20141220.44660

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Begins

I love January.

We enjoy celebrating the holidays, of course. But we also must survive the stress of the same. Then, we reflect on the year that was, with all the mess of joy and struggle that makes up life itself.

And now, we lift our eyes up to a new year.

2015 is full of potential. As we come up for air from the maelstrom of December, we look out much, much farther than usual. In conversations this week and next, we will talk about our resolutions and goals for this new, wide-open year. We consider what we want to be different, and we think about what we can do about it.

I love learning new things and trying to improve my life and the lives of those around me. A new year makes this kind of normal—it’s generally expected and accepted.

I was thinking about this last week as we drove up the Sani Pass (see photo above).

You go up over 1300 meters (that’s nearly a mile) as you drive about 10 miles. It’s steep. It’s hard. So you need switchbacks to make the climb possible.

Switchbacks make it feel like you’re barely moving. You are moving the width of a football field to go up about 20 feet. But by going back and forth, by changing direction wisely, you are making the hard upward progress possible.

Virtually no one makes a resolution and then just nails it.

There are lateral shifts. You go back and forth. You miss the target and turn around. And you slowly make progress.

May 2015 be filled with switchbacks for each of us.

As for me, I’ve been thankful for feedback from readers in 2014. Recently one wrote this:

Part of my job has been to log all of our blog hits. This means that I sift through thousands (yes, thousands) of mommy blogs, church blogs, newspaper blogs, and more. I’m sure you’re well aware of this plight, but the vast majority of them are nowhere near the quality of yours–the writing, the layout, the voice–all of it. So, thanks…Your writing touches lives. Keep it up.

And a couple months ago, another one wrote this:

I just read your article in the best marriage advice you ever received & I can say that I could not agree more. Although my husband & I did not move to another country, we did make a big move (for us) across the country. The differences are not as extreme as yours, but we still are experiencing times of stress with the move where it can be easy to point the finger. I want to thank you for sharing your article and reminding us that we are not alone.

And I suppose that’s why I keep blogging, long after its novelty has worn off, long after blogging was cool and new, and long after other pursuits have come and gone.

So friends, I’m resolving to write weekly here for you in 2015. I aim to be as helpful as possible, starting conversations, and sharing wisdom (such as it is) that I’ve gained from others and my 37 trips around the sun.

This year, I’m going to focus on practical, nitty gritty topics:

Money
Time
Health
Work
Home
Manhood
Faith
Friendship
Marriage
Parenting

If you have any particular topics or questions you’d like me to write about, please give me a holler.

And of course, if you find my writing helpful, please tell someone else that you think would appreciate it.

Happy New Year!