2015 OLW Review: Today

Gratitude... claims the truth that all of life is pure gift. 
-Henri Nouwen 

I have learned that I take about a month to process the completion of a year. I have spent the last few weeks jotting thoughts as they arise. The Christmas season is a beautiful one and I have worked hard in recent years to slow the hustle. But, try as I might, company and family and activities still require energy and they leave me drained (obviously an introvert here). I definitely need plenty of time after the holidays to process our year. Without further ado...


2015: garage renovation, spring travel, a two-year-old, Little Loy #2, potty training, hot summer days, a mountain escape, fall football Saturdays.

We started the year living in a one bedroom apartment. Brandon worked every spare minute on the garage renovation. I was pregnant and only Brandon knew the baby's gender. This pregnancy left me bed-ridden with nausea and fatigue for the better part of nine months. August played happily on the upstairs porch and in Grammie's wide backyard.

By April 5th, Easter Sunday, the downstairs was completed. We celebrated August's birthday and tried to relax in the weeks leading up to Boston's birth. He took a long time, over 41 weeks, but when he decided to come, he arrived fast and chubby and happy. Then began the long hot summer of transitioning to a family of four, potty training August and postpartum recovery. 

In April, we met our newest nephew: Carver Blake. In May, Grandma and Papi came to meet Boston and play with August. In June, we welcomed 11 dear friends into our home (4 adults, 7 children) for a long weekend of sleepovers and coffee (and other things too). In July, we played everyday at the beach or in the kiddie pool. In mid-August, we escaped for a week to the mountains with my folks and Abram. In September, we hid inside because I couldn't handle sweating another drop. 

October was a breathe of fresh air. The five months of post-partum fog and rollercoaster emotion lifted. I felt more like myself every day the weather turned cooler and crisper. We moved through the fall months with busyness and joy. Clemson played an undefeated football season and rode the polls to the number 1 ranking on their way to the National Championship. Brandon worked long hours. We travelled to Greenville for Thanksgiving and Orlando for an early Christmas with Grandma and Papi. We rode carousels and hayrides and ate all.the.things. Before I knew what was happening, New Year's Eve arrived with college football playoff games and a Jump Little Children concert.

2016 began...

What a full and intense and difficult year 2015 was. I was constantly washed in grace from the Lord as He gently reminded me to "live in TODAY, live for TODAY, you only have to face TODAY." What generous grace to be given the gift of a year to focus one-day-at-a-time.

In the fall, my Bible study worked through Henri Nouwen's The Return of the Prodigal Son. The entire book is filled with beautiful revelations about the Christian faith but one particular section stuck with me:

The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy. ... Acts of gratitude make one grateful because step-by-step they reveal that all is grace.
In directing my focus to the daily tasks, the daily challenges and the daily joys, I see now that the Lord was calling me to a year of disciplined gratitude. I was being shown the gift of grace- a perspective I sorely needed.  When I glance back through my IG posts of #theLoystoday2015, my heart is thankful that I did not take the minutia for granted (at least not all the time).

I will end here with our family verse from 2015: This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118: 24

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