It’s 2:03 p.m. and I find myself at my kitchen table sipping a cup of Starbucks 2x (Double shot) coffee absolutely exhausted. As I sip on the toasty warm coffee, I look around at the scene of the Christmas tree in the dining room that I see through a small hall, and the mess of toys still around the family room Christmas tree, and I see not the mess but the beauty — the beauty of 2019. Right before I stopped for 60 seconds and had that first sip, I could only think about how drained I have been from 2019 but I neglected to see the beauty until I paused. (Interestly, I once read during the season that hurry is a blessing blocker. I just experienced why.) If I hadn’t slowed down for that moment to sip, I wouldn’t have realized and appreciated all that unfolded in my heart at that moment. When I stopped, I fully owned that I was drained from the year but I also realized the beauty in my exhaustion and the blessings of this year. I am drained because I went beyond myself this year. I went beyond my selfish nature to bless others, to give outside of myself, and to change lives. I am so thankful this year to have been able to change the life of our new teenager, our temporary house guest, and others. While it has been a process (and still is) I look back to the teenager that I had lunch with in April and I am amazed at how she has grown just since then. This year, everyone in my home has evolved as people. We have all learned to go harder, love deeper, and pray more. While I admit that I am ending this year a bit more tired than usual, I am proud that I have been a lot more selfless than usual this year too. I am not just looking forward to all the greatness to come in 2020, but being thankful for all the greatness that I have experienced in 2019.
Take a moment as we close out 2019 to not only plan for 2020, but to appreciate who you have grown into or helped others grow into this year. We are always looking at the next but sometimes forget to appreciate the now. Have a sip of something and just appreciate the year that is about to pass. What are you appreciative and thankful for in 2019?