No matter what is causing this peace to reside in my heart even as I am standing at the beginning of the New Year -- a new year that, in a few short weeks, is going to bring with it the overwhelming beauty of motherhood -- I am tremendously grateful. My only hope as this year ventures forth is that I give it everything I have. That I do not allow these 365 days to slip into the void without reaching out to others and reaching beyond myself. That I do not allow the gifts I have been bestowed to become tarnished by lack of use. That I love with every fiber within my spirit and forgive with every morsel of my flesh. That I quench my tongue when I want to scald someone with a sarcastic reply. That I dig deeper into what it means to die even while I live. That I become a better wife, a better mother (although I do not know what being a mother entails), a better daughter, and a better friend.
So, I challenge you to step away from yourself and step away from it all, to be alone with the creation and with the Creator, to unplug from the Internet, from the TV, from your smart phones and your iPods. Allow a bubbling stream or the piercing cry of a red-tailed hawk to be your only interference and see where this year -- where this life -- is destined to take you. When you come back down out of the mountain and reenter the hustle and bustle of the daily nine-to-five, you will see everything with a clearer vision than you had before, and you will see the people around you and the stories that have haunted and changed their lives with a purer, more patient intent than you have before.
Step away from it all; step outside of yourself and see what beckons to your soul from just over that crisp, mountainous horizon.
How did you usher in the New Year: with a party or quiet and contemplation?
Here's the book I recommend to start these 365 days off right: Praying for Strangers