New Years Blessing and a Prefix for 2016

Sunset 2015

Do you feel the sun setting on 2015? The cold wind is blowing and the last bit of this holiday season seems to be on fast forward.

The afterglow of Christmas is still glittering… but my birthday week began on the 26th. I have to share my birthday week with the most important person who has ever lived on the planet. This is OK with me, though. It means I get to piggy back on the lights and tinsel, and enjoy the holiday rapture; not a bad deal in the least.

On a side note: I finally made my peace with poinsettias, too… seeing as how they were on every birthday cake I ever had growing up. I now can look at them with appreciation – especially when they have a dusting of spray-on sparkle.

Some really cool stuff has happened so far on my birthday week already. Saturday we got free tickets to see Star Wars at the theater and Starbucks gave me my complimentary birthday drink early. Later that day, someone in front of me in the drive-thru paid for my tea, too – how awesome is that?!). If you are wondering why I’m in the drive-thru there that often, it’s because I’m dropping off and picking up my 16 year old who works there. Discounts, people… they rock. In honor of my birthday we also ate Tacos and Thai food (not in that order or at the same time, thankfully).

I’ve been so thankful to be spending this holiday season AND my birthday week WITH my whole family (knowing that with college and adulthood looming, these last few Christmases with everyone at home are a treasure).

That’s why the refrigerator dying hasn’t hurt as bad as it might have otherwise. The big ding on my Lowe’s credit card arrives on Tuesday. I’m trying to look at it as an early next year’s hunting season present — and am praying that a total defrost and maybe a 20$ part and some TLC can get the inside refrigerator running again in the garage… killing two birds with one stone: more deer meat freezer space we would have inevitably needed to spend money on next fall. Because, sadly, the refrigerator in the garage is also on a last leg… and has been since this past summer. I check it daily to make sure it hasn’t croaked on me and the food out there isn’t in danger of thawing.

Even though my goal is to get out of debt and this year has been one financial pitfall after another, there’s always a silver lining, right?

count your blessings

Another cool thing from birthday week (yesterday)… we pulled a bird’s nest out of our dryer vent, and a speckled little white and black egg. It was old and the egg was empty (we cracked it accidentally and there was a dried up little speck of yolk inside). No wonder the dryer has been slow to dry lately – sometimes requiring an extra run for the denim and blankets. Two feet of lint and grassy bird’s nest stuffed up in the exterior vent! All the way up into the hose that connected the back of the dryer to the wall! Can you imagine?!

Thankfully, we won’t have to replace the dryer. I was worried because we replaced the washer earlier in the spring. This year has been the year of the HUGE appliance and vehicle melt-downs for us. Since last December we’ve had probably close to ten trips to the mechanic for four different vehicles and our washing machine, A/C and now refrigerator on the brink at some point. OH, and a roof leak (which caused much interior sheetrock damage in two rooms – all of which has not been repaired). “When it rains, it pours!” Sorry… I couldn’t resist.

2015, I’m GLAD to see you GO (good riddens) — but I can definitely say you have taught me much in your harassment. I’ve grown leaps and bounds this year. I’ve been made stronger by what didn’t kill me. I have laid quite a few more bricks on my “solid rock” foundation (if you know what I mean)? I know that worse times, harder challenges, and more difficulties WILL come. I know losses are in my future as well as joys (they are for everyone – no matter your age or position in life). Years like THIS one are ones that lay the foundation strong for storms to come. Shucks, 2015 was a storm in it’s own rite and I’m thankful I survived it.

I pray 2016 is a year of REFRESHING. A year of RENOVATION and RESTORATION. I want to do some RECLAIMING, RE-PURPOSING, and be full of RESOLVE.  I want REFORMATION, RECOVERY, REDEMPTION in so many places and for so many people. Maybe I should use a prefix instead of a word for 2016… the year of RE!

brick and wood heart

Last night I buried myself under the covers. I piled on layers of fleece blankets and pillows around my head to hide from the first lick of winter; the same winter I had been praying would finally come after a balmy 80-degree Christmas week. I could feel the bones in my toes aching from the cold. I couldn’t help but think in my spirit that: “sometimes… we get what we ask for“… and that’s why it’s so important to know where you are headed and what you should be asking for in the first place. I hope this year the path is crystal clear and the priorities are easy to ascertain.

Any idea what your word (or prefix) will be for 2016? I hope you are squeezing the last ounce of warmth out of this season and gearing up to accomplish much next year. It stands at the door-step, knocking. I pray you leave your failures, heartbreaks, and disappointments from 2015 behind and lock arms with 2016 in resolution – without looking back.

May God bless you and give you strength and peace… and victory!



  1. […] that graphic I shared at the beginning of 2016 that said… “Count your blessings instead of your crosses?” Then it went on to ask you to add up gains instead of losses, joys instead of woes, friends […]