Saturday, January 5, 2013

"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.”

Oh how I love a fresh start, a new page. January's generous this way and it is most welcome in our home. 2012 was a good teacher and I think we were pretty good students. We learned an awful lot, that's for certain.

We've now been in Texas for one year. It feels good to be able to say that. I think we all feel like that was a good hurdle to clear. The first year in a new place can feel a bit like an opponent. Like you have to fight a bit to be victorious. And Gandhi (who's said a couple of smart things over the years) says this: "Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love." Jesus said something similar and the truth is undeniable. If we want to enjoy some peace and comfort in this world we must continuously strive to love. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. It rejoices in the truth. It puts the needs of others above itself. So may it be with me.

I'm excited for the new year. The Christmas break proved to be shockingly restorative. For all of my concern that we might all be climbing the walls after two and a half weeks of togetherness it's proven to have been an incredible time. The girls did so well to encourage one another and find ways to play well together.

Three years can seem to be quite a span when their two ages are but four and seven. Like when Emie wants to play Headbandz, a game in which the players but a card on their forehead with a picture on it. They don't know what is on the picture and ask the other players questions to try to guess who or what they are. Emie excitedly asks clever things such as, "Can I be eaten?," or "Am I in this room?" and before she gets too far along in her inquisition Ainsley pipes up, "You're a spoon!!" in a fit of giggles and the whole thing's over before it begins. As one might imagine, this is not Emie's favorite outcome. But somehow they find the middle place where they can play well together and truly enjoy the magic that is family at its best.

Yesterday they made a tent with a sheet draped over their two beds and secured it with ponytail bands. They closed the curtains, shut the doors and brought flashlights underneath their new-found hideout. Emie read stories to Ainsley and their dolls and they made up songs to sing together. I walked in to overhear Emie apologizing for an earlier offense to Ainsley (for which she had already asked forgiveness) only to hear Ainsley quickly say, "Oh, that's okay." I wanted time to stand still. I wanted to press pause and just sit in that moment for a good long while. This is the very best of it all. Love conquering a foe turning her into a friend. A dear, dear friend.

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