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A Good Girl’s Guide to a New Year:  First, Take a Shower

Let me start by saying, I am not one of those whiney moms, drunk in my closet.  Truly, I rarely drink.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think I have had a glass of water in 28 days.

That’s not entirely accurate.  I have completely lost track of time, for all I know the last time I had a drink of anything was months ago.

This is extremely unusual for me.  I love order.  In fact, I crave order.  And yet, everything is completely out of control.  Chaos, in all its absurdity, is my new best friend.

 I am bewildered at how this came to be.

2018 was a blur of moving out of a haunted mansion, into a little house on the corner, the Marine baby deploying, married babies moving – twice, school plays, teacher meetings, book launch, interviews, takeout food, starting a small business, manic behaviors, and the harsh landing in a season of grief and depression.

And please, I don’t say that for pity’s sake.  I have been an advocate of women honestly confessing what they feel, and I stand by that belief.  For too long we, Christian women that is, have been convinced that a blip on the joy meter meant we were doing something wrong.

I believe this is one of the greatest lies of religiosity.

So I will truthfully profess, I did the grief and depression thing with great precision.

If I had been fishing, I’d have gotten a trophy.  And if this were the Olympics… gold my friend.

And when the clouds began to lift, I thought, “oh wow, that was really bad.”  And when they came back, I thought, “oh crap, this is still really bad.”  But I sat with that, I talked out loud to Jesus, and lamented my hurts, dashed hopes, and real loses that, frankly, I had swept under the rug.

Metaphorically, I totally cannot find the dustpan.  I have a monster dust pile in the kitchen, and alas no rug.

But I must say, I don’t think I am alone.  The memes on social media all lend to this phenomenon of time warp.

It’s like daylight savings time on crack.

Tuesday, I thought it was Sunday.  November, I thought it was June.  I am late everywhere I go, which, oh my gosh, is totally not my thing.  The last week of school before Christmas break, I sent my two young sons, the vandals, to school for their Christmas parties, wrapped books in hand – to a friend, from a friend, cookies tucked in their backpacks… two days late.

I can’t.  I will talk about that some other time.

And a few days ago, I dated a check with the year 1998, which is ironic because I think that was the last time it was necessary to even write a check.  I was about to put a stamp on an envelope, seriously, I almost licked it.  When did stamp licking go out?  Like 20 years ago?

So, this morning was the icing on the cake.  I slept later than I usually do, but my phone was dead, so I wasn’t exactly sure what time it was.  I started tinkering with a piece of jewelry I have been crafting for my Etsy shop and the vandals would not stop nagging me for food.  Braless, in my jammies and raincoat I stormed out of the house to get them donuts.

To my utter shock, the donut place was closed.

I hit the button on my car radio, which I thought was referencing an AM station only to learn it was not 1230 AM radio, but 12:30 PM… in the afternoon.


I definitely owed the two malnourished boys an apology… and at least two Happy Meals, each.

Defeated, I ate French fries out of the bag and sobbed all the way home.  I stayed in my pajamas and glared at my New Year, 2019 journal.  Sometimes I spat at it and told it how much I hated it, out loud mind you, and the blank pages it held.

Because I cannot promise anyone anything, not even myself.  And, I cannot fathom what exactly to do next.

I stayed in bed.  I made some jewelry.  We ordered pizza for dinner…  at the appropriate hour.

But all day long I knew, not sure of the time, I would end up here, writing to me, you, and the powers that be.

Because… it is okay.

That’s right.  And pipe down Rachel Hollis.  I love you, and I am not washing my face today.

I am not making a resolution today, I didn’t make one yesterday or the night before.  And while this may not be Kosher, I believe it is okay.

If I picked a word for the year, it would be obscene, and I try not to cuss.

I didn’t buy new tennis shoes.

Also, I ate enough sugar for every one of you that gave it up. I’ve got your back.

And perhaps, someone might read this and call me a quitter or Debbie Downer, but I have clung to this all day, “I needn’t start over or be different or new, I am beloved daughter.  Loved on, blessed, and cared for yesterday, today, and again tomorrow.”

I cannot say I loved 2018.

But I can say, I was well loved.

[bctt tweet=”“I needn’t start over or be different or new, I am beloved daughter.  Loved on, blessed, and cared for yesterday, today, and again tomorrow.”” quote=”“I needn’t start over or be different or new, I am beloved daughter.  Loved on, blessed, and cared for yesterday, today, and again tomorrow.””]

In the pit of despair, we are often encouraged to change.  I propose change is always available, and not always entirely mandatory or urgent.  No matter the date or time, my God can make old things new and remove old things to make way for new.

At this point I will not lie, I have cried many tears today.  But this second day of this new year, third by the time you read this, I weep not for what I failed to do or grieve for broken promises to myself.  This day I weep for things I have let go, legitimate losses, with no rug for which to sweep them under.

And while they have been grievous, they are not wasted… nor are they folly.

Joy may come in the morning, or late afternoon, but there is much hope in knowing it will come in waves of peace.  The lie is that all of it must be done, removed, and moved on from at 12:01 on the first of any year, or 5 am on any given Monday sporting a “Just Do It” t-shirt and sweats.

I don’t want to forget last year or pretend it doesn’t greatly impact this new one.

No, I am better for all the things.

And if last year, for you, was marked by tragedy, disappointment, loss, or sorrow, the stroke of the clock isn’t the gong that determines when you must dry your eyes.

If you are still sad, it doesn’t mean you will always be sad. Nor does it imply you are failing at the year before you.

You may not know the hour, nor the day when the shadow will lift, but the God of Light casts no shadow.  He is most patient.  Greater still, He is most captivated by you, unto His death.

Timeless.

With no beginning and certainly no end, when you are ready to shower and make big plans, He will be there, holding a clean towel, hopefully, a dustpan.

I can hear Him now, “Ready, sweet girl?”

My heart leaps at the thought… “You bet, first thing… tomorrow.” 

Jesus be all over you… And Happy New Year.  Love, Jami

 “And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!” Isaiah 30:18 (AMP)

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