I just got back from a 4 mile run. Perhaps the hardest run of the year, because, well, there’s been no shortage of fudge around here. And, despite my knack for spending hoards of time in my pj’s lately, I’m determined to finish the year strong, aka, READ, RUN, START a quilt. The last few days of the year are like a football huddle for me, in that, I immerse myself in the words of people I admire and trust (Lewis, Chesterton, Jesus, etc) and come up with a game plan for going forward. It’s a long huddle, but I’ll tell you all about it January 1st.
It feels like I’ve been lost in a rabbit hole and I secretly hope no one finds me. At least until January 4th, which is my birthday. Then you can find me and bring me cake. I’ve sat for days, surrounded by 1) a stack of books—most of which I’ve read in the last week 2) a flurry of notes and pens and plans 3) a brand new 2014 planner 4) a spring garden notebook, 5) my favorite peeps, and 6) the best leftovers of all time. This span of time between Christmas and the early days of the New Year—called the 12 Days of Christmas by the church—is my favorite. I leave the tree up, we stay in our pj’s most days, I read like there’s no tomorrow, we watch marathons of Netflix shows (this year? Alaska, the Last Frontier, which means I now want to homestead in Alaska. Stevie says we don’t have enough “hard bark” on us to do that. Whatever, is all I have to say), and I make goals and schemes and plans like my life depends on it. The failures from last year? They don’t taunt me at all. Starting fresh is the air I breathe.
It’s like no other time of the year and I cherish it so. There’s a pause of life that gives me time to think and reorder my days, to go in desperate search of the right track, to dream dreams of richer days, of bigger gardens, of nobler living, to learn to count the days and make them count.
But, I also love looking back at the year. It was a good one. And the pause to look back and give thanks is always the best place to start, when a shiny new calendar full of possibility is pulling on your heart strings.
First and foremost, I’m thankful for you. I really am. I spend oodles of hours writing and sharing in the space and I can’t imagine doing that without you. Your emails and comments and encouragement keep me going, when it would be easy to quit. Thank you so much—for meeting me here, for giving me grace, for challenging and inspiring me in ways you don’t even realize. You are my favorite reason for doing this for 6 years and counting.
I’m also completely indebted to all of you who link to my writing, share it on Facebook, on your blogs, etc. I’ve never had a huge tipping point in growth, just the steady referrals that come from the most generous people on the planet. A huge thank you to the top referrals to my blog this year. I love you all and admire the hard work you pour into your sites. Sending big hugs and many thanks to:
- Ruth @ Living Well Spending Less
- Myquillin @ Nesting Place
- Emily @ Emily Clark
- Melaine @ My Sweet Savannah
- Emily @ Jones Design Company
- Kate @ Centsational Girl
- Julia @ Hooked On Houses
- Shannan @ Flower Patch Farmgirl
- Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy
This past year, I got to meet several people in person that I’ve loved and admired from afar.
I spent a very inspiring weekend at Angela’s cottage with some of my favorite peeps.
Angela, Darlene, Sheila, and Myquillin, and missing in this photo, Shannon
The hardest part of our year was when Stevie’s dad passed away. We miss our MN family and the older kids who don’t live near. It was wonderful to be together and reminisce of a life well-lived.
Shaun Groves asked me to travel with Compassion last June and it was such a pleasure to meet and travel with Kelly, Traci, Kristi, Keely, and Bri.
and I’m still holding those memories, and those two precious girlies, close to my heart.
Ruth and I spoke at Becoming together, which made for a fun few days of preparing at my house beforehand and a fun visit with Jen—then we all roomed together at Allume with my doll baby, Paige. We adopted Bri as the cutest and sweetest little sister ever!
I also met Ann and Melanie at Allume, which made my year!
My dearest peeps are the ones that share the hardest parts of my story…..
And the ones that live in my house. I’m so blessed.
See you tomorrow for more of the BEST OF!
I love your selection of reading material. Although, it would take me more than 12 days to get through that stack:) I’m very interested in your planner, if you care to share. I LOVE planners and am always looking for that perfect one. Happy New Year!
You are such a sweetie. I always feel better and more optimistic after reading your words. I too have spent some days in my pjs during my Christmas break. (I teach college French, so I am guided by the semester system.) I feel better knowing that I am not alone. And…it seems that my pjs are great for cooking in, cleaning in, and just staying warm. Sometimes I worry that someone might stop bt the house at 2 in the afternoon and find me in my pjs! But I get over that. Ha!
Keep the messages coming!
so thankful for blogging
because through blogging
Aww what a sweet way to start the new year. I truly love reading your blog and maybe one day I’ll meet you in person 🙂
Love this post…my 3 kids and I stayed in all day to undecorate the house and absorb the new gifts…McDonald’s drive thru was the highlight;) or pit;) of our day…Love all those books and characters…especially Jesus…got a new planner as well and dreaming of the new year…waiting to hear marching orders;) from our Lord;) attempting to make Pioneer woman’s cinnamon rolls again as gifts for new years morning…im praying I don’t cuss…those things are a sacrifice but so worth it!!! MERRY NEW YEAR!!! By the way as I am typing this my 4 yr old son wants me to commit to making the handmade rosette he sees on the sidebar …he says they are beautiful!!!
I look forward to a new year and new words of wisdom and encouragement from you. I am a January baby too and I have always thought that having a birthday then makes the new year even more special and takes the sting out of letting go of Christmas.
What have you and your girls learned from not homeschooling? Do they miss it? I have kept my daughter’s children the past five years while she teaches, and her oldest started kindergarten this year. I miss her sooo much and remember all over again the letting go of my own children. It is never easy, even for grandmothers.
Edie, you are amazing and I love your blog. Happy New Year!
Southern Gal says
I’m thankful for this place where you share your wisdom on so many matters. I’ve learned a great deal from you over the years. Thank you!
What planner did you decide on?
Thanks for sharing-
You always inspire, Edie! Oh, and if you need help with that quilt, drop me an email…..quilting just so happens to be my obsession/passion/hobby
Cindy Hancock says
You are an inspiration and I look forward to your thoughts each day! Hope and pray this year is the BEST ever for you and your family! 🙂
Blessings to you,
I agree with you Edie that the time between Christmas and New Year is wonderful. A time to be slow after the rush prior to Christmas and to look forward to the freshness of a new year. Here is Australia most of January is lived at a more leisurely pace as school is out so many people are taking holidays. I love it. Happy New Year to you and your family. Julie
Yes, I love the 12 days of Christmas, pj’s, movies, books, tea, conversation, and just contemplating the old year and planning for the new one.
I’m so glad to have found your blog. It is an inspiration to me as a new blogger.
I love you, Edie! So grateful our paths crossed in 2013. Hope to see you more in 2014. You, my dear friend, are such a gem!
Thanks so much for all the hard work you put into making your blog so awesome. I love it! Happy New Year!