A Belated New Year

The sun attempts to rise as I stare out the window at cars perking up with their people on this new Washington morning. My computer tells me it’s 53 degrees outside, a statement that I am both skeptical and hopeful of at the same time. I’ve eaten my morning oatmeal, but I’ve yet to decide what to wear to work today. I glace around my home, and think about what it means to be back.

Our Christmas tree still stands in the corner, lacking a little of the magic it held a month ago, even though the ornaments and lights hang in much the same places. The pine wreath on the door and the December calendar in my room make it easy to pretend that I have not come to a new year, but after a fun discussion with friends in Davis yesterday about New Year’s resolutions, I remember that this is a new year. My suitcases will not be unpacked fully for a couple of days, and the fridge will remain empty for a few hours longer, but even with these things that make me feel as if I am not ready to go back to work, I know that life returns to normal today.

While I was in California, even with all of the celebrations, it never really felt like Christmas, and it never really felt like New Year’s. It is this morning, where I awoke at six without my sweet kitty purring in my face, that I felt like a new year had come. Now, I feel like making my resolutions to eat healthier, to go to the gym more and get out more, to improve my Spanish, take a self-defense class, be more intentional about my work with the kids, and to pour myself whole-heartedly into the work that I am doing here.

Towards the end of my flight last night, as I was thinking about how good it had been to see everyone at home, I was reading through journal entries from the past few months, and I found a few quotes and verses that were encouraging to read, and reminded me why I am here in the first place. I feel like many are worth sharing, but today, I’m going to hang on to this one:

1 Peter 4:7-11 (NIV)

 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Even though I miss my cat and my family and friends, I know that I am called to something greater. I hope and pray that I can live out the calling that I’ve received, that I am able to live this life as I serve. I don’t know what this year will bring, but right now I am grateful to have my heart in the right place, and to know that I’m where I’m meant to be.

Happy belated New Year everyone, and a Merry Post-Christmas as well.