Towards Next Year Now


Nestled into our kitchen corner from NYE- it stayed put all year!

Today marks day 342 of the year 2015. With 23 days left this year, time wanes and goals might be going unmet.

I don’t remember what I set out to do in 2015 but do remember the way we welcomed the new year: with family, shared experiences, a party in house with games, good food, and a solid soundtrack. Looking back now, I’d say many of those favorites found their way into wonderful moments and experiences, ordinary and extravagant, all year long. With a new niece, my first nephew, great jobs, health, family, traveling, and joy, our year was a very good one.

Outside of my direct experience, 2015 held hardship, horror, and helplessness for many of God’s children in the U.S. and around the world. How do you move ahead if the year behind you took away something you held so dear? How do you move forward past discouragement, pain, and fear towards new hope and a fresh start if you’ve lost a lot of power or all of your trust?


The mantle marks the memory-making season

Honest intentions, basic needs, or disciplined desires need time to surface. Perhaps now, 23 days before the new year comes, is the time to look back and think ahead.

When I hosted a Christmas party this week, I asked the room to light a candle and share two words: one that summed up 2015, and one to direct 2016.

My friends shared bravely and directly, trusting that to say it out loud and light a candle, meant darkness will become enlightened, and the hopes for the future will have feet to run on.

They spoke of a year that was complicated, fun, surprising, hopeful, hard, and full of joy, worry, anxiety, running and growth.

Looking forward with light to lead them, my friends held out words that would call them to: let go, play, navigate, heal, be brave, have hope, set intentions, and connect.

How about you?

What can you look back and see from the days behind you this year?

What do you want to hold onto, let go of, raise higher, or erase forever?

How will you walk, lead, dream, parent, work heal, play, let go, hold on, or choose this next year because of,or in spite of, what this past year has held?

Who will you be for yourself and what will you do for others?

What is the word that sums up the pace, priorities, and experiences of 2015?

What is the word to guide your ways and days in 2016?

When you have the words, tell me or someone else so they begin to become more real right away.

I’ll end with the Pope Francis’ Jubilee word: “mercy” and affirm his hope that doors would open in mercy so that “anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons and instills hope.”

Photo and quote from  BBC News




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