January 1, 2016

We brought in the new year in perfect style. Clothing that resembled pajamas (because some of us were actually IN our pajamas), comfort food, poker, movies, college football and the sounds of our children laughing and playing; and at other times of the night fighting and crying.

It was perfect.

No tight clothing that made it painfully aware to everyone how much weight I had to swear to lose for my resolution the next day. No heavy makeup that would leave a new year’s breakout. No spanx. No hangover. No regrets. Hallelujah!

Just my tribe doing our thang.

The boys at the poker table laughing and talking trash.

And us girls, plopped perfectly on the living room furniture and floor, solving the world’s problems. Okay, solving each other’s problems. But in those precious hours together, our world revolved lovingly around one another. Communion.

Our conversations ranged from, “Should I send this text? If so, what should I say....?” to a very profound discussion of life and the origin of it and the sanctity of such a Power who gives life, and then back around to, “OH MY GOSH! This queso is to die for! Seriously! EAT THE QUESO! We are wearing elastic waistbands, ladies, this is obviously God’s sovereign and perfect will for us to eat the entire crockpot of Uncle Lyle’s queso!”

It was glorious. Not at all like my new year’s eves in my twenties when we would go out with a bang. Dancing. Showing off flawless figures that we had not earned and did not deserve. (God is just. We’re paying now!) And the night would end with a much anticipated lip lock from a handsome someone we’d had our eye on. The next day we would nurse a hangover while reminiscing the fun we’d had and the dance we nailed when our gang’s favorite song came on (it was probably “Single Ladies” by Beyonce...or Salt-N-Pepa’s “Shoop”). Nonetheless, we remembered and we laughed and we sorta regretted (okay, we totally regretted MOST of the night).

But not now.

No more regrets.

I have no regrets about my New Year’s Eve party.

Young people may call my NYE lame. Go right ahead, young person who does not know my life.  I do not hold it against you. You don’t know yet, you just don’t know.

But one day you will know. Oh how I hope you know! The joy of no-regret-living.

The simplicity of getting thrown up on and laughing because it isn’t your college room mate throwing up on you and ruining your night. Nope, it’s your sister’s perfect baby, which makes your night complete instead of completely ruined.

This kind of living is talking with your newlywed friends about their possibility of having children and what that looks like after forty. Yes, I said AFTER FORTY. Because life is still happening for us now, in this no-regret season. And life is good. Really good.

The party gets even better when I look across the room and catch the eye of a tall handsome man with piercing eyes and I think, “Yeah, I’m going home with him.” and, again, there’s no regret. Absolutely none.

And then a little 4 year old comes running through the room prancing around and demanding sparkling cider and again I think, “Thank you, God, for this abundant life.” And I squeeze her and kiss her as she races past me again. She stops briefly and says, “I love you, Mama”  and I melt.

My night was pure joy. Laughter. Light. Love. Ease. Calm.

I’m grateful for sending 2015 into the past with a glance back at what we learned, who came along, who went away and knowing it was all for our good.

I’m grateful for this simple life that God has given me. My greatest life lesson of 2015 was embracing God’s abundance through simplicity.

And now we’re two weeks into 2016 and God is already showing me great things.

I hope He’s showing you great things, too.

Share them with everyone He puts in front of you.

A shared life is where abundance begins!

Here’s to new adventures in 2016!


1 Comment

Jessica Phillips

Jessica is worshiper and follower of Jesus. He rescued her heart at age 6 but he rescued her calling, purpose and direction in her early 20's. Everyday God is still writing Jessica's story. It involves her husband, Brad, her daughter, Emery, their extended families. But the story is a tale of loss of life and dark grief. And the story ebs and weaves and the grief story is followed by weddings and laughter. And what comes next? A Baby! God sends us a baby to shape and teach and grow right in the midst of our loss and realizing that life actually moves forward. We didn't think it would again after he died. But life just did what it was supposed to do...and it went on. And hope is born again. Everything I write is based on this fact: I'm God's child, I'm alive today. So what do You want me to do for You? Because I want my contribution to matter. I want to leave a legacy.