Another year come and gone. I am beginning to understand what people have been meaning when they say that life is a little bit like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. I feel like I’m well over half way into my roll, and it’s going faster and faster.

It has been a year filled with great beauty and great loss. Of course, one of the most significant events of 2016 was the loss of my beloved mother-in-law. But before that loss came wonderful opportunities for love. Many sweet moments shared. Raw humanity that stripped away everything but the heart of who we are. After more than twenty years, she and I saw, and appreciated, the core of one another. The beauty of 2016.

My year was filled with strong friendships, being forged and strengthened by the hardships of life. Wonderful people, expanding their lives to make room for me, room for my children, room for our joy and our pain.

Rich memories made around tables breaking bread, in cars going places, on ordinary days serving beside friends, in circles holding hands and lifting one another in prayer, while  just putting one foot in front of the other.

Joy that bubbled up like a brook, often times right out of the center of me. Like adding vinegar to baking soda, it grew and rose and overflowed often out of control.

The year also held much softening. Like a tough hide that is worked and worn until it becomes more tender, I bumped against things that made me soften. It wasn’t always comfortable, slamming up against sharp things, but like softening leather, it made me more flexible.  Pushed and pulled by hard situations, I’m now more prepared to bend.

The year held laughter and tears and revelation and loss and gain and brokenness and perfection. It brought much wisdom and revealed how very little I know.

On this last day of the year, I sit here with a grateful heart. Grateful for the wrinkles and gray and breaking of my heart that made me who I am in this moment. And I try to eagerly look forward to the year to come. Goodbye 2016.


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