This is it.
The last day of 2021.
I have officially gone bankrupt.
In our annual family holiday Monopoly game that is.
One fun fact that became true of our family during the early pandemic shutdown: everyone is OK with music from the 70’s in the background as we play games, and it was surprising how many of the lyrics my daughter knows.
( Right now Abba’s Take A Chance plays. )
So, here I sit as the other three battle it out over properties and hotels and such. On the game board.
What’s ahead in 2022?
We all have hopes, plans and unpredictable unknowns ahead.
I tend to reflect more on how I’ve arrived to this last day of the year than on projecting what may be coming down the pike of the New Year. I save that for 1st week of January.
In keeping with letting you peek further behind the curtain of this writer’s life, take a look at musings bouncing around my brain today:
The person I am in this moment is a culmination of all the moments of my birth til now.
Lessons learned, relationships both passing and lasting, successes and failures, seasons of helpless bewilderment, seasons of excitement and adventure.
(ooooo – YMCA is now making all the monopoly game players bop involuntarily)
I am grateful that God has invited me to preview His amazing workings in a global context, and to expand my view of Him beyond my perceptions of how He works just within the local sphere where I live. I have had kids sit in my lap and moms hold my hands in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Haiti, Nicaragua, West Bengal India and Bangladesh. I have prayed for and heard first-hand stories of miracles in all these countries. Among the least of these. And I’ve learned that there is a greater yearning in me to experience the nearness and power of God that THEY have experienced than there is yearning in them for the material ease I live in. Truly. Though the Lord has employed His supernatural favor to answer some “impossible” prayers of mine, my friends outside the first-world privilege are much more acquainted with our personal, present God of all. I don’t know why God has allowed this for me – I am certainly NOT deserving in any way of the grace He’s shown me to get to meet such amazing fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Somehow, what I’ve been able to witness and the friends I’ve made around the world fit into God’s intricate plans for His glory.
Who I am today is also a product of the relationships that have woven good things into the fabric of my character. This begins with my parents – my first of life’s relationships and first learning ground of how to navigate God’s word through another’s imperfections. My mom chose to seriously follow Jesus in my early elementary school years. She and I did not have a great relationship for quite a while though – our personalities grated against each other, and at the time in her spiritual journey that she was parenting, there were issues of her own she was grappling with. Only before I left for college two years after my high school graduation did she confess that she couldn’t love me well until she could better grasp God’s true love and grace in her life. That was a turning point for us. I am in the unique position to also have witnessed the transformational power of God in my mom’s life and healing in our kinship. My dad has been more private about his spiritual journey, and I suspect he’s come a long way. Growing up, he was definitely a bit hostile toward a God-centered lifestyle. Today he is way more open and I’m expecting him to be in the company of heaven after his time here is completed.
(Donna Summer – Last Dance. Oh yeah… Monopoly game over – our son reigns victorious this time)
Aside from my husband and kids, the most significant relationships in my life from youth til I die are with my friends. I cannot adequately describe the richness of my heart and outlook that has come from the friends God has kindly brought into my life. Looking back, I’ve always had a small posse whom I could trust and have fun with through each of my life’s seasons so far. A handful of those dear ones will (God-willing) continue to be precious to me and intertwined in my later years. As time goes on in this blog writing, I will introduce you to different friends as they allow, and can talk about what I’ve learned from friends past that I’ve lost touch with.
Finally… what kind of authentic person would I be if I didn’t admit that I have failed in some relationships, and some relationships have wounded me? It’s true. The names of certain people pop into my head and a pit in my stomach forms. And I have to turn to God and confess my failures and beg for mercy, or I have to fall on my face and plead for God to change my heart to forgive even when forgiveness has not been sought.
Today – on this last day of 2021 – this is a brief summation describing the author you’re reading.
I am alive and breathing, so I trust God has more in store.
My son now leaves for a New Year’s Eve group sleepover.
My daughter has a friend here for a sleepover.
I am about to shower and ready myself for a NYE date night with my husband, with whom I can make extended eye contact with again now that his Covid quarantine is over. We’re looking forward to a cocktail and tasty meal that I didn’t make, and then come home and settle into a quiet ringing in of the new year.
May you find gratitude, peace and hope as you step over the threshold of 2021 to 2022.