Thursday, January 5, 2012


The vast majority of 2011 was filled with uncertainty and stress. Due to a set of circumstances, much was taken from us, unexpectedly. Some of you may know what I am talking about, but regardless, the more important fact is to talk about how much more was gained from the same circumstances. Thanks to the above mentioned deal, we got to return to North Carolina. When we left, I never thought we'd ever come back. I got to baptize my own husband back at the church we loved with our favorite pastor. I get to work at UNC again. We are back with our very closest friends. The girls go to a great school- one that I had considered before we moved away. We have the beautiful fall colors, a 'real' winter and the gorgeous spring flowers again. Dan has a great job at a place I thought he should work at before we moved away. He helped many a friend get a job there but was looking for coaching for himself. Life is funny how it works. More than anything, I love the newfound contentment that (maybe) I was forced to find. To learn how to live where you don't even look at money or 'things' and buy the bare minimum at the grocery to nourish yourself. Ok, so raspberries weren't the bare minimum, but it was the summer!! I used to be a professional window shopper, browsing for hours. I wanted something, didn't know what, but knew I didn't want to spend more than $20 dollars. I'd finally settle on something that struck my fancy and all the good that did was leave me wanting more. Now I just don't go looking and then I don't have to want. That's what works when there is no extra $$. Then all fun and satisfaction is found in family time together doing something simple that likely costs nothing. Sometimes the simplest outtings, especially ones that were not planned, were the most fun. Just relishing in the joy of hearing two little girls giggling together in the back seat of the car- we felt rich.
To be so grateful just to have a job to go to everyday. Granted I was able to have a year at home with the girls (which I treasured) it has been nice to be given the perspective of being glad to have a job everyday. Dan, too. To hear people with a sour attitude at work- PEOPLE! be glad you are employed!
I am now reading my bible every day. This is something I have wanted to make happen for years and I truly watched a wall stop me from doing so last January. I had no excuse, I just wasn't going to do it. Why?! So stupid. It brings me joy to read a verse that I know because of one of the songs we sing at church. For many, it probably goes the other way- knowing the verse first, then hearing it in the song but it delights me, nonetheless.
My final thoughts for the year that confirmed all of the above. Christmas: my favorite moments of Christmas were at the Christmas Eve service and singing carols and listening to Grace sing along, surprising me by knowing the words to many of the songs and more than just the first verse. I found myself feeling a bit emotional there at the service, not wanting to leave the moment and that feeling of peace, contentment, and overwhelming joy. Maybe pride, too. I was so proud of my Graca and her sweet singing. Although I grew up believing in Santa and my girls are getting to now, I was just feeling bothered by all of the materialism that was about to come on with the giving of gifts and hearing all of the "I want..." from the kids. I guess I just knew for myself, I didn't want anything. Right there at that moment, there was nothing more I could have wanted (except for Lia to be feeling better so she and Dan could have been there too).
My other favorite moment was on Christmas day when Grace started singing her favorite Christmas song, Away in a Manager, in the middle of opening gifts. One by one people quieted down until everyone was listening to her sing. I thought surely she'd turn shy and stop, but she sang all of the verses of the song and again, I was so proud of her. Mimi and I got teary eyed and Grace asked Mimi, while wiping her eyes, "What's the matter, Mimi?"
Love my girls, my husband, our family and our friends. Those are the things that are what this current life is all about.