Happy new year!
I hope the festive season was a good one for you. For me it was brilliant: a much-needed break, one which has brought me back home refreshed and eager to start the new term – and year – in anticipation of all that God will do.
I said I would explain my last post a little. Firstly, I want to make clear that, on the whole, my life is pretty good. Several of my friends suffered in a very painful way during Advent, and by blogging about my small-by-comparison woes, I’m certainly not making light of their suffering. But perhaps it’s helpful to communicate small hardships too. Perhaps it encourages others that it’s OK to be a bit miserable, that you don’t have to be standing on a cliff-top before you share your feelings.
Some very lovely things happened during Advent. We had a wonderful friend come stay for a weekend, and made many wonderful Christmassy memories together. Lots of mums got together for a celebratory meal after our first term of Tuesday Tots. The kids and I were lucky enough to see some real, live reindeer! I spent time with good friends over brunch, lunch, nibbles and dinner (not every day), in baby showers and surprise birthday parties. The Christmas pudding was a success!
The difficult things were: illness one weekend (I’m never ill, and I’m a very bad patient when I am), a family bereavement, and God closing the door on some of our ideas for the future. It is totally gutting whenever we realise that our plans are not in line with God’s, but we trust that He is sovereign, and has closed this door for a reason. I’m thankful that He knows best, and that His ideas surpass ours!
So to 2013. I’m kind of into New Year’s Resolutions. The trouble is, there are too many possible ones to choose from. There are things I want to do less of (eat, faff, Facebook…) and the things I want to do more of (pray, fast, bake) – and, as you’ll have noticed, some of these are contradictory.
Therefore, I’ve decided to consider my general approach to life. Rather than nit-pick with small things which may not matter in eternity, I’ve resolved to live more of a celebratory lifestyle. I hope this will become clearer to me as the year goes on, because I’m not entirely sure that I haven’t said this to myself merely because it sounds grand, rather than because I actually know what it entails. But three things spring to mind:
1) Thinking about (and planning adequate preparation for) how our family celebrates major festivals (Easter, birthdays, Halloween, Christmas…);
2) Approaching smaller ‘events’ (having friends over, going out, attending church) with more generosity and hospitality;
3) Disciplining myself to celebrate Jesus, even (especially) when life is difficult.
There. No doubt that ‘celebration’ will be a regular theme on this blog in 2013. Looking forward to your input!