Do you all eat anything 'lucky' on New Year’s Day? My mom used to serve us black-eyed peas. Ick! I ate them every year in the hopes that it would be my 'lucky' year. I recently saw a graphic in a magazine that listed "Nine Foods for a Lucky New Year”. Of course the nasty black-eyed peas were listed first, then some other gross things (in my opinion) like a whole roasted fish, cooked greens (collards, cabbage, chard), however, the one item that caught my eye was ring-shaped foods like bagels, donuts, and bundt cakes. NOW we are talkin’! I think I’ll be going with ring-shaped foods on New Year’s Day.
In this new beginning for us all, this clean slate, this fresh start, I want to talk about our endings. About ending well. I am a hospice volunteer and within this last week I said goodbye to a woman who ended well. It was an honor and a privilege to have met her and her family and to witness a woman who despite losing her sight from macular degeneration and not being able to walk in her later years bear such a strong, sweet faith. Her demeanor was warm, loving and welcoming, despite her condition. She even asked if she could pray for me at the end of one visit. She was selfless and she knew what her purpose was. She ended well. She ended well because she knew the Lord intimately and shared Him with whomever crossed her path. She ended well because she made wise use of her days despite being limited in her physical body. She ended well because when her life on earth was over, within that minute of her last breath on earth, her sight immediately returned and was face-to-face with her Creator God. She was face-to-face with Jesus Himself. She was finally home.
So, my challenge to you, as you anticipate this new beginning, this new year, is to please consider how your life will be ending. Not to sound morbid or anything, I think it’s good to think about why you are here, what your purpose is in this world, and what you want your obituary to say about you. If you can solidify that in your head and heart, then you can truly live for Christ and end your life well. If you have yet to surrender all to Jesus Christ and turn your life over to Him, then I pray that you will consider doing that in this new year. We are not promised another day here on earth, each day is a gift.
As I pushed forward and backward the seemingly heavy vacuum and saw the white pup hair that was being taken away little by little, I lost it. Literally had a breakdown right there in the living room. The room was quiet except for the hum of the vacuum. It did not matter that no one was around, I could not help but bawl uncontrollably thinking of our beloved Gidget and the fact that we had to put yet another dog down...
What do you do when you lose a beloved pet? Kelly Sue shares her and her husband's journey through their grieving process of losing their beloved dog, Gidget, and how Barkin Dogs Rescue found them not one, but two new pups to adopt and love!
I will never forget the excitement I had going into a meeting with one of my professors, Dr. J back in grad school. I had the idea of launching a Christian clothing business from way back when and he had a side business that helped start-ups. I came prepared with all my notes, my hand-drawn ideas scribbled into a notebook from years ago and a prototype of a zip-up hoodie that had embroidered crosses and verses stitched all over it. I was so excited! See, Dr. J, now this is what I’m talking about! See this cool hoodie??!! It’s a nicer, higher-end product that I really think people would buy! He, of course, has far more knowledge than I and he is asking questions and pondering it all…thankfully not anything like “Shark Tank”; I would never have survived that type of questioning. He was genuinely being a kind fella and hearing me out. At the end of our meeting (as I am walking out) he asked me to write a “Theology of a Hoodie.” K…. hmmm….ok. That’s it? What on earth does he mean, I thought? I also thought, are you kidding me dude, you know full well how many books and papers we must write in graduate school and now you are asking me to (for fun) write a theology of a hoodie?!
Well, here it is almost 8 years later. (BTW I still do not know exactly what he was asking for, however, I have a far better understanding of hoodies after creating and selling them for almost 3 years now). “Theology” means a theological theory or system” I am going with just the theory or system; my guess is that was what he was asking for?
So, here is my brief explanation of how the system works, at least in my case.
Don’t ya love it when someone visibly looks shocked (not fake-shocked for like a tip or something), but, really stunned when you casually mention that you are about to turn 50?! ME TOO!! Hey, I’ll take fake-shocked sometimes. As I ponder this new year, the running thread at the forefront in my mind is about turning 50 in October. Can I lose 20-30 lbs. in that time frame? Is that even possible? Does that mean completely giving up sweets and bread? Will my legs ever look like they did in my 30’s? What can I do to my face/neck/hands to get ahead of this aging thing?
Then I swing to other side and think, really, why does it even matter? Why does it matter if some stranger thinks you are younger than you are? Like you are cheating the system somehow, like you got better genes (jeans?) than someone else? I mean, does it truly matter?!