I don't have to explain 2016 to you. Unless this is the first post you've read, you'll know that it's been terrible. 2016 has been a year beyond emotional expression.
The difficulties of 2016 have been expressed over the course of punishing weeks that turned into months. Every struggling step told the story. The story of weary days and nights somehow turned into a year.
Tonight that year is over. I'm so glad.
But let's not say it was all bad. Sure there was that stage IV cancer thing. Riots on the streets of my hometown. The car unexpectedly quitting on me for good. The ugly election. Dear friends calling other dear friends stupid, ignorant, racist, whatever as a result of the ugly election. That happened and I don't know that it helps pretending like it didn't.
Even with all these things happening in our daily lives, it's not like we walked around all inconsolable all the time. We still laughed together, had special times building great memories together, teased each other, made new friends, ate amazing homemade food, stayed up too late (probably while eating amazing homemade food). In so many ways the year was wonderful.
And people were wonderful to us. Our family never knew how much we were loved than when our whole world exploded into flames and our friends and family came running.
Some of the toughest memories of the year will always have a touch of sweetness to them because they bring along with them the thought of a friend who came by just at the right time. Undoubtedly, some of you reading this right now were among those people. Thank you.
2017 hands us all kinds of uncertainty. You all know what the doctors have said and can probably understand why we aren't really looking for relief to miraculously come by flipping a page on a calendar. We know that only Jesus can help us through this. Whether this all gets better or worse when the clock strikes twelve, we still have joy in our grief.
So we're dispensing with the idea of making 2017 a good year. Or even a "better" year for that matter.
In 2017 we're chasing after time. Good times, bad times, time lost, time wasted, time stolen, time spent doing and being the important things. The things that build relationships. The things that last.
Those kind of moments quickly turn into days. And those days turn into years. And those kind of years are always good ones.
Let's get started. Now.
1st stop: the California Redwoods
2nd stop: Disneyland