I moved to Jacksonville from Brooklyn (NYC) over two years ago and have been looking (on and off) for a new home…and soon realized I was in need of a condo. I am through with yard work and hiring handymen to do outdoor upkeep on the house. Through, I say! Through! I finally found the perfect spot for me in the Old Mandarin neighborhood.
Hebrews 3:4 [New American Standard Bible] ~ 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.
I decided on this condo in large part because of the beautiful tiled floors and fireplace. Of course the existing ceiling fan had to be swapped out for a new one, same thing with the small chandelier in the dining room area of the open living space.
Ray, a friend of Christian author Dalyn Woods, is doing my reno. Here he’s working on the electric outlet in my daughter Victoria’s room.
Another shot of Victoria’s room.
The master bedroom after the first coat of paint. The bar stools for the counter off the kitchen were given a dark stain. We got them through Offer Up at $5 each.
When I take a breath after painting a door, or trim (Victoria has slathered white over the walls), I realized I’m a further step away from Brooklyn and my late-husband,, both physically and metaphorically. After two years, the bad days come much, much less frequently. Life does go on. The move is fun and exciting, but I can’t wait for the work to be done so we can settle in.
To me, the beginning of a New Year is much like turning the first page of the next novel in a series I’ve been following. I finished the last novel and it was thrilling, and I miss the characters and have been eagerly anticipating the next novel. Or, the author disappointed, yet I feel compelled to read on out of loyalty to the characters.
Of course, in the case of a New Year, I’m the author (along with God) and I’m the main character in my yearly saga. And yes, I most certainly do feel compelled to read on (and write on) out of loyalty to the character.
I recently read that New Year’s Day is the most widely celebrated holiday on the planet, with nearly every nation and ethnic group taking part in the party.
Ringing out 2014 has held some sadness for me. The traditionally sung song for this holiday, Auld Lang Syne, written in the 1700s by Scottish poet Robert Burns as a poem of reflection and remembrance, fits my mood this year. The news has been horrible for much of the year. ISIS. Ebola. Just to mention two.
My family has faced some difficult challenges and losses in 2014. One that’s fairly easy to verbalize is the theft of my computer. The grinch that stole it right before Christmas had it stolen from her, we found out. Of course all these young people deny having stolen anything. But the ones who wound up with it tried to hack into a few of my accounts, unsuccessfully. I had to change passwords because there had been too many attempts to gain access. That was a royal pain. On the plus side, I got a new pair of glasses that make me look really sweet.
In 2014, I lost my oldest childhood friend, Christine Sloat White, after a valiant battle with ovarian cancer. She was not only beautiful on the outside, but on the inside…and such a classy lady, dear to me, and so missed. Our mutual friend, Carol Dilberian, helped me get through the loss of Christine and as well as through other challenges I faced in the past year. Carol lives on the other side of the country. I wish she lived closer so I could drop by for a cuppa, as I used to do. Thank God for phones and Facebook.
I’m looking forward to the New Year largely because of good friends. Two friends who must get a shout out are Christian author Linda Woods Rondeau and her husband Steve. Not only will I give a shout out, I’ll do a bit of shameless promoting for her hoping her New Year sees a jump in sales. Another gal who needs to be mentioned is author and real estate professional Lynn W. Rix. I’ll be relocating in 2015 and Lynn has been helping in finding that perfect house.
Another positive note to 2014 is that I lost over 25 pounds and reconstituted my diet and my lifestyle to healthier eating.
Last year I made a blessing jar, and I will again this year. I think it’s especially important and emotionally healthy to remember the year’s blessings, especially when a difficult year has gone by. Of course, I’ll put some kind of fancy ribbon on the new jar and label it. I always put the names of people into the jar who I’ve been praying for all year long. It’s a nice feeling to pull their names out at the beginning of the new year. I also have prayer requests I made at the beginning of the previous year in the jar. It’s interesting to look back and see where God said, “Yes,” and where he said, “Wait,” or perhaps, “No.”