Well, it was not the year I read more books, and it was definitely not the year I wrote more letters.
Turns out, it was the year I began to realize I'm not as smart as I was always told (and believed), and that I'm not a very good thinker after all. I have the attention span of a fruit fly, the virtue of a weasel.
This was the year I felt utterly incapable of educating my son in the way I believe is best, because we chose to live in the middle of nowhere, because I myself lack the discipline to instruct him in a discipline, because I really don't know what I'm doing, only what I want for him. (But do I want it enough?)
It was the year I finally began to understand that this life we live here (with the chickens and the garden and the homeschooling and the making every dang thing from scratch) is really going to take more of "my" time than I'd like, and that hey-- all this stuff is actually my life, not just some things to get done before I can go be alone and do my own thing.
I learned a lot about myself this year. I am tormented by the cousin demons Perfectionism, Anger, Acedia, Sloth. The outlook is bleak. It has been hard, and I have been grateful for my people who have loved me--you know who you are. Suffice to say, I am not a well woman.
But maybe this is a good place to start? When I come before Christ and I lift up my empty dirty hands and scattered mind and jumbled up heart and I hold back my tears and I say, "I can't do anything with these things and I'm sorry, I think I messed them all up, please please, will you help me?" I have to trust that he will come alongside me like a merciful father, like a healer, with a firm gentleness and complete wisdom. I must believe he will give me his body and his blood, and he will offer me a burden that is not heavy. I must believe he will cover me, shelter me in the shadow of his wings, and make me whole.
I need to remember that healing takes a whole lot of time.
So it's December 19th and I'm facing the Nativity of Christ and the starting of a new year, not with great joy and merry songs and grand schemes, but simply by sitting alone, quietly tending my wounds and uttering prayers. I am waiting for the touch of his hand on my shoulder and for the piercing love in his eyes when I look up to meet his gaze, shy and fiercely hopeful.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.