We all woke up this morning to a brand new year. 2018 is gone and we all get to start again. Did you wake up feeling hopeful and full of resolutions? Bursting with ideas about how to make this your best year yet? Or maybe you woke up feeling anxious about what this year might bring? Maybe you've been knocked down by life a little and aren't sure you're looking forward to any more of life's "surprises" hiding around 2019's corners.
I posted this picture because if you know the back story, it sums up 2018 so beautifully. It represents this perfectly imperfect place that I have found myself in. This picture was taken on our front steps, with my cellphone, by my sister, just before eating Thanksgiving dinner. She snapped it in less than 30 seconds and only because I realized we didn't have any family pictures all together for this year's upcoming Christmas card.
None of our outfits are coordinated, Charli had not had a bath in at least 2 days, she had picked out her own outfit and rain boots (which she is likely wearing on the wrong feet), our new pup Rosie had just finished using my husband's retainers as chew toys, and we had 14 guests that mean the world to us inside ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. There is no rustic covered bridge that we are crossing together wistfully in flowing dresses with the perfect lighting.
We didn't pay for a professional to beautifully capture us. In fact it was kind of chaotic, but it's really just life. This little group of precious souls on the front steps comes together like the puzzle pieces to my heart. They are wild and imperfect and real. I look at this picture and I see the blue door behind us that I painted last year and I remember how badly I wanted it to be blue and how I had struggled with every brush stroke to paint it almost exactly a year ago. My swollen hands and my knees and back ached so badly. I remember being so proud of myself when I finished. So impressed by my efforts and tenacity, yet also so saddened by my painful reality that had become so limiting. I'm glad that the blue doors are behind us now.
When I look at this picture, I also see my boots that may just look like boots to you, but those boots that I'm wearing are one of the first pairs of non-tennis/geriatric shoes that I have been able to wear completely pain-free in over a year. I'm so proud of those boots. They feel like such a win to me.
I celebrate one year post my inflammatory arthritis diagnosis and beginning to take medication that is not without risk, but has given me back my life. I would trade the risks of my medication any day to have my quality of life. I have never felt so grateful for the little things that I have back now. I marvel at the things I can do with ease now that I just knew I would never do again. Things as simple as doing groceries without needing to elevate and ice my knee afterwards, cook dinner standing up, unbuckle my daughter's car seat using my thumb, and dance with my husband at a wedding. I see the grace that I have received and I'm overwhelmed and humbled by it.
I used to think I was one of the unluckiest young women I've ever known. But now in 2019, looking at this picture... I kind of think I'm one of the lucky ones. I didn't earn it and I don't deserve it, but I'm covered up in grace. Somehow and in spite of myself.
I'm not one to make a bunch of resolutions or expect certain things from a new year. I have hopes and aspirations, but no expectations. Over the years, I've learned that the only thing you can expect in life is that it will not go as planned. And grace is NOT something you can expect to come for you. You can't plan for it's arrival. And often times it's actually disguised as one of life's trials. It's face is covered up by pain and it's hurdles seem insurmountable. It's not something many people recognize, even when it is staring you right in the face.This year, I hope to continue to have eyes that see grace. I hope to recognize it even when it's disguised by life's tribulations. I also hope to extend it. Whenever possible to everyone possible, because grace is something we all need more of.
My husband was expecting this post to be about my resolution to save money this year by becoming super thrifty... I know he is anxiously awaiting my post to go live so that he can read all about my plans to help him retire at 40. Sorry honey, this post took a different turn, but hopefully he will recognize the grace. Have no fear, you can expect lots of thrifty posts in the new year. All hope is not lost.
Cheers to 2019 in all it's newness. May it bring you grace. May you extend grace, And may you recognize it this year in all it's glory.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.