1.01.2010

Happy New Year 2010!


Memories of New Year's Eve from my childhood are so sweet and packed with meaning and inspiration. My parents were close friends with many people from our church. We were together a lot. They were my family. Each week we'd gather for a prayer group plus we'd have picnics and potlucks. Once a year, on New Year's Eve, we'd meet at the Giles' house. We lived in Montana and there was usually snow around. That snow was made into a sled run down a hill in the back yard. I can still see the hay stacks piled in front of the trees to prevent, at least some, injury. Lanterns, hanging from the trees to light the sled run, dangle in my memory as well. We would bundle up in our snow pants and moon boots and sled down that hill all night long.

The only reprieve from our sledding and sludging back up the hill to do it again, was to go inside to eat, play table games, and to bring in the new year. We did not bring in the new year with the usual fanfare. We'd sing praise and worship songs to God up until just before midnight at which point we would count down, say "happy new year" and then we'd pray, standing together hand-in-hand, in a large circle. I can still see the faces of my "aunts, uncles, and cousins," peaceful in prayer and showered in the warm light of a common living room. This, to me, is a glimpse of Heaven. I felt so safe, so warm, and so loved. I knew, even as a child, the source of that love was God.

For that reason, New Year's Eve is a special time of year. I have always yearned for those days and for the ability to give my children the same sense of belonging and peace. Those New Year memories are my inspiration and, even though my children's lives are not exactly the same as mine was, our little family has begun to establish a few traditions through out the year. We too have many close friends, and our extended family (when we are all together) is also a great source of love and belonging for my girls. It will be interesting to see what they remember and what has the most meaning to them as adults.

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