In 2018

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

Not going to lie: 2017 can leave. Get out. I’m done. #dumpsterfire

There were good things. I’m two-and-a-half days away from reaching my goal of no surgeries this year. (For real. I had surgery in 2014, 2015 and 2016). Ate my first mug brownie last night. Returned to a regular writing schedule after four months of silence. Deep cleaned my house. Began pecking away at a novel. Went to the Oregon coast for my anniversary. Dabbled in graphic design. Saw Star Wars: the Last Jedi.

There were a lot of hard things. The small group I led for two years disbanded. Quit my job of 17 years. My time as a chaplain at the women’s shelter ended. Church stuff was chaotic. Three rounds of blood work (possibly four, I can’t remember). Long stretches of bad liver pain and and nausea. An awful ultrasound. Increased headaches. Friends and family members battled cancer. The circus that is American politics.

The good and the bad, the ups and the downs.

Life.

Perhaps I would deal better with the twists and turns if I was not such an intense and sensitive person. There are days when I wish that that the “poker face” my therapist tells me I have reflected what’s really going on inside. I don’t know how you emotionally expressive and explosive people do it. I hate having the feels.

There’s a reason I go to therapy and take medication.

Over the next few days, the bloggers you love will publish lists and tell you what they learned in 2017. I haven’t got a list for you. It’s not that clear-cut and organized for me, which I loathe. Things should be neat and tidy. And perhaps that is my lesson. Neat and tidy are categories that can be applied to housework, not emotions, experiences and relationships. It’s all messy.

Because we’re all messy.

And yet – God remains. Steady, true and good.

I look at the calendar, ready for the page to change. There’s nothing magical about January 1. What was on December 31 will still be when the next day dawns. And yet, something about the first day of a brand-new year invites a deep breath. A little thing we call hope tingles in the back of our minds.

The Holy Spirit is in that tingle, beckoning us to renewal and refreshment.

To change.

2018 marks a decade in the blogging world (more on that Monday). An author at 33 is far different than she was at 23. I look back, amazed at how God has so kindly continued to save me and how He has graciously given me this platform. I look forward, wondering what the next 10 years will bring.

So, a few changes around here. Some new things. What you can expect:

  1. Beginning January 9, my regular posting schedule will shift to Tuesday and Thursday.
  2. The Wednesday Writers will start sharing their words on January 10. (More on that next week).
  3. I am launching a weekly(ish) newsletter, Rest Stops Along the Way. (Click the title to subscribe). Ponderings and puppy videos delivered to your inbox on Saturdays, starting January 6.

Lord, as we close out what has been a difficult year for many of us, we ask for the grace to see the good. We ask for faith to step into a new year, confident that You are already in each and every day. Remind us that we are never alone. Teach us that there is nothing we can do apart from you. Help us to rest in Your grace and truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Signature

Subscribe to the newsletter, Rest Stops Along the Way. Ponderings and puppy videos delivered to your inbox each Saturday(ish).
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