Friday morning I was hoping to publish my last blog for the year. Only after hours of searching for my computer charger on Thursday and several more hours on Friday, I realized I might have to give up on posting for the day. For one last attempt to bring life back to my computer, I headed out to my dad’s for the second time in one day. Only this time I had my computer so I could charge it with their charger while I ran around getting snack foods for the kids to eat while I sleep in the new year. When I realized the charger I drove across town to use wouldn’t work, I started to get really upset. I’ll be honest. I had been upset this was just the kick you in the crotch, spit down your neck fantastic moment of the day. As I walk into the kitchen to start looking again, I looked over and noticed my dad’s junk drawer. I had a wave of laughter rush through me. I opened the drawer, and there it was. The charger had been moved on Christmas day to make room for the cooking, and the eating of foods. Why one earth Caleb and I hadn’t thought to look there that morning is still the question rattling around in my brain. After all, when something is lost, you look in the drawer where lost things go to hid. In my house growing up there has always been a junk drawer. It’s the one place you can look and inevitably find everything you could ever need and nothing of great value. When my youngest sister moved into our childhood home, my dad and I started to fill the old junk drawer in the kitchen with all the things we knew she would go looking for like tv remotes, screwdrivers, and batteries. I am not joking. We had so much fun hiding stuff in there. Her husband walked into the kitchen and asked if she knew where a screwdriver was and without thinking she opened the magical drawer and there she found what he needed. We laughed so hard as she also discovered that we had taken the opportunity to hide all kinds of stuff from her, but the fact that when asked she didn’t hesitate when opening the drawer even though this was her new practically empty home was priceless. This is why I am still wondering why I didn’t think to look in said drawer at my dad’s new house when looking for the one thing that would bring light back to my computer screen and publishing abilities back to my fingertips.

I guess this is just the way some years have to end. Searching for the one thing that makes everything come alive.

2016 has been a tough one for so many of my loved ones. Why is it that some years are just harder than others? Why is it when life gets busy it gets really busy and for goodness sakes why is it when people die they seem to die in threes?

I have been looking back over this year wondering what made it so hard. For this year it was a million little things, but I am clear headed, and I can also see the things that made all the hard moments barrable.

This year I danced in the streets with Wisdom, and I took early morning classes with Truth. I may not be the best dancer or at retaining the lessons I seek, but I know that creation has become alive for me this year. I am looking for new beauty in a minefield, or so it seems at times, but I have learned more this year about seeking beauty and living loved than I could have ever expected.

I have felt alone and like no one can be trusted. I have felt whole and full of faith in my relationships. I have written many times about the emotions I have felt this year, and I’m positive that will continue to be on my list of topics because I am still trying to work with them, not against them.

I don’t know if you set goals as the new year starts or if you look at life and make adjustments as you go. I do both. I like to think more about how the last year went and what I would like to happen in the future, but I have learned that January 1st is not a magic pill kind of day. I will not wake up ready to make life altering choices that I had no strength for in December. Oh how I wish it were, but sadly it never has been for me. I am a self-evaluation junky that turns into a self-destructing monster.

I love to look into my heart and mind and see what is going on. I enjoy looking for ways to improve my life and who I am, but too often that can turn into self-nit-picking, and I will end up in bed curled up confused and wondering how I got there.

So this year I will not. I choose to breathe in the depths of creation around me. I choose to let the light of stars fill my eyes, and I choose to dance in the street with wisdom till 2017 ends.

2017 will come in with a countdown just a few hours from now. I will be mostly asleep, and the children will be dancing and playing and laughing all around me. I will close my eyes and wake up in a new calendar year, but I will be me. I look forward to being wiser because I will have lived a few more hours. I know myself well enough to know that I will wake up with hope for the new year. I will make coffee, and I will sit down with my books, and I will breathe.

You see, my goal for this new year is simply to find joy.

Physically I want to write more.
I want to meet new people and go to a writers conference.
I want to get back to the gym and say goodbye to the 2016 giggle.
I want to finish painting the bathroom I started last January.
I want to sit with the words and breath in their beauty.

All the hands on things that run down my to-do list for this next year add up to a fantastic year, but they will never trump my new year’s dream.

My dream, find Joy.

I know that my emotions work hand in hand. I know that Pixar gave my heart a beautiful picture of how together the emotions make up all of me. But for this year I am seeking joy. I want to breathe deeper and know my body better. I want to wake up with peace, and I want to go to sleep with creation.

I am longing to breathe joy in and out. I am looking forward to dancing with wisdom and taking more lessons from truth. I am dreaming of loving who I am and letting all of God’s creation shine through me.

As this year comes to a close, I find myself sitting on my couch with a hot cup of coffee and my fully charged computer ready to say goodbye to 2016. There have been many beautiful moments to look back on, and I will hold tightly to them and step boldly into 2017.

May you find hope as the clock strikes 12, may you breathe in creation as 2017 becomes the date on the calendar and may you find joy while you dance with wisdom in the street.