Somehow, mysteriously, we have reached the last few days of 2021.
In many ways, this was a tougher year than 2020, the year everyone loved to hate. We've seen a lot of suffering and pain, we've seen division in countries and families and churches, we've seen wars and natural disasters. . . but we've also seen resilience. We've seen people refuse to give in to despair and bitterness and conflict. We've seen people put the needs of others above their own. A lot of us have been able to see that our priorities were out of order and have shuffled them around.
This past Christmas weekend held a mixed bag of emotions for me. My mind was a jumble of thoughts about my family, my church, my job, my friends, my future. Happiness. Worry. Excitement. Nervousness. Disappointment. Hope.
What! You too?
In The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis wrote: "Friendship. . .is born at the moment when one man says to another 'What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .'" I love that. It's easy to think we're traveling this rocky road alone when the way is dark. If we would only reach out our hands, we'd find other searching hands ready to walk with us.
I wish I could promise you that 2022 will be pain-free, but I can't. And I wouldn't want to. If we never experienced pain, we wouldn't need each other. Independence has its merits, but it doesn't hold a candle to the give-and-take of friendship. So my wish for you for 2022 is that you stretch your hand out more often and grab onto someone else's. Give. And take.
P.S. I meant to remind you last week about the December Question of the Month & Giveaway. Click here to tell me what your word for 2022 is (if you have decided on one). I'll randomly choose a winner on December 31 and make a hand-lettered bookmark with that person's word choice to keep handy throughout the year. As usual, if you share this newsletter with friends, you get your name entered twice.
MOVIE: A while back, a friend recommended The Biggest Little Farm to me but I didn't have Netflix at the time. I finally watched it last week and it was just wonderful! It's a documentary about a couple in California who took a huge risk in buying 200 acres of barren farmland. The film follows their eight-year quest to "harvest in harmony with nature." It's sometimes breathtaking, sometimes heartbreaking, and totally inspiring! (Plus, Emma the pig and the little black-headed lambs are adorable.) :) If you click on the link above, look for the little white box with three black lines in the top left of your screen for the pull-down menu.