. I also feel humbled and blessed by the work God did in me and in those around me.
Related or unrelated, here are some other things I accomplished, experienced, was blessed by, learned, received, saw God do, got wrapped up in, yada yada yada, in 2017.
I finally completed a two-year project, a collection of photos that displays our Haggard-ness. It was a lot of work sorting through images, printing, organizing, matting, framing and hanging. I am a perfectionist, but Jason obliged and did lots of precise measuring and grunt work.
I started going to bed at a reasonable hour. I have battled with trying to get on a better schedule for years, and it’s been a source of tension between Jason and I. Now I go to bed around 10:30pm most nights, and am working on moving that up even earlier to have some quiet time before the kids get up. A book that helped me with this was Laying Down the Rails for Yourself.
I hosted an incredible outdoor dinner party. Jason made the food I requested–soft pretzels, waldorf salad, smoked salmon, lots of dipping sauces, Kentucky mules and flourless chocolate cake. The people were the best part. The ambience was pretty great, too.
I started kindergarten with Imogen.
We put Ian into traditional school in October. That was hard, and it was something I would never have anticipated doing at the turn of 2017. It was totally the right thing to do, for a myriad of reasons which I could go on ad nauseam about, but I won’t right now.
I identified some people I really want to develop deeper connections with in 2018. I wish I could teleport AND clone myself because some of these people live across the country!
I ate one of the best, happiest meals of my life. The food was amazing (poke, lau lau, wasabi chicken), but so were the location (Kauai) and the company (Jason).
With Jason’s support and the encouragement of my in-laws, I created an Airbnb space in our MIL apartment. A few months later we had to put it on long-term hold when other things came up, but it was an interesting and fun experience.
I filled up another journal. I asked a lot of questions, made observations, wrote prayers and processed in my private writing.
I read aloud to my kids, which I love to do. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Hinds Feet in High Places, A Cricket in Times Square, Twenty-One Balloons and a gazillion picture books and bible stories.
Jason and I completed the Love & Logic parenting course, with Josh and Sheree as our coaches. It was really helpful in practical ways, but it also served as a springboard for lots of thoughts and prayers and experiments in what it means to abide with my children. There’s that word again.
Imogen and I went on our first mother-daughter trip. It was delightful to travel to Minnesota with her, to sleep in a bed next to her, and to see her so excited to be with family. She finally got to play in Nana’s Cupcake Cottage. And I learned more about her in those few days than I had in a year!
I shed a lot of tears, but then again, I am a cryer. Each drop was purposeful.
I rode my bike up and down, on urban trails and country roads, through a coulee, past wineries, alongside mountain lakes and the Mississippi River. Sometimes it was in solitude, other times with Jason.
I hiked the rocks and cliffs on the southeast side of Kauai. That was a glorious day.
I had more heartfelt, intimate, encouraging, and earnest conversations with great people than I can count or remember in detail. This is the milk and honey of life!
I bought a Roomba, which has totally changed my life. Jason named him Bubba, but because he’s like another member of the family to me I get confused and call him Bubbo on a regular basis (a melding of Bebo and Bubba). I find that amusing since Beatrice barely does any chores (we’re working on that).
I went grain-free and mostly sugar-free with Jason for a couple months, and it has overall changed my eating habits and outlook on care for my body.
I bought an incredible faux fur coat that looks like I skinned a snow leopard (I didn’t–snow leopards are one of my fav wild animals). Ironically, I purchased it at Goodwill for $20, but I feel (and look) way more luxurious than Macklemore did in his music video.
I listened to my dad talk about his childhood and share stories I had not heard before. It was delightful. It was not planned, or I would’ve recorded it.
I slept in a yurt complete with a croaking frog outside, a gazillion stars overhead, and a vineyard out my door.
I celebrated ten years of marriage to Jason and 11 years of knowing him. One small little line of words written out, yet so much encapsulated in all that time.
I said an emphatic “yes” to Jason starting grad school in 2018.
One of the greatest epiphanies I had this year was realizing that laughter in the midst of sadness is not an offense to pain, but it’s friend, ready to bless and comfort.
I showed my kids Montana. There’s so much more to see, but we’ll do that Summer 2018.
I watched Jason walk through one of the hardest years of his life. I fumbled as I was given opportunities to abide with Jason, but I saw God help me many times along the way. I suppose time will tell where the fruit grows. I’m grateful there is grace to fill in the gaps.
What’s next in 2018? I don’t know, but this is my theme:
Beautiful lettering done by my friend, Lauren of Ink & Eben.