What are you doing this New Year’s Eve 2007? I am sitting on the couch with my new laptop, watching the kids jump and sing and dance along with their High School Musical game on their new Playstation 2. They are happy, especially since their daddy told them they could stay up until midnight to welcome the New Year. Without asking their mommy. He’s the crazy one – I’ll probably head in to bed, and he’ll be up. And he’s still getting over the flu. He did, however, take a long nap in a quiet house this afternoon while the kids and I were visiting at Michelle’s.
I’m also listening to the song Revival from the CD Revival in Belfast by Robin Marks. We found a new church home this year. It has been nearly two years since we left our old church home. And yet, as soon as this song comes up on my MP3 player, I am fighting back tears. This CD came out when I was worship coordinator at that church, and we did many of these songs on Sunday mornings. Hearing this song brings me right back, and I am sad again. How long until that goes away?
I remember when New Year’s Eve was an occasion to stay up late, party hard and celebrate. I must be getting older, because it is now just fine with me to stay at home with my family, and mentally reminisce about the past year and plan for the new one, while they party around me.
My heart is full tonight, and I want to get these thoughts down before they are gone in the flurry of the rest of the week.
I have many things to be grateful for as I look back on 2007.
We were able to refinance our house and get out of debt. Because of that, and in spite of the fact that Kevin still faces the possibility of unemployment this year, we are better off financially than we were last year at this time. God is good.
I wish you could see what I see right now. Josiah is laying on his back with his ankles crossed, hands under his head. He looks like he should be laying in a hammock. He’s watching his sister and brother sing and compete, and when each song ends, he jumps up and shouts, “You got an A!” (The game grades you on your performance of HSM songs.) And on my MP3 player is playing the song This is a Moment Made for Worshipping by Steven Curtis Chapman. “This is a moment made for worshipping, because this is a moment I’m alive…”
I’m grateful for a husband who believes in my writing to the point that he would buy me a brand new laptop because I need something better for my work. And a husband who bought me a second MP3 player for Christmas, because he remembered that I jokingly said in passing that I needed one for music, one for audiobooks. And he indulges my book obsession.
I’m grateful for friendship. We’ve lived in this town for 10 and a half years now, and during that time I have made many good friends. They have all been exactly what I needed at the time, but each friendship has been for a season. And now, for the first time since I was in college, I feel like I have a true best friend. God ordained that Michelle would move here for me; you’ll never convince me otherwise. Our friendship is still relatively new – although I can hardly believe we just exchanged Christmas gifts for the second time – but I have no doubt that our friendship is for a lifetime. Some things you just know.
All right, answer me this: how can I go from lovingly gazing at my children having fun and thinking about how wonderful it is to be their mother to being completely annoyed that they are interrupting my blogging? My blogging about how grateful I am? For them? (The song on my MP3 player is now Fabulous from High School Musical 2. I’m not as selfish as Sharpay, honest.)
I’m grateful for happy, healthy kids. Other than the occasional cold and flu, my kids are healthy. They are also good kids. Yes, there are days when I want to pull my hair out, but there are also days when the receptionist at the orthodontist’s office tells me how much she enjoys it when we come in, because she knows my kids are well-behaved.
I’m grateful for Natalie. My 11-year-old. Just typing those words makes me sigh. She is changing so fast, from an adorable little girl to a beautiful young lady. She is goofy, feminine, able to break a board with her foot while blushing over the cute boy at Tae Kwon Do, and – most importantly – she has a strong desire to follow Jesus.
I’m grateful for Noah. He’s 9. When Kevin gets the pictures off the camera and onto my computer, I’ll post the picture Kevin snapped while we were opening gifts Christmas Eve. Noah has always been a joy to watch open gifts – he is thrilled with each and every one. And though he loves the Playstation and his camera, the gift that got the biggest smile was Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide of the Fantastical World Around You.
I’m grateful for Jonathan. He’s 8 and his energy is astonishing at times. He is like contained electricity; he buzzes with it. I love the fact that he is now an accomplished reader, and likes to share with me what is happening in his book. It makes me laugh to see how fast he can go from picking on his sister to defending her honor. (Now, I’m listening to Long Train Running’ by The Doobie Brothers: “Without love, where would I be right now?” Yes, my musical taste is varied and odd.)
I’m grateful for Josiah. He’s 6 and still comes running up to me to say, “I know what you need, Mommy. You need a snuggle from me.” And he’s right; I do. As he has completed the familiar pages in Abeka’s Letter and Sounds this year, it has been startling to realize that this is the last time I will be leading a child through this phonics program, the last time I will watch a child experience the joy of reading for the first time. I am now the mother of four readers.
I’m grateful for parents who live close enough that we can watch football games and go to the movies together. I’m grateful that we found a church that our kids love. I’m grateful that there is a (however tentative) peace with our neighbors. I’m grateful that my kids have good friends. I am grateful that we are on our sixth year of homeschooling, and I still enjoy it and I am still convinced that it is the best path for our family. I’m grateful for weekly phone conversations with my sister Andrea, chatting online with my other sister Debra, and visits with my sister Marni while she still lives close enough. I’m grateful for quiet evenings with a book, a glass of Pinot Grigio, and dark chocolate. I’m grateful for 24, Numb3rs and Ballykissangel on DVD. I’m grateful for all the blogs on my blogroll – and some I haven’t added yet – for making me think and laugh, for giving me encouragement, and for suggesting some brilliant books.
May your New Year be filled with books that make you think, friends you can be “you” with, and days bright with joy and laughter.