Breathe In, Breathe Out.

I have new watercolor paints. Honey-based watercolor cubes from France that are ridiculously expensive. I’ve dreamt of owning them since I took a watercolor class in High School (thank you, Dad). I’ve always compromised for the cheap craft-store sets or the kind that comes in tubes and isn’t “concentrated.”  Each time I’ve reached for my purchase, I can hear my watercolor instructor saying “You really need to invest in the better kind…” God bless that art teacher, really all of my art teachers, for embracing my imperfect paintings and never shutting me down, but rather gently prodding me to focus on technique and to embrace the elements I can’t control. You can’t control water, and neither can you control every aspect of watercolor. Pictures will come later, since they’re still packed up in my husband’s car and he’s gone to work.

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Christmas morning. Yes, two people are wearing onesie pajamas.

One of my new year’s resolutions my Freshman year of college, was to learn how to French braid my hair. And to skip rocks. I know, not very monumental goals, but they were two skills I’d always shied away from because of fear of failure. Today, five years later (I’m young, ok?), I can french braid my hair and sort-of skip rocks. Huzzah! For Christmas Eve, my sister braided/twisted my hair into an Elsa braid, and I’m delighted to admit it made me feel like I too could “Let it gooooo.” (If you don’t know what I’m referencing, just ask any girl under the age of 12).

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Somebody get me an ice castle. Stat!

 

Where did you see yourself being at the end of this year? Happier, healthier, and maybe wealthier? Or perhaps the pessimist in you hoped nothing would change at all, because change would only bring disaster.This is a false dichotomy – to think the next year  can be labeled “good” or “bad.” When in reality, Each year is a broken picture, and each moment is a small shard of glass put together to form a beautiful mosaic. Let the light shine through your last year, and prove to that shard of painful memories that the picture will prove true.

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if the mosaic metaphor didn’t work for you, how about latte art?

 

What if you can’t remember the last year? The pain and the good just can’t be distinguished and you will jubilantly toast the last year goodbye, because your heart and mind have already decided to move on.

 

“Yet I am always with you;

you hold me by your right hand.

You guide me with your counsel,

and afterward you will take me into your glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you?

and earth has nothing I desire besides you.”

Psalm 77

This blog does not serve as my diary, but I’d be lying if I said one did not influence the other. I decided to write a short letter to my “self” of December 2014. A self-prescribed therapy exercise. And I realized my entire letter boiled down to this thought:

You are perpetually dependent upon your savior regardless of the infirmities or diagnosis of your heart.

That will ring true year after year.

This year, I dare you to write a letter to “yourself” of a year ago, instead of the traditional letter to your future self (please tell me my youth group was not the only one to have this tradition). How can we dance into the next chapter, if our past clings to our heels?

The  Bible verse above was given to me by a friend the day before my Mom’s cancer diagnoses. She simply handed me a notecard and said “I think you need this.” Which is akin to strapping a life jacket on a person minutes before the tidal wave comes. Breathe in, breathe out.

“Oh the irony of God’s delight – born in the parched soil of destitution rather than the fertile ground of achievement…We don’t often declare our impotence. Admission of failure is not usually admission into joy. Complete confession is not commonly followed by total pardon. But then again, God has never been governed by what is common.” Grace for the Moment, Max Lucado.

I don’t want to follow a common God. A God who is caught in the same cycles of this world that we are struggling against. I want to follow One who constantly humbles himself – who is more apt to give up power to accomplish his goals than to assume his full glory. Am I willing to do the same? To admit that the goals I have in mind for myself and for this year won’t make me happy, but rather the times I’ve stumbled and hit my face on the pavement are where true joy and forgiveness can happen…but only in the aftermath.

 

I hope for snow.

 

-K

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