2021. ring the bells, y’all.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.

– Leonard Cohen, Anthem

As I’m starting this post, it’s just after midnight on New Year’s Day here in the Hippie Hut.

Despite the fact it’s raining, some neighbors are still shooting off insane fireworks and scaring the besneezus out of the furry members of our family. The rest of us are in our cozies, standing guard for them, enjoying the night.

Though there is nothing magical about the change in the calendar, like everyone else, I am awfully grateful that 2020 is now a year that was instead of the year that is.

It feels like, no matter a person’s circumstances, no one escaped it completely unscathed.

We’re all looking forward to moving on.

As I’ve been looking to 2021, I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude.

Though I am still beyond frustrated and terribly frightened like everyone with the COVID situation and this body of mine is still not doing what I would like for it to – and it may never – I am blown away by what the Lord has done and is doing and the amazing things that are in store this year.

When I became so ill that I had to stop working – but it was nothing like it is now – I was so scared. My body started failing me rapidly and it felt as though I would not be able to do many of things I had hoped to. I was holding on for dear life.

But God.

Despite my poor health, He has answered with bigger and better than I could have ever asked or imagined.

As I posted a few months ago, my school starts in a week and a half at Mississippi State – which would have never even entered my mind in a million years when I got sick.

A long let go of dream, now coming to fruition. A total God thing.

At the same time, my lifelong dream to write books has come to reality in the most beautiful way, with my first book, a devotional for spoonies in the works to be out for THIS Lenten season.

I have SO much work to do and it’s going to be insanely busy – but when I tell you this is my joy and my heart?

O H M Y W O R D .

Not only did God see fit to let me write (more than I could have ever asked for in itself), but to be able to write a book about faith and illness and pushing through and leaning on Jesus in our pain for my spoonies?

To see God use this pain I’ve walked through to hopefully help other people walking a difficult path?

I can’t describe the blessing.

So, despite all the brokenness we are living in – and goodness knows there is plenty right now – I am choosing to enter 2021 with my beautiful family giving thanks for this good life God has given me.

I usually choose a word and verse of the year and this year is no exception.

This year, my word is bloom, as there is so much to learn and branch out and do – even from my spot in quarantine.

My verse for the year is one of my favorites, Romans 12:12, but it seems particularly appropriate now, as my body IS still doing some really crazy stuff and our COVID situation is TRULY terrible.

There are so many – wonderful – things going on that I’m not undertaking a bunch of projects that I know won’t happen as any sort of resolutions.

The one thing I am committing to is a simple one.

Last year, a writer I like very much, Annie F. Downs, committed to reading through the Gospels each month for the year, with a specific plan. I was doing something else and didn’t participate with her group but I followed along as she worked through different translations and shared her thoughts.

This year, instead of doing a One Year Bible or something similar like I have in the past, I’m all in for this for my quiet times.

During what promises to be a busy time, I love the simple beauty of a year with just Jesus.

Y’all have no way to know this but I have SO many Bible translations – and I can’t wait to use a different one each month.

These are actually just some of the special ones – but they are ones I will definitely be using for one of my months:

– My precious Grandmother’s Bible she left me (It is King Jimmy – but he and I can hang for a month. It’s been a long time since we did.)

– My husband’s grandfather’s Living Bible that I use often and love.

– My own NIV Student Bible from my youth group days.

– My much loved Ragamuffin Bible that is still use sometimes.

– My daily use Dr Mac ESV Study Bible that I’m starting with this month.

I’m so excited about this and what I will learn and where it will lead. 🖤

So, though the world looks NOTHING like it did last New Year’s and 2020 was ROUGH, we made it and I am believing good things for 2021.

I am profoundly grateful for my family and our home and my people and this beautiful life God has given me.

I just want to keep ringing those bells with all my heart, y’all.

I hope you do as well.

As always, here is my New Year’s Wish for all of you.

Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other. ❤️

Grace and Blessings.

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