Today we say goodbye to this year, 2009, and tonight my Hero Hubbie has got great plans in mind. Rarely do we have the chance to 'paint the town' and so we have begun a yearly tradition of a fantastic meal to end the year, and begin a new one.
Past years had involved a seafood feast with all of our favorites, including King Crab legs, shrimp and the like, but finances being what they are, this year we opted for a more subtle, still delicious choice: Cornish hens. It's a great tradition, one we hope we can continue, a kind of date night, complete with candles, sweet tunes and my guy. What else could I ask for?
In retrospect we review the year. Our oldest had her First Communion, our son his First Confession, our little girl entered kindergarten, the next youngest assuming her role as older sister and mom's helper,....and our baby, almost 2 years old, mastering communication, walking and eating with a spoon. How our years become defined by the milestones of our children!
I am hopeful for 2010. Any struggles we might have faced this last year only solidified my own personal belief that with God, all things are possible. I have been renewed in the fact that He stands with us, we are not alone. At times, I feel He had been behind me, supporting me, encouraging me. Yet at other times, I sensed God in front of the battle, in front of me, pulling me along where I didn't want to go. And of course, today, as I sat by the fire, with my snoozing 2 year old son, snuggled tightly, I thought of this past year.....and saw God's hand in so many incidences that told me, He was by my side as well: as a friend who consoled me.
What gives me hope? That this same awesome God does this exact thing for us all, individually and as a whole of humanity. So many people suffer out there. So many are hungry, so many are cold. And we have so much to be grateful for. This past year we ate, we slept in warm beds, we had gloves, hats and coats, all our cars started so faithfully, and our freezer was never empty. We told each other often 'love you' and 'I'm sorry' and 'I forgive you'. We laughed, cried, shouted and fought and learned to love each other a step deeper, because we all lived this together.
As we look to this New Year, with all the expectations that I know are on me, as the matriarch of this budding family, I want to take a moment in preparation, a moment to review, forgive, let go and move on. Time waits for no man or mother. I encourage you, take a moment, and review, take a moment to not only forgive those who have hurt you, but to forgive ourselves, for where we lost our way, spoke too soon, reacted too quick. Take inventory and visit a confessional and truly start off the year with a clean slate. Sometimes in all our business we forget to not only ask God for forgiveness, and others for it, we must forgive ourselves. At times, we bring such baggage with us, guilt, frustration, even anger that we didn't measure up to our own expectations. On the brink of a New Year, let us all realize, we did our best with what we had.
Just as a loving father who when a child comes home with a less than desireable grade in school, will ask, "Did you do your best? Well, that's all we expect" so does God our Father, ask us the same question, "Did you do your best? Well, that's all I expect."