“Oh, good. Tricia brought her list,” say my friends who’ve known me longest.  “Nobody else we know runs a coffee date like a board meeting.  But she brought her list of things we need to discuss.”

Sometimes that’s what I need to do. How else do you cover everything?

1. Happy New Year.  While my boys banged pots and pans, sprayed confetti, and lit sparklers to ring in the new year at the 14th Annual Grandma and Poppa’s New Year’s Eve Bash, Peter and I devoured sushi and Chinese and Netflix.  This seems to be our tradition.  And I love it with my whole being.

2. My word for the year is Gift. Each day of 2019, I intend to see the gifts in the day, and I will be a gift in the day.  “So, you’re saying you’re the gift of 2019?”  Peter asked.  Maybe I am, yes.  Like this morning, when I created space in the long line of carpool to let the left-turning people take a turn.  I’m pretty sure they considered my gesture to be a day brightener. 

Examples of gifts I’ve gathered in my basket Labeled 2019:

The memory of Christmas morning, when Tyler lined up each of his gifts, and when it was his turn, he said to the next one in line, “I choose you.” 

And this morning’s sunrise, which shifts subtly from cotton candy pink to cloud white as I drive Tucker to school. 

And the new Mary Poppins movie.  Emily Blunt was a gift to us all.

And Tucker is so tall and broad that hugging him feels like a man I used to know very well.

And Tyler’s Christmas gift to Peter.

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He saved all his money and his comedic timing,
and I believe he would tell you it was worth it in every way.

3. I bought a 5-piece bedding set for $27.00.  Which means that the comforter portion of that investment cost a little less than $6.00. And my Grandma’s words ring true: “Honey, you get what you pay for.”  I really only bought it so we would have something to put on our bed while I washed the one we love. I lay awake annoyed under it last night.  It’s  ridiculous.  Peter and I sometimes mumble things to each other during the night, and last night he said to me, “You’ve made better purchases.”   True story, sleepy man.  The comforter we love is now called the Big Fluffy.  The new one is called the Thin Stupid.

4.  This is not a New Year’s Resolution, and it’s not a commitment.  It’s just an experiment about which I could change my mind at any time, so let’s keep this low key, you guys.  I simply wondered how long I could go without a diet Pepsi.  The answer is, so far, eight days.  And counting.  I mean, no big deal.  Only the longest I’ve ever gone in my adult life. 

5.  The book I am loving that I want you to read: Sacred Questions: A Transformative Journey Through the Bible.  This really deserves its own post, but let me at least tell you this: when a smart woman chases after the Lord, a book like this is born.  Kellye Fabian guides us directly into the throne room of God by the light of our own questions.  Pete and I are reading this together, and it’s a glorious heart changer in a dose of 20 minutes that somehow permeate the whole day.

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6. The Pen and the Page is coming to Iowa! So, all you midwesterners, (like, the real midwest, not the Ohio midwest, which should really be called the half-northeast) we’re coming for you.  April 5-7, 2019, in Lansing, Iowa.  Peter and I are bringing the words and the gifts and the joy to Village Creek Bible Camp.  Come.  Write with me.

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7. It’s 2019.  I’m releasing my fourth book this year, and that makes my heart sing.  I love this book so much.

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8. Also, in 2019, I finally get to turn forty.  I am beside myself over this.  It seems I should have turned forty at least two years ago. My parents are struggling a bit with the reality of a daughter this age. And Peter says I’m almost finally old enough to date him.

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8. b. My kids went back to school this morning.  And there was great rejoicing.

I’m so glad I made a list.

I love you.

Happy Monday. Happy New Year. Happy Me.

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