Before 2014 Begins

I loved Christmas!  Low key.  Lots of fun.  Lots of family.  Cookies.  Sweet 7-year-old notes to Santa and piles of carrots for the reindeer.  And a fresh reminder that Jesus’s birth changed everything.  And it can change me.


Before 2014 officially begins in a few hours, there are a few things I’ve been thinking about. Closing thoughts.

I used to call myself a non-reader.  {I may have used the word hate.}  In high school, I was the Advanced English student who bought and read Cliffsnotes.  I love math, what can I say?   I did read a few books entirely.  Read: few.  In college, the only book I remember reading was The Godfather.   I am different now, though.  I proudly call myself a reader.   In my handy Notes app, I have listed every book I’ve read since January 2012.  So, so nerdy.

Some of my favorites from 2013 include The Book Thief (Zusak), Food Rules (Pollan), The Greatest Gift (Voskamp), House Girl (Conklin), Bread & Wine (Neiquist), and a tie for Ship Breaker (Bacigalupi) and Ender’s Game (Card).   Oh! And I read Dinner: A Love Story (Rosenstrach) and The Witch of Blackbird Pond (Speare).  Total for 2013: 29.

I heard a slam bang sermon last Sunday at church.  What I remember most centers on the truth that Christmas gifts are solely meant to point us to the gift Giver.  Isn’t everything that way?  Every thing is ultimately a gift from the gift Giver.   If we hope in the gift itself, boredom and dissatisfaction come quickly.  But if we hope in the gift Giver, then we have Hebrews 6:19 hope.  An anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

We have a hamster.  Her name is Peanut and she was a Christmas gift.  She lives in Cole’s room, and he has blown our expectations so far in his care for her.  Secretly, I’m so thankful Cole has manned up.  I may or may not be afraid of Peanut escaping and settling in in the crevices of our couch.  Eek.   Sometimes he puts her in a clear ball and lets her run around the house.  She rolled in while I was cooking the other night, like she owned the place!  I’m glad she’s feeling comfy here.

As I look ahead to 2014, I have much to be grateful for.  First up, January.  I will turn 35 in just 15 days {what?!}.  Three days after my birthday, my brother will marry a fantastic lady.  My husband is stepping forward toward a career dream too.  Grateful to the gift Giver.  And mixed in with gratefulness is always, for me, a twinge of fear.  You too?  What if?  What if?  What if?  I can’t know the answers to the what if’s, so I’m going to stick with the hope anchor.   A better hope, thanks to Christmas.


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