My online journal.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Joy, gratitude, hope and energy for every day of this new year!

Happy New Year, gang! I know 2009 was a rough year for lots of people. I can't personally concur with that -- Joel, so far, remains employed; I have managed to keep the children alive for another year; and we have received many, many blessings. But I hope for better things in 2010. Back in September or October I was moved to write down these 4 words as a reminder to myself: "Be a safe haven." And I hope to continue that in this new year. I want to be a better mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister, citizen. I want to be a "happy place" whenever I can; I want to be a comfort, a balm, a joyful presence. In 2010 I pray for my words and actions to heal, not hurt. I won't succeed; I'm human, after all, and what a flawed, imperfect, fallible thing to be. But I can try.

We spent New Year's Eve at Aaron & Kary's new house in Minneapolis, near Tricia's old neighborhood, with much of our coed softball team. It was great to catch up with everyone, though I'm really aging out of late-late parties. Highlights for me were chatting with a first-time-pregnant teammate, hanging with Julie Gronau's German friends, Chelsie's Buffalo Wing dip and passing Chelsie's extremely rigorous are-you-sober-enough-to-drive-home test.

Friday night Stu and Julie (with Wini, Dash, and Rufus the Good Dog Who Makes Poor Choices in tow) swung by on their way home from Monticello, and we had a lovely visit with them on Saturday. Stu helped me back up the photo and music files I had stored on my computer, and we solved most of the world's problems while subsisting on coffee, leftovers, and Christmas cookies. We miss them.

Last night Joel and the kids and I were invited to my friend-from-ECFE Priya's apartment for an Indian Programme. One of the moms is a classically-trained Indian dancer and she's been working with a group of seven young girls on an Indian dance. The girls all wore traditional dresses and jewelry and they did a fantastic job! A couple older kids played the piano, and one of the dads played some traditional Indian songs on the violin. Then we all had Indian potluck and chatted (and Joel and I scored an open-door invitation to stay with Priya's parents the next time we're in southern India -- Priya said it was because her dad thinks I'm pretty), and the kids ran around like recently-uncaged animals. It was a really wonderful and unique experience for a crazy-cold evening.

Each year Joel's mom gifts me a "Daily Guideposts" book with a short inspirational essay to read to start each day. (I typically peter out in March, pick it back up around my birthday in June, then skip to the holidays when I sporadically pick it back up again. *shrug*) I really liked the January 1 message, which included a quote from Dr. Lew Smedes:

"...Be blessed with
Joys deeper than any sadness,
Gratitude happier than any regrets,
Hopes brighter than the shadows of any discouragement,
and the vitality to make of every day what God on Christmas Day made
for all days."

Warm wishes for this chilly start of 2010!


Heather said...

I was hoping to read your words today. We've had the stomach flu since Tuesday and it's been kind of a sad way to start the year.

Love you guys!

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

Sounds like an awesome start to the new year! Always happy to see a post from you, they always make me smile. :)