Dpp 2013 :: December 31st :: Look Up

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I have been feeling a little sad over our gray, damp & heavy foggy days lately. So many friends have posted warm & sunny California beach day pics and sunset shots over the Bay and it makes me miss it. And then last night I looked up and saw this out my window.  It kept getting deeper and more vivid as the minutes went by, forming brilliant stripes across the sky.

Sunday I took a few minutes to listen to Oprah interview Marianne Williamson {full episode here}, the author of A Return to Love.  Marianne is the “gratitude guru” if that is a proper title, and she talks from a platform of love.  Williamson reminds that hope and the power to make a difference is within our grasp; that we either live from a place of love or fear.  It is never both.

Marianne shared something in the interview that really struck me and is really appropriate for Oregon.  We often can look up and say, “the sky is gray today.  It’s cloudy.” And yet truly, the sky is blue.  It is ALWAYS blue.  It might be covered up with gray clouds and not visible to our eye.  But the sky still is blue.  It was such a simple concept, yet powerful for me.  On Monday, when I was having a “Ugh, it’s always gray and foggy/cloudy” mental fest, to look up and see the sky painted like a watercolor masterpiece jolted me out of my head space.  It was like God was saying, “LOOK UP.  Do you see it?”  Sometimes I get so enmeshed in the day-to-day life, my anxieties, fears & frustrations (the fog, the gray), that I miss out on the blessings that are unfolding around me.  n fact, this happens OFTEN.   So today, as 2013 comes to a close and we look toward 2014 and all it will bring, I pray.

God, you continue to surprise me and remind me of your faithfulness….when I bother to look up and pay attention.  Give me eyes to see.  Remind me to “Look Up”.  Help me step out of fear and live from a place of love.

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In case you are looking for a few simple, pre-prepared options for reflecting on 2013 and thinking towards 2014, I thought I’d share a few favorites on the blog today.

  • I love the simplicity of this End of the Year time capsule found at Playful Learning.  Mariah Bruehl includes simple PDFs you can print and have your kids fill out.  I don’t care to have the job of storing (and later, LOCATING!) multiple time capsules, so I think I will put them in our stockings each year when we pack them away.  Currently, I have a binder for our yearly Christmas letters and figure I could add a little section to save these yearly.  Ashley Ann Campbell at Under the Sycamore does something similar (see here).
  • Every year we also take time to reflect on the year that is ending and to set some goals for the year to come.  Tsh Oxenreider at The Art of Simple has printables for this purpose.  She also created PDFs with questions that can be printed and cut apart to be used “fishbowl” style with a group of folks.  The New Year’s Eve Reflection Questions for Adults are here and a simplified version for kids is located here.  The Goal Setting Questions for 2014 can be found here.  I did these with Alex last year as a Kindergartner and he loved hearing what he wrote a year ago when we re-read his thoughts last night.  He was pretty proud of how much easier it is to clean up without arguing than it was last year, as well as his growth in reading.  Welcome to 1st grade!

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{I am a bit relieved to be done with the December Photo Project for 2013!  It can get exhausting to post daily…and no doubt more tiring to read daily posts!  I will be taking a little break in January posting weekly while I get my footing with my new teaching job and celebrate our 10th anniversary.}

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