There were no late parties the night before. No counting down to midnight. No watching of fireworks bursting on the horizon. Just a quiet evening spent reflecting on the past and inwardly preparing for a new beginning. Then off to bed at a reasonable hour, knowing the morning would come quickly.
I awoke before the sun on that first day of the new year and began the daily routine. I sat bundled in my little wing-back recliner, my favorite resting place, checking in on the world from my laptop and slowly gearing up for another day of work.
And that's when I heard it.
Scratch scratch. Scratch scratch.
I couldn't discern whether it was the uninvited attic creatures or just my kitty cat, wanting to go where a closed door wouldn't let her. As the scratching persisted, I left my warm and cozy perch to investigate.
Quickly I realized it was just my kitty, strangely wishing to go in the cold, cold closet just to "check it out." She does that sometimes, always wanting to know what's hiding in the places she can't reach. So I let her in and shook my head at her silliness.
And that's when I saw it.
As I turned away from the closet door, I caught a glimpse of the sky through a nearby window. The tiniest sliver of moon hung low in a cold blue sky, and just below it, the horizon burned with the coming sunrise in a brilliant shade of reddish-orange. It was breathtaking.
I pressed my forehead against the cold glass and whispered, "Oh Jesus, it's beautiful. So beautiful." And I felt the glory of His sunrise seeping deep into my soul, filling me with a yearning for the One who can make all things beautiful.
And that's when I knew it.
This coming year will be full of Him. And it will be beautiful. So beautiful.
Just two minutes later, the sky had faded. And I whispered thank you to the One who had pulled me away from my ordinary life to witness the dawning of a new year, the dawning of the Year of Faith.
And I continue to whisper thank you for His endless gifts...
#21 Warm, soft, and beautiful quilt--sewn for me by my mom, reminding me that I had a home once and maybe someday I will again.
#22 Tea, crochet, and a Christmas movie on a lazy afternoon.
#23 Annabelle Cat going crazy over a catnip mouse on Christmas morning.
#24 Laughing until my belly hurts.
#25 Nutmeg, freshly ground, and the beautiful pattern that hides inside--I can't believe I am 29 years old and just discovered the wonder of whole nutmeg.
#26 Friends who understand my limitations, who wholeheartedly want the best for me even when it means a missed "tea date."
#27 Sweaters on sale, in the most luscious shades of purple, blue, and Christmas green
#28 The last Christmas sermon of the year, opening my eyes to see how abandoned and alone Mary must of felt that night He was born, opening my heart to see He is near even when I have felt abandoned.
#29 The way dangly earrings and silk scarves make me feel pretty and feminine, even in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.
#30 Successful endeavors in the kitchen--they may be few and far between, but oh what joy when they come!
#31 Pumpkin pie with a perfectly un-soggy crust, covered in whipped cream and freshly ground nutmeg.
#32 When friends--or strangers--leave comments saying they needed to hear what I had written. A beautiful reminder that although I do not write for an audience, God still uses me for His purposes.
#33 Having time to write, lots and lots of time to write.
#34 Finding words to speak what's long been waiting in my heart.
#35 Soft, warm yarn in yummy colors of pink, purple, and green.
#36 Hope for the new year.
#37 Unmade bed full of sunshine and sleeping cats.
#38 Bare branches against a blue, blue sky.
#39 People who read my story and say they are grateful for the sharing of it.
#40 The way Buddy Cat sunbathes--front paws stretched up and attached to the window screen, body splayed out in strange and awkward ways. Because he loves the sun, and it shows. It should be the same for me--do I love the Son and does it show?