So long, 2015

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Best of 2015 – our first grandchild’s birth

New Year’s Eve.  For most people, it’s a time to look back over the departing year and look forward to the year arriving in a few hours.

Kind of like taking stock of your situation.  What were the high points of the year that you will never forget?  And if you’re like most of the human race, there were also low points that made an impact on your life too.

Looking back over 2015, I can honestly say it was one of the most wonderful years of my life and yet at the same time, it was the most difficult one as well.

The high point?  Oh, no question about that one.  It was the birth of our first grandchild.  She is our shining jewel, our delight, and she brings such joy, happiness, and laughter into this empty nest of ours.  Every time I look at her, overwhelming love swells up in my heart and overflows in a kind of bliss that I’d almost forgotten – that kind of love I felt when I held my own babies in my arms.

But in addition to the elation of becoming grandparents, this year brought great sorrow. A crisis affected us dramatically causing my emotions to fly all over the map from anger and hurt to disappointment and disgust and everywhere in between. 

The turmoil and pain caused by it affected our entire family.  Months later, Papa and I still don’t understand the person who caused it or why it happened and perhaps we never will. We simply are supporting and helping the wounded one recover and move on with life.

So 2015 proved to have a split personality – one ever so amazing and one so very dreadful – and will go down in the books as one of the best and worst years of my life.  I can’t say that I’m sorry to see it end and be banished to the history pages of existence.

Today I scanned over this year’s blog posts in order to find what I thought was perhaps my best post to re-share it with you.  In doing so, I realized that out of the 365 days of this year, I only published 83 posts (counting this one today) and many of those were just photographs. 

This year stole much from me – time, emotion, and even my writing – and I allowed it to do so.  Re-reading the posts I did write, I realized something profound. When I did write, the crisis we encountered proved to outweigh my joy.  No more.  With the Lord’s help, I am putting a stop to that. I intend to focus on what my Bible tells me – the joy of the Lord is my strength.

I am anticipating this New Year with hopeful outlook, with healing for my loved ones and myself, with joyful expectation.

I trust you are doing the same.  

“What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.” — Vern McLellan



Our three-act play comes to a close

blogIMG_0238If “all the world’s a stage,” as Shakespeare wrote in his comedy, As You Like It, then this past year – 2012 – proved to be a three-act play for us here at Mama’s Empty Nest.

Yes, this year was theatrical.  Many actors, who were family and friends, played their roles superbly.

The elaborate sets contained beautiful changes of scenery.

Costumes?  Oh yes, exquisitely adorned gowns and fancy suits of finery.

Makeup.   Flowers.  Hair design.  Lighting.  Music and dancing.

All of these aspects played a vital part in this theatrical endeavor.  Countless behind the scenes workers helped make the production successful.

The story, written by God, author of the universe, was a love story enacted in three parts. 

The plot contained several emotional ups and downs, particularly seen in the role of  The Mother. 

The dialogue consisted of promises and vows with a few speeches thrown in for good measure.

It was a long-running play, lasting for most of the year, but it garnered rave reviews.  All of the cast members received gifts and accolades as they took their bows at curtain call.

Principal cast members gathered for a cast party at Christmas to celebrate not only the Savior’s birth but the year of the play.   And they all counted the blessings received during this very special year.

As the footlights start to dim and the final curtain draws to a close on this amazing year, the play, The Year of the Weddings, also comes to an end.   What a wondrous year it has been!

But a brand new one awaits.  A year full of opportunity and fresh beginnings.  Tonight as we ring out the old year and ring in the new, The Year of the Weddings will become lodged in our memories and a new production will commence.

Tomorrow we open with a brand new performance, a “book” with 365 blank pages.  As I gaze upon tomorrow’s blank page and consider the pages to come, I intend to write a good “book.”   How about you?

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…” ~ William Shakespeare