To the year past and the year to come, I am grateful for each of you. 2011, you have blessed me richly, peeled back the veils of my eyes & opened my heart wide and raw and I'm not the same as I was when we started out together. You brought me up and down and twisted sideways and there were times when I couldn't tell if I'd ever stand stable again. You moved our little family into three houses in two states. You sent me to another continent - a trip that left me with the thinnest skin.
2011, when we started, we had plans & dreams. Most of those shifted with the wind and months passed, but we remained faithful and pressed into each day, some with more faith than others. You taught me so much, but patience most of all. As we passed through, I felt like I had my hands tied behind my back, vulnerable to your whims & changing tides. But you proved to be a great year. God used you in the biggest ways to change me as a wife, a mother and a woman altogether. I am wholly different and this new skin suits me just fine.
You weren't always gentle with me, 2011. I felt ravaged and laid out, sucker-punched and vulnerable. You made me question everything. You reminded me that I still have demons to stare down and the battle isn't over. I lost my temper more than I care to admit and sometimes, I let the darkness swallow me whole. But, dangling from the limbs, there was always a rope to climb out. Somehow, we made it through you.
No, you weren't always gentle. But you were often kind & full of abundant blessing. Rowan grew up so much. He's only two now, but I can't remember life before him. He stayed healthy and strong. I'm grateful for that.
You saw me to Bolivia and back. I still struggle with what I've seen. I still struggle with how I respond. My heart is so tender and I hang onto that trip with heavy sobs and a mind of wonder. The Bolivia trip started in you, 2011, but I think that the aftershocks will last into the infinite years to come.
2011, a tip of my hat to you, for providing incredible music - the tunes that came through you played as a soundtrack to my life. Bon Iver's "Holocene" sweeps me into another world entirely. Jay-Z and Kanye's "Ni**as in Paris" is a monstrous & brilliant hip-hop anthem. Gungor's album is ethereal. Adele's voice could raise the dead. Florence + The Machine gets played with windows down & at a loud volume. The Civil Wars reminded me why music is important - it ignites passions and emotions buried deep.
And now, my attention moves to you, 2012.
You, with your fresh paint and open canvas. What do you have in store for us? Will we spend months in anticipation of something? Will we feel stable and grounded - the first time in years? Will our roots start to grow in here?
Will I make a mess of you? Will you make a mess of me?
I don't know what you'll lay out in our path this year, but I've chosen a name for you.
Like years past, I abandon the ways of resolutions and instead, choose a theme. A rhythm. A word.
You, 2012, are my year of YES.
I know you've got tricks up your sleeve that I can't see yet... surprises that I'll welcome and some that I'll dread. But, regardless of what you put in front of me, I've determined that I'm jumping into you with two feet and reckless abandon.
I'm going to say yes to you.
I'm going to say yes to Him.
I'm going to say yes to Erik and yes to Rowan and yes to the mess. I'm going to say yes to letting people into my unclean house and heart alike.
I'm going to say yes to the beautiful broken transformation. I'm going to say yes to things that scare me. I'm going to say yes to things that I love.
I'm saying yes to wearing my heart on my sleeve, even though it probably means it'll fall off and shatter a few times.
It scares me to death, this thought of saying YES to all of you. But I'm going for it.
I'm all in. I'm all YES.