“Tonight’s December thirty-first,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it’s midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year!”
~ Ogden Nash
New Year’s Eve. Time to say farewell to another year past – one relegated to our memory banks for better or worse.
And we hail a new year being ushered in tomorrow. A brand new 365 days, Lord willing, to live life. A clean slate. An unblemished beginning.
But before I welcome 2020 in, I want to ruminate over and savor 2019. For this empty nest Mama, it was a very good year and I’m most grateful for it.
Each month of the year past brought something noteworthy to remember, to pigeonhole into my cherished memories file somewhere in that cluttered brain of mine. I’m a list-maker so please bear with me as I chronicle all my blessings for the year now ending.
January: Mild winter weather enabled us to take a trip to the state next door to visit our son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild and help them accomplish projects around their new home. We also experienced happiness and excitement with our middle daughter and other grandchild as we helped them move into their new home and a new life for them.
February: We celebrated with a birthday bash for our first grandchild with family and a houseful of friends. What joy this child brings to our lives! And I am blessed to spend so many days with her as her care-giver while her Mama is working.
March: I stepped out in faith, stopped talking about doing something, and actually commenced it! I began leading a Bible study for women in my home. Our topic was learning how to be content in life and I’m not certain who learned more, the lovely ladies in the group or me.
April: Spring arrived with lovely weather and we journeyed to visit our son’s family once more on our way to spend a glorious Easter with our oldest daughter and son-in-law in their home down south.
May: A beautiful blessing arrived! Our third grandchild was born and once again, we traveled to the state next door to meet our newest family member and cuddle with our beautiful baby granddaughter.
June: Vacation month! Papa and I vacillated for weeks prior to our scheduled June vacation over where to go. We finally settled on a trip to various spots in Maryland, a state we’ve been in and through many, many times. But oh, what fun we had exploring new places and enjoying surprises.
July: A day trip to Erie, Pennsylvania where once again we explored places we haven’t visited before was the highlight as well as a lovely day for our church picnic in a nearby state park. Good fellowship with our fellow believers is always welcomed and a day to remember.
August: We simply relaxed, spent time with our oldest granddaughter, and enjoyed a fairly mild (temperature-wise) summer. I also worked diligently reading resource books and my Bible preparing another women’s Bible study for fall. And I was blessed to spend time at lunch with a dear friend and another outing to a festival with one of my life-long buddies.
September: I began another women’s Bible study on prayer in my home and I can’t express how much the ladies in this group mean to me. I took photographs at a bridal shower for one of my best friend’s daughter which were received with grateful thanks from the bride. We took a trip east to attend Papa’s family reunion and utilized free tickets to enjoy an evening in the city watching the Pittsburgh Pirates lose yet another baseball game. But hey, we had fun! Watching our little one play soccer every Saturday morning also reminded us of days gone by when we watched her mama and uncle play that sport.
October: Papa and I celebrated another year of marriage (42!) and a nice weekend together with all of our grown kids and grandchildren when they all came “home.” Afterwards, Papa and I headed out for another week’s vacation to Michigan, where we relished every single place we visited, including lighthouses for me to photograph and gorgeous fall foliage.
November: The month of Thanksgiving started with a beautiful wedding (aforementioned bride) in Old Alexandria, Virginia. Then the icing on the cake was (finally!) meeting in person with my long-time blogging friend, Dianna (These Days of Mine) and her husband JR. After a delicious lunch at Hanover Tavern, we couldn’t stop talking! What a blessing it was to get more acquainted with them. We’ve already made plans to meet again in 2020. A lovely Thanksgiving holiday with some of our family concluded the month.
December: Two family members’ birthdays, including our sweet second grandchild’s, a wonderful family Christmas with everyone home, making our empty nest full of love and laughter. An evening with good friends playing games and then a lunch with three of my former co-workers and dear friends rounded out the month.
To say 2019 was a blessed year is definitely an understatement. Of course, not every day was perfect. There were challenges and problems as in any life we encounter on this earth. But our good and gracious God continues to be our Provider, our Peace, our Sustainer, and our Shepherd.
What will unfold in this New Year arriving in just a matter of hours? We have no way of knowing but as always, even if difficult circumstances arise and they will, I will give God glory and thanks with my life verse from God’s Word: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
As our year comes to a close, I say farewell, 2019. I shall remember you with fondness. And as I welcome in 2020, I look forward to this New Year with anticipation for what it may bring.
“Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.” ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie