Monthly Archives: January 2012

today: the new year, finally

There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.
-G.K. Chesterton

The first trip of 2012, a visit to Bellingham to visit Carla and her family. Carla and I became friends over conversation and coffee in Poland where we did mission work. It’s been over a decade, and our friendship grows and thrives in spite of distance and sporadic connection. We last visited almost two years ago, when her daughter was born. It had been too long.

I arrived to snow in Seattle, and the shuttle that took me north on I-5 crawled as the storm dumped inches and inches of white powder. Cars swerved, some into snowbanks along the sides of the highway. It was slow going getting here.

It’s been slow going these days here too, the temperature creeping down, down, down while the pile of snow went up, up, up all through yesterday. Today the temperature stayed well below freezing. I ventured out for a few minutes for a walk, but other than that, we stayed indoors, simmering chili and baking brownies while we played with little Luci, talking and laughing and enjoying the slow quiet a winter storm allows.

It feels good to be quiet, to sit here with my dear friend. The restfulness of this trip came unexpectedly. At first it seemed like the snow might slow us down; now it’s evident that the whole of this visit will be a full stop. Limited to the confines of Carla’s home, I read and pray. My only work, responding to emails and phone calls. These few days are the perfect beginning to a New Year (of which the first two weeks were spent wrapping up the previous one, at an almost frantic pace). I finally find myself awakening to expectation for all that is to come.

Here all that is before me is to be in the moment in a warm house with yummy food and like-family friends. In this place, my heart has stilled and my mind has calmed. I hear God whispering words true and love deep that makes me anticipate this new year. The last year passed a whirlwind, beautiful and busy and at times chaotic. I grew a business and a relationship and traveled a lot of miles and photographed many, many families. My sister married; my brother got engaged. My dad had and recovered from a stroke. When I stopped and reflected throughout the year, I was mostly grateful but often tired.

This year God’s whisperings are of life full and thriving, of learning quiet and rest, of trust and generosity. He invites me to leave behind the chaos and the busy, challenging me to believe more is possible. Perhaps I will learn to sleep and rest and play right in the midst of it all- is this not life abundant? Perhaps so doing will eradicate the chaos. I wonder if that is what could be.

I guess this serves as my new year’s post, a couple weeks in. More to come, hopefully soon.