Somehow 2010 is gone and here we are: 2011. Amazing that we are all still here; wasn't the world supposed to end already in some type of dramatic event? Partying like it was 1999 and all? Hmm.
As a brand new year unfolds, it truly feels sort of like a fresh slate this time, a new page if you will. Usually the ringing out of the old brings thoughts of resolutions and plans--things I say I will do and then am filled with disappointment later when I, in fact, did not. This year I have decided not to set unreasonable goals for myself. Perhaps I won't write "defined" lists at all and will keep to more general ideas. Maybe the key for me is to keep my expectations for myself lower; then I can only exceed them! This sounds gloomy, but that is not my intent. No, I just want to be able to meet the goals I set. And this year, those goals will be less about me and more about things of significance.
For the past few days, I have been pondering the people in my life. God has chosen to bless me and my family with some of the most amazing friends we could ever ask for. These friends are brave. They are loyal. They show integrity of the deepest kind. They deal with life as it comes to them, but with such strength and faith and.....courage. Of course, they don't recognize it as such. All the same, it's there. They are people that I am thankful to have on my side. It is humbling and honoring to know them. Don't get me wrong--they are also just plain fun and interesting and great to hang out with. I know just who to call for catching up on absolutely everything, who is always up for movie viewing, who to email that will understand that ridiculous incident, who to meet at Starbucks when the week is hard on either side, and who can fill up 8 hours with endless talking, eating, laughing, or...doing nothing at all.
That being said, I also know who I would call when a playground should be built for orphans in a foreign land. I could tell you where to find people with the biggest hearts you have ever seen. And you might even be surprised. I know who lies awake at night praying for a little boy in Africa to soon be at home in his bed. I know who to email when someone has a need that must be met before things fall apart. You may even see them give away what they just received, on many levels. I know exactly which doorstep I would end up on if things were at their worst. And knowing that would make things just a little bit better. All in all, my thoughts have leaned towards gratitude and amazement that I can claim such friends as mine.
So this year, my hope is to be just a little bit more like the people around me. My friends are bold. I don't have a great deal of boldness, but I would like to. Not so much that I am one of those annoying people that none of you would enjoy, but enough that I could take a chance on something when I hear that still small voice. Enough that I would be more than just someone who follows quietly. Enough to make a difference.
This year, my hope and prayer is that we will soon travel to another country and bring home our third child. I will have to find some boldness for that as neither of us have never left the good ol' USA. In fact, our kids have never been on an airplane. Leave it to us to do all of those life-altering things at one time. Woohoo! (Hey, I never said I did things halfway; just that I could stand a little more confidence as I go.)
And this year, I hope to be more aware of the world around me. Maybe then, just maybe, my friends will think of me and be as grateful as I am. Happy New Year!