1000 gifts · Uncategorized

How Do You Measure a Year?

I’d forgotten all about these lyrics until my jazzercise instructor used the song in class the other day–

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?
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The words all came rushing back along with lots of memories of drives back onto Berry’s campus late at night after Waffle House runs. My friend Melanie would put in her Rent soundtrack and roll down the windows and we’d be all young and idealistic and going-to-change-the-world.

Then we all grew up and life happened and years have gone by and we’re all world changers in some big and small ways if we open our eyes to see.

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How do you measure a year?

2015 will blow out today, taking with it bands of storms that have plagued lives and spirits. The flood waters haven’t just risen in the Mississippi or spilled over the levees in St. Louis or my sleepy little college town.

They’ve spilled over my life in countless ways of hope and fear and promise and pain.

So do I measure the passing of 2015 in MRIs and blood work and countless unknowns? We took my almost-six-year-old for her sixth MRI yesterday. She’s considered stable right now, and most of the time, these days, we are too. But in other ways this will always be the year I watched my daughter’s little body degenerate–

and watched her learn how to put herself back together.

That’s the hope I need to carry. That she, as her physical therapist reminded us this week, always compensates and keeps going, never worrying about the fatigue or the pain.

May I learn that lesson from my child.

How do I measure a year?

In apologies and forgiveness, rather than meltdowns and tantrums.

In acts of kindness, not jealousy.

In second chances and mistakes that taught lessons.

In successes, not in failures.

2015 is also the year I gulped faith and pushed down insecurity and wrote a novel–bleeding heart and soul and family onto the pages that are under contract with a publishing house for release in early 2017.

This is the year I rebranded my blog and myself, as a Southern writer of life, and have shifted my focus to where my heart truly lies–in the words of creative non-fiction and fiction that paint portraits of the life I know and cherish.

This is the year I heard God whispering, Ask and you shall receive.

Not a give-me faith of praying for things, but a resolute faith of praying that I can walk with His plans, surrendered and passionate and in constant awe of how and where he can use me. A faith of believing that if God has placed a restlessness within my soul, it might be because He wants to do more with me than I ever imagined possible.

And more might simply be to live and love and give and hope through the measure of another year.

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