Saturday, January 1, 2011

Onward and Upward 2011!!!!!!!

I cross this threshold into 2011 as I do when crossing all the important thresholds....full of the hope and the plan to not be such a slacker.....hmmm.....we'll see how long that lasts! It's funny, as with all thresholds there is the rational, the intellectual, the indefinable Spirit of God always present....and the traditional, which quite frankly, for me, is blinking superstitious!

So, the New Year plan is this: I'll like blog every day, save all my receipts, never procrastinate, I'll take better notes so that when I start writing a paper I'm not like...."Which book did I read that cool thing in???", I'll exercise and meditate, I'll eat only small portions! You'll last until tomorrow, or maybe tonight if the pudding is yummy...I'm middle-aged, friends....I know myself pretty well. To resolve will only work if I can find a way to solve the issues of Attention Deficit Disorder, gluttony, selfishness....the list goes on!

But it is the new year, and one has to make an effort. Again. Really, the circle of the year is so full of "new years" and thresholds marking changes, that this is just another in a constant rolling cycle of clean slate options. This is a blessed thing. It's a chance to reinvent yourself and try a new tactic for being more organized....more efficient....more creative....more loving.....

I have tried my best to "put my house in order"....and have not even come near to the job that my mother and grandmother did in the run up to the new year. In large part, this is due to the fact that we have far, far too much stuff! But that's neither here nor's natural to want to start afresh clean....with some organization....and a game plan....not so much for the superstition of guaranteeing a good year (although I don't deny that that still lingers in my mind) but for the sense of being prepared to weather the wind and waves in which life might toss you.
I did arrange a fabulously handsome, tall, dark first-footer, for those of you aware of the Scottish New Year traditions! Thanks Dave Farmer! :) I had the proper foods for eating....we melted tin on the fire and threw it into buckets of snow for the shapes to be interpreted. (I think this is a Norse tradition not a Scots one...but it's fun!)My shapes were very eagle-esque from every angle, so I hope that means I'll soar through Koine Greek translations of John with the ease eagle!

This past year has been both tempestuous and mild. Usually, I blog when things are good.Towards the tail end of the year things did go a bit pear shaped...I didn't blog about the gun crazed scary people, the house so messy that it smelled of hamsters when we don't even have hamsters, the overgrown flower garden, the under-grown vegetable garden, the termites, the chanked pool-liner that we won't be able to afford to replace, the gutters ripping off one side of the house, the free Audi A6 I was given that dropped its front-end in the middle of the night...on the New Jersey Parkway... sixty miles from a nor'easter....actually, I should blog about that after the hindsight it's pretty dang funny...This sort of stuff only happens to me.
It's been a year alright. A simultaneously wonderful and scary year in which I learned a whole lot....and was confused and disturbed a whole lot.
So many of my friends are out of work...abandoning homes and moving someplace cheaper...or where there's work...Here's me, half-way through seminary and wondering how this family will survive the next year and a half...these three boys: one my husband...struggling with the fact that I'm not really around now...unable to be any help financially, and of minimal help in all the ways where I once carried the ball! At a critical point in his own career. One boy, quite nearly a man, pondering his place in the universe, often trapped in layers of thought that is age appropriate, yet painful, as peeling back those layers of thought reveal how vulnerable we all are. And one boy...still very much a playful child... eating as many Mike and Ike's that he can cram into his mouth and making huge living-room sized racetracks with blocks and matchbox cars...his deep thoughts shining through unexpectedly throughout the day-to-day stuff like sunbeams through storm-clouds...and I'm often not home to appreciate it. And, of course, like the rest of the world, I wonder if there will be a job at the other end of seminary when the government says "Right....give us all that money back! Um....NOW!"
Still...amid all this tension, I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God is in all this. I admit I don't always know where or how....but I know.
So we organize as best we can to weather the fix the annoying and not productive bits of us....but really now it's about the loving. Being more loving to see each other through those stormy moments. And for that loving...Thankful. Really quite extraordinarily thankful!
And God is in this.......
in the broken and hirpling community that supports me, and R, and the boys every moment of every day! The laughs, and the cups of tea and coffee, the shared chocolate bars, the Glenmorangie, and the email and fb encouragement, that is so constantly present.....
There's God! And over there! And in this! And in them! And through me!
For all this love I am thankful!

Happy, happy New Year!
Onward and Upward!


  1. Brilliant photies! Especially the reflected portrait.

  2. Awesome, Jeanie! Love your musings. Have a blessed 2011!