I don't really want to do that in my blog today.
(Happy New Year, anyway.)
Sure....we did our family resolutions before going to bed at 10:15 (because....as we told the kids....we celebrate New Year's on Berlin time) and drank sparkling apple juice and ate gooey butter bars....we aren't total grinches.
One thing we did do that I thought was cool was kind of Ethan's idea.
You see...a few years ago Ethan asked to make two cakes for New Year's Eve.
He wanted to decorate one that was a "good-bye to 2007" theme,
and make the other a "hello to 2008" cake.
So we did.
This year he asked to do the two-cake-thing again.
But then we sent one of the cakes to my sister-in-law's get-together and ended up with only one cake at the house.
(And in all honesty....I really didn't want to mix frosting and do intricate time-consuming memorial decorations.)
So we switched it up a bit.
The kids, RH, my mom and I made little paper flags.
Then everyone drew or wrote about what they were saying good-bye to in 2011 on the first side, and what they were looking forward to in 2012 on the other side.
With a little scotch tape and some chopsticks the pieces of paper turned into flags.
We took turns explaining our drawings for both years....
....then ate cake (yes....before we ate the gooey butter bars) and moved on.
(You might notice that while most of the flags include a tornado theme for 2011, only Bennett's includes a political commentary as well. Again....who is this kid?!?)
Moving on is good.
It's nice to move on.
But...( and you KNEW that a "but" was going to be coming here...)
isn't it strange how even when you REALLY want to move on....
you also don't really want to let go?
Kind of like....if you really and completely move on and get past something....
you might somehow forget what it is you're getting past?
And while no one wants to become totally enmeshed in and re-live tragic points of their lives....there exists a very real fear of forgetting the true enormity of the event that has contributed to the person you are (and the world you live in) today.
I am reading a book my mom gave me for Christmas called The Beach Trees by Karen White.
It takes place in New Orleans and there are many references to Katrina and what she did to the city.
The main character is from out-of-town and is having a hard time understanding why...6 years later... residents are still talking about the storm and have memorial pieces of "Katrina trees" and debris all over the city.
She thinks that people would be happier just getting rid of all the "left-overs and scars" and just focusing on the good things and the future.
A lady from New Orleans takes her to a memorial site, and this main character is very uncomfortable being there and asks the lady why she brought her there.
The lady explains: "I wanted you to understand that moving on doesn't mean forgetting."
Don't let the events of May 22nd....and the months following....lose their meaning.
Don't let the memories control your life...but don't be afraid to remember them.
I don't think God makes beauty out of disaster so that we can forget the disaster.
I think He does it to show us how high He can make us rise after we fallen to a rocky bottom.
And if we forget how low and bad and hard and scary that "bottom" was....
then how can we realize how magnificent and amazing our new heights and perspectives truly are?
Last night, between the flags and the butter bars, Bennett shared something with us.
He has a devotional book called Jesus Calling which has a little "note" that Jesus might have written to you for each day of the year.
On May 22, here is what the "note from God" said:
When things are not going your way, don't panic--accept the situation. Feeling sorry for yourself can easily spill over into feelings of resentment and anger. Thant can cause you to push away from me.
Remember that I use all things to work together for good in your life--even the things you wish were different. So accept your situation, and then look around you for what I am doing. Keep your eyes on Me--no matter what is happening around you...
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. But sometimes it can be hard for you to understand My way of doing things in this life. It's easy to get your mind stuck on your own idea of how things should go. Just don't get so stuck on your idea that you forget to look for My way.
He has a way.
He doesn't say forget...He says trust Him.
It's a new year.
A symbolic new start.
I think I will choose to move forward....and focus on how good things are....as well as remembering (with utmost gratefulness) the things He's lifted me up from...to give me such beautiful perspective on my life.