Monday, January 4, 2016

What I Learned and Relearned ~ 2015 in Review

Dear friends, here we are once again, stepping into a brand New Year. Such a thought can be thrilling or frightening, depending on your perspective and circumstances at the current moment. There's no way to know what 2016 has in store for us, but the grace and mercy of God will be what carries us through. In the meantime, I'm looking back at 2015 and would love to know how your year shaped up.


In January, I learned that hanging out with my parents is still one of my favorite things to do. In all of my years of living, in good times and bad, their love for me has never wavered.



I also discovered that the excitement of a baby’s arrival never grows old, and that friends and family are the best part of any celebration.


In February, I learned again that life can be filled with unwanted surprises, that there are times when people make self-serving choices, not considering or caring that their choices can have a rippling effect, altering the lives of other people, and I regretted again every time I'd ever made such a choice myself. To say that I wasn't responsible for the heartache of those impacted by my choice would be to have a disconnect from reality.




But I discovered long ago that music, and the company of children, can make the world right, even if only for a night.


More than anything, February showed me again that there's great comfort in a love that's been seasoned over time.

***


In March, my brave and beautiful daughter gave birth to her first child and my first grandchild. Arabella’s birth taught me that the arrival of a grandchild is an experience like no other, that the love a grandmother feels for her grandchild is a love like no other. Arabella is a treasure, my precious little cupcake.




Even though March garnered hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of photos, there were moments so rich, so poignant that words would not come, that photographs would not be adequate, moments that live only in my heart.

***


In April, there were Texas bluebonnets … 


... and Easter Sunday, my favorite day of the year, a day to celebrate the risen Christ, the giver of hope, the King of kings and Lord of lords.




April also brought colic and one unhappy baby girl, resulting in exhausted people, long days and endless nights. Hallelujah, nothing lasts forever.


A favorite gift in April was the endearing sight and sound of books being read by my identical twin sister to her adorable granddaughter. I'm grateful I was there to capture these priceless moments in time.



And then, there was April's ocean.




In May, among other things, I learned again that mothers are some of the strongest people in the world, that their hearts can break, but their courage remains steady. I learned again that no matter what happens to us, life goes on, and it's possible to keep breathing, to stay alive, even with a hole in your heart.

***





In June, there were birthdays and precious family gatherings, and one very special Sunday morning.


But, by far, the best moments in June were spent like this, holding cupcake close, making up songs, and rocking her to sleep.

In the middle of a scorching July … VACATION!


In August there was a brief getaway with The Man to celebrate 35 years of marriage. How blessed we are to have weathered the seasons of life together. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.





There were also more birthdays and family gatherings in August, and I learned anew how important it is to pause in our busy lives and say, "I love you," and "You matter to me."

***

In September, sugar plum started to school. When I saw her in her uniform, I must admit, Aunt Dayle shed some tears. I remembered all of the days we've shared together since her birth, golden days, sprinkled with love and laughter, with pure joy, and I am so grateful that her mom and dad so willingly share her with me.


I also learned that the sweetest moments often occur at random times, on ordinary days ... 



... and that weekends by the ocean can cure almost any ailment.

***





October, my favorite month, brought a big birthday for yours truly, along with an amazing road trip with my identical twin to a favorite autumn destination ...

... and so many sweet images that tugged at my heart.









In November, I recalled a Thanksgiving many years ago and was reminded that the secret for getting through losses is living with a spirit of gratitude for all that remains.


December’s gifts came in many packages, but the greatest gift came to earth from heaven many years ago, and I’m glad I don’t just celebrate the birth of Jesus in December, but He lives in my heart and I celebrate Him every day of the year.


***


11 comments:

  1. It's in the hardest years that we experience the most growth...and sometimes the most joy. I pray that has been the case for you, dear friend. Praying your 2016 is the sweetest, most joyous year yet. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have done a wonderful job of gathering the moments that make up a year. I also appreciated all those things that you have learned put into words...not so easy to do!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh Dayle! So many inspirational and tweet-able quotes in your shared life-love lessons. Beautiful.Your pics and words pure poetry!

    Wishing you God's Blessing for 2016.

    I got a journal from my daughter for Christmas. I told her I would use it to write in it things I read that I love and want to be able to find again! plus it will help me brush up my rusty penmanship!
    I think I will start with some lines from this post. Thank-you.

    Lines such as:I’m glad I don’t just celebrate the birth of Jesus in December, but He lives in my heart and I celebrate Him every day of the year.
    the secret for getting through losses is living with a spirit of gratitude for all that remains.
    weekends by the ocean can cure almost any ailment
    mothers are some of the strongest people in the world, that their hearts can break, but their courage remains steady.
    there were Texas bluebonnets …
    friends and family are the best part of any celebration.

    Thank-you again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a beautiful bunch of memories and things learned. Happy New Year, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh I SOO thoroughly enjoyed your year in review....so many blessings, so much insight, so much grace. Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and glorious new year!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a wonderful and amazing year you've had! (I spy Bill Gaither! - awesome!). Here's to another year of great memories in 2016!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Loved this. Surely 2016 will be the best year yet. "Keep believing in what you know is true..."

    *hugs*
    Kelley~

    ReplyDelete
  8. Such a great idea, to review the year in pictures. It's easy to see the highlight -- the birth of your precious granddaughter! Happy 2016 Dayle!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I know your family has been through a lot this year.
    But look at all the smiles, love, family, and babies!
    Southern Gal said it well, " in the hardest years that we experience the most growth...and sometimes the most joy.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dayle, what a beautiful *scrapbook* of photos capturing your year. And yes, each year has its joys and its sorrow - it's what weaves the tapestry of our lives. I'm with you, though, it is the steady and unchanging presence of God, and His deep love, that carries us through each day. As I looked over my 2015, this is what I remember the most. He was with me...

    And that is something that I am so very GRATEFUL for!

    GOD BLESS!

    (Grateful is my Word for 2016!!)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I loved this! By the end I was in tears. Very heartwarming. A great reminder to cheerish every little things.

    ReplyDelete

Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle