The beginning of my month is always devoted to my ballet company's production of "The Nutcracker." It is a big, big, big, big deal. We start rehearsals in August, we bust butt for months, we spend hours in the theatre -- and we do all that for two performances that last two hours each. But they're magic. Here's a glimpse:
(All photos by Andrew Gillespie.)
2013 was not a bad year by any stretch of the imagination. But toward the end of the year I started feeling... restless. Uneasy. Hard to describe, but I have been feeling as though maybe God is pushing me. I have a nice life -- a good job, good family, good friends, etc. -- but I've just felt... unsettled. Like I'm not exactly where I'm supposed to be, maybe. I have experienced things and seen some things that have really torn me up on the inside this fall/winter and have left me really questioning God and his plans. Questioning why it seems other people get what they want so easily and I'm left waiting and watching from the sidelines. My heart feels called to do something, but it's not something I can make happen on my own, so I keep praying that God will help show me if that's me talking or if that's Him. I have been praying so long about it though and the feeling has not gone away, so I'm starting to think it's really Him. I don't feel content really in my life -- not that it can be obviously inferred I feel discontent either because I don't. It truly is a very hard to describe feeling. Like things are fine and I have been blessed in many ways... but is fine good enough? I'm not sure God wanted us to live a life that is just fine.
I am truly trying to discern some thoughts I've had recently about where to go from here, and I'm praying God will show me if that's what He really wants me to do. It would involve many changes if I follow that particular path, and although change is hard, sometimes I like trying new things and meeting new people. (As introverted as I am!) I just pray that God helps me find my way in these thoughts I've had about my future and helps open some doors and windows for me if that's what He wants.
Along those lines, one of the gifts I asked for for Christmas was a day planner from Erin Condren. A friend of mine has written about Erin in the past on her blog, raving about her day planners. I die for a good day planner, but it's a bit more pricey than I'd usually be able to afford, so I decided to ask for it as a gift, and Santa MomDad really came through in a big way. One of the complimentary features is personalization on the cover. I assume Erin Condren's people assume you'd get your name on the front, or maybe "The Smith Family." Not this girl.
I thought about my personalization for about .0004 seconds before I realized that "Once Upon a Time" is the best possible thing to have on one's day planner cover. It's a reminder that all of our lives are a fairytale... they are our stories. I sent Story a message telling her about it and sent her a pic and she loved it. We agreed that our lives are fairytales, and then Story said the best thing ever --
"And we must have hope."
Hope. That's my word for 2014.
We must have hope. A little magic doesn't hurt either. :)