This is the best I had for a Christmas card picture. It allowed me to release myself of sending out Christmas cards and instead just writing it on this blog. I guess their behavior saved me a few bucks so I can be grateful, right?
Our year started off last December as Jon and I sat in Florida and did a workshop called “The Best Year Ever” where we set personal, family, and work goals for 2015. We not only were able to achieve none of them, but we have no idea where those goals are right now and I can only remember one of them.
Emily is in her sophomore year of high school and finally understands the whole I study – I get good grades relationship. It is a super win. We no longer believe she will live with us forever. She still does not clean her room, so we are holding out for a future hoarders episode, but I may be prone to panic in this area. This was the year I learned to keep my mouth shut about things like her messy room, because really, do I want to have a good relationship with my teen or do I want to constantly follow her around saying Pick that up? It was a tough decision, but I went with the first and I have discovered Emily is one of the most hilarious people I’ve ever met. This year ends with me rejoicing in the fact that I finally have a good relationship with my daughter. Now that friends, is a big win.
Faye is just amazing. I don’t even know where to begin with that kid. She almost died in January (she will be the first to tell you she did actually die for 3-5 minutes because she somehow takes great humor in that) however she is still our shining example of love, kindness, and hope. Although she is not 100% recovered, her faith remains strong that it will all come back. She is the living example of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who before being thrown into a blazing furnace said “the God we serve is able to deliver us from it and he will deliver us. But even if he does not, we will not serve any other God.” She can live with so much ease in the contradiction of believing 100% that God will heal her and believing 100% that if he doesn’t, he is still all good. It is a lesson she teaches us every day.
Mesfin is taller than I am now. He is such a kind kid. Just can’t believe this amazing gift God placed into my life. Sports totally dominate Mesfin’s existance. He played soccer and basketball this fall, but basketball is his life. His current plans are to be in the NBA. I hate to be a dream crusher so I just casually asked if he had a back up plan. Nope, not yet. I’m trying to encourage other possible life outcomes, but nothing is sticking quite yet. That’s ok. I’ve decided to just jump on his bandwagon and I show him pictures of houses online that he can buy me when he gets drafted.
Will is my doppelgänger. He looks just like Jon, but I have literally reproduced myself. Ironically, he bugs the crap out of me sometimes because he NEVER knows when to quit. The teasing and the jokes just keep on going until someone freaks out on him. This is an interesting flashback upon my childhood, as many people reacted to me in the same fashion. I just keep telling the other kids Hey, you like me, don’t you? He’ll mellow and be just like me as an adult. Hang in there. It’s worth it. His current life plans are to get a business degree and be Mesfin’s manager in the NBA. Lots of conversations about how he’s not going to mess it up like Derrick Rose’s brother Reggie, who is a sucky manager in case you didn’t know.
And at the end of the line up is Iris. She is beyond funny and crazy and she never, ever, ever, ever stops talking. That’s a lot of evers coming from another person that talks a lot, but she supersedes me in all areas of talking. Iris is just another great blessing that somehow God fit perfectly right into this family. She is so sweet and kind. Her and Faye are great friends and they have plans of buying our house from us and living here together. I believe they have construction blueprints drawn up and the first step is to eliminate Will’s room to make theirs larger. I guess he doesn’t get to stay.
Jon and I have made it through 2015 stronger and better. We discovered that we can do hard things. Really hard things. We may not be left unscathed, but we come out on the other side still residing in love. For that I am beyond grateful.
As Christmas approaches I can’t help but think how many times Jon and I have said Let’s just get this year over with. With all the truth in that statement, I still would not trade this year for anything. Do I wish it was different? No doubt. But no one gets through life without pain and loss, and knowing that there will be joy on the other side is a great gift.
Psalm 27:13 says I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
I can say that we have lived this and seen it first hand. The joy we will have just celebrating Christmas as a family is proof of this enough.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday. And if you have kids with as much homework as mine, may you enjoy 14 days without it. I know I will.
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.