Sparkle and Shine

“Mom, can you help me get a dress down,” A asked staring up at her closet.
“Which one,” I asked, walking in to her room.
“That one,” she said, pointing to the one with sequins at the top and frills at the bottom.
“No, honey. That one is for Christmas,” I replied.

I’m the adult. I decide these kinds of things. And fancy, sparkly dresses should only be worn on special…

Wait. Why? Why shouldn’t she wear the sparkly dress? Why not today? What good is a sparkly dress hanging in the closet?

As a little girl picks out her dress, I’m reminded of what I know, and yet often forget. We’re only promised today. As the saying goes, yesterday is in the past, tomorrow is in the future. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.

“You know what, yes.” I said, handing her the frock full of frill. “Yes, you certainly can wear the dress.”

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One year ago, I sat in a living room half a country away not having the slightest idea of where the path through 2014 would lead. As the year unfolded, each time I thought the plan was clear, a change of events or twist to the plot would leave me back on my knees, asking for light enough to see where to step next.

No doubt, 2014 was the year of A-venture. I wouldn’t change one piece of the story. I wouldn’t remove any of the characters or erase a single conversation. It was as if I had a front-row seat to the best action story I’ve ever been a part of, and yet all I knew to do was continue walking through the doors as they opened.

We’ve settled in to our new life well and quickly. It’s easy when you land in the midst of an amazing community of people who love you like they’ve known you for years and who can love right back. When there are friends from all corners of the country pulling for you, crying with you during darker hours, speaking truth when it’s necessary and calling to check in often.

One thing I know for sure after the adventure we called this last year: there is a most loving God who has proven Himself breath-takingly faithful, and I am blessed to call some of the most amazing people on the planet, friends.

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So, as I was packing the Christmas items away, I was thinking about the year ahead. 2015. I’m not big into resolutions for resolutions sake. I gave up diets a long time ago. I don’t do well with checklists.

But I do whole-heartedly believe in fully living this one life I’ve been given and making whatever tweaks and changes and adjustments are necessary to have the best, most full life possible. And I’m also a fan of clean slates and new chapters and change.

So, as one year rolls to the next, I’m taking a lesson from the four-year old (who often times proves to be the wiser of the two of us). We are going to wear frilly clothes on Wednesdays. I am going to drink the expensive wine over a good conversation on a random Friday. We’re going to eat marshmallows – fist fulls of them – in our hot cocoa, every single time. I’m going create reasons to send the cute note cards and give away the cute gift bags.

After all, what good is the fancy china if it’s always packed away or collecting dust in the cabinet? Why not burn the candle? Or wear the expensive perfume on a Monday. Or get dressed to the nines on a Tuesday.

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That’s my goal this year: to behold each day and each moment as sacred and special and worthy of my attention. To fully live. To infuse sparkle. To shine love and light and laughter and truth to my daughter and to those close to me as often as possible.

For you, as you approach this next year, I wish for you space to determine where your attention needs to be focused. Courage to live it out. Determination to keep going when the obstacles come. Faith in things unseen. And lots and lots of laughter.

Cheers to 2015, friends!

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