I've been a little sluggish with my blogging this past month; I've posted some of my Christmas stories, some quotes that are meaningful to me, and some lists of what I've been reading -- but there hasn't been a lot of new content about what's going on in our family's life.
Maybe that's because it's all been a bit of a blur. Early December brought some serious extended-family health (and other) concerns. In mid-December there was a massive fire on a construction site a few blocks from here that caused Jonathan's school to be evacuated and left everyone in the city feeling a little disoriented. (The crane operator's dramatic rescue made headlines around the world.) The weekend before Christmas we were hit with an ice storm; while we were far better off than those in other parts of Ontario, we did spend 18 hours without power on Sunday the 22nd. We enjoyed a quiet Christmas and did a little travelling to visit family in southwestern Ontario between Christmas and New Year's, which was great. Yet everything seemed a little "off." And the weather has been, to put it bluntly, lousy: all that ice before Christmas, followed by frigid temperatures and bitter wind chills, then rain last week ... couldn't we just have some nice fresh snow and sunshine?
But getting back to our more regular routine has been good. Jonathan was happy to get back to school after the Christmas break and is doing great. Allison is finishing up her first semester of grade 10 and preparing for an exam and some smaller tests next week. I'm getting my Winter course up and running for the term, and Richard has a new group of nursing students to supervise.
I've noticed many bloggers focusing on One Word for their year: choosing a single word that embodies their hopes or goals or plans for the upcoming year. I've given a lot of thought to my word, and while it might seem a bit boring, I like it:
The word "daily" makes me think of the sentence in the Lord's Prayer: "Give us this day our daily bread." It reminds me to ask God for strength and provision for the day and not to look too far down the road ahead.
The word "daily" encourages me to find joy in small things that happen, like glimpsing three blue jays in our tree this morning, or laughing at Jonathan's attempt to use a new expression: I say "I'm tired" and he says "My too."
The word "daily" makes me feel better about slow, steady progress -- which is really pretty much the only kind of progress I make in anything in my life! I wrote 200 new words of a short story today; it doesn't take up much space on the page, but I'm 200 words closer to the end. That's really the only way I can look at it, or I'd just give up, discouraged.
The word "daily" also assures me that even when I don't see progress or change, it's happening nonetheless. I look at Jonathan's Education Plan and realize how much his learning goals have changed in the past year -- because he has met his previous goals and is working toward new ones. We visit relatives and they comment on how much his vocabulary and speech have improved since they last saw him -- something we don't necessarily notice because the daily increments are so small.
And finally, the word "daily" reminds me of grace. Lamentations 3:22-23 has become the Scripture passage I depend on most as an assurance of God's constant, day-to-day faithfulness and grace in my life:
Because of the LORD's great love
we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.