As we drove back home to Dayton today from a crazy blur of a week in Cleveland in our almost bursting-at-the-seams vehicle, I couldn’t help but notice how much I was missing the view from my rear-view mirror. At one point in the drive, Scott asked me what I was so intently watching out the side-view mirrors, and I just tried to explain that my whole mirror-checking rotation was jacked up by the enormous pile of Christmas-loot we acquired from our visits upon visits with family and friends up north. I legitimately missed being able to see what was behind me as I drove the long, boring stretch of freeway between Cleveland and Columbus and then again between Columbus and Dayton.

There is something reassuring about being able to look backward, to see what is behind us, as we continue to move forward. This is true not only as we drive freeways, but as we live life.

I can’t even count the number of Facebook posts I’ve seen today listing all the “things I’ve done, accomplished, witnessed, experienced, loved, hated, dreaded, etc. about 2012.” I mean, I wouldn’t really expect anything different on the last day of the year… especially the year the world was supposed to end (again). There is something therapeutic about remembering; about looking back on the experiences we’ve had and how they’ve changed us; about seeing the places where God has met and blessed us; and about reflecting on the losses we have experienced.

I think Jon Acuff hit the nail on the head today, with his New Years’ Eve day blog post: Say goodbye before you say hello.

And so, I too, will say goodbye today to 2012–a year that I would describe with two words: consistent and community. For the first time, in about as long as I can remember, 2012 was a year without significant and life-altering change.  There were no significant losses, no job changes or major moves, no additions to the immediate family, graduations or weddings. This year, Scott and I simply lived our lives with consistency and invested in a community that we have come to love wholeheartedly… a community that we can now, with confidence, call home. Sure, we did some exciting stuff this year–I had the opportunity to do lots of travelling and visiting with friends, and we’ve got some really exciting stuff coming quickly on the horizon of 2013.

So, tonight as we celebrate the end of 2012 and look to the ‘freshness’ of a new year coming with January 1st, I hope you are able to sit with friends, family, and loved ones, and reflect. Take some time to look backward and remember. Remember the good and the bad, the joys and the sorrows. And then, get ready. Because a new year is right around the corner!

  • Looking back on 2012, what moments or experiences will you remember most?
  • In what ways has God blessed you or shaped you in the past year?

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