Jan. 2nd, 2016
The sky is a beautiful blue this morning in Nashville..... but we’ve had a lot of gray days lately. As I look at the dark branches of the trees, stripped of all their leaves, they stand out to me against the grey skies in a way that I never noticed until February 2013. That was the month I sat by my mother in hospice as she lived out her last few days. It was grey like this. And as I stared out her window, I noticed the dark branches against the grey skies. Sometimes they looked like paintings instead of a real landscape.
They appeared again in March 2015, as I once again sat looking out a hospice window, this time with my Father. Now, on grey days, I feel at bit melancholy. Missing my parents and remembering the trauma of their passing can sometimes still make me stop and catch my breath. But I’ve also come to feel a peace about their passing. I believe I’ll see them again and that gives me comfort.
This was a weird Christmas for me, as it was the first one I ever had without Dad. But all three of the kids were able to come be here and that helped keep me from feeling too sad and letting the grey engulf me. As I was driving my husband to the airport on NYE to fly out for a gig in Miami (at 5:30am - #GoodWife), we were discussing the upcoming year and what might be in store for us. I said, “I wonder what will change? What will stay the same? What will we lose? WHO will we lose? What will we get? WHO will we get?” And I realized that one of the keys to life is being able to GET or LOSE with grace. Not hanging on too tight to what we have, and accepting what comes our way with gratefulness, no matter what that might look like.
It’s really hard to believe we are entering the year 2016, but here we are. I don’t really make “New Year’s Resolutions”, but one thing I AM going to try to do this year is to be more intentional with what I do with my time. That way I hope I can be more present in the moment with whatever I’m doing and quit constantly multi-tasking. Cutting back from social media time is one of the things I’m doing, and in my effort to do that, I’m basically shutting down my Instagram account. I’ll still use it to post pics now and then, but I won’t follow anyone so I won’t be tempted to spend time going through my feed. That may not sound like a big change, but I believe little changes like that will help more than you think. One less social media feed I feel I need to check. And I have learned that for ME, making little changes helps me get to a goal better/quicker than trying to do something radical.
Been reading Brennan Manning’s “Abba’s Child”. My good friend Julia Ferrell gave it to me one day and I’ll be forever grateful. As I go into 2016 I know I’ll be holding on to many truths revealed in this book. My Dad used to read every day, and I believe it kept his brain sharp right up until he passed last year at 91 yrs of age. SO….. more reading for ME in 2016! My brain needs exercise….
2015 was a tough year for me. But coming through a year like that only gives me confidence to know that I can take on just about anything and get through it. Adversity does breed strength. And I’m feeling pretty strong heading into 2016. I am so grateful to friends and family who stay by my side no matter what…. and for a God who goes before me, walks beside me, and carries me all at the same time.
Matthew 28:20 - “Know that I am with you always….”
I believe it. I know it. I feel it. Even on those grey days.
May you all feel God’s presence guiding you, lifting you, and loving you unconditionally as only He can in 2016.