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 It feels like -12° outside,  in actuality I think it’s really 4°. It’s one of the coldest New Years days in the books for my home state. 

  There is a fire going in my fireplace but I can’t help but wrap myself up in a warm, thick sweater and a blanket. Even with the fire going my house is cold, the floors chilly to touch. With a thick blanket of cold outside on the ground, the day is going to be spent inside. Staying home isn’t a bad way to start off the new year.

  I wanted to wake up to the sunrise this morning. That didn’t happen, I slept in too late. However, I did get my kitchen all cleaned up and I baked some crêpes. That might become a new tradition of mine, wake up on new years, clean, and bake. 

  2017 was a wonderful year for me. There really isn’t a way that I can express it in words. Although there were some ups and downs, like at the beginning of the year I suffered through multiple anxiety attacks, there were some really sweet moments. 

  One of the top things that happened last year (it’s now in that stage where writing last year seems really odd), was the trip my mom, brother, and I went on out west. I still have yet to write about that trip much, but it was wonderful. Getting to breathe in the fresh Colorado mountain air, gaze across the planes of Wyoming, and camp in the Black Hills of South Dakota — waking up the sound of moose in the hills — will never leave my memory. 

  The year was filled with more than I could’ve ever dreamed of.

  Although 2017 was good, it left me in slight fear of what’s to come. 2018 is filled with so many unknowns. I honestly have no idea, no hunch, inkling of suspicion of what is around the corner.

  I’m filled with hope, though. Hope that no matter what happens, that joy will be found in the mundane and thankfulness will be given in the exciting. That peace will be found in the hard times and rejoicing will be found in the good times. 

  Each day is just one piece of the giant puzzle. Being present, fully alive in each piece, each moment is what I’m going to focus on in the next 365 days. Going after change and action is something I’ve done in the past and I think, in certain cases, it’s necessary for you to do. However, I think if we grasp at too much and try to change and make things go our own way in our own time, messes happen, brokenness happens. So instead, I’m just going to sit and wait, be an open instrument and wait for the Holy Spirit inside me to speak and tell me where to go and what to do. He will change me from the inside out, in a way that I will never have suspected. That’s what happened during 2017, I was changed without even realizing it at the time. I was changed and events that I didn’t even dream of happened. I know it will continue to happen during 2018. And I want to hone in on it, paying attention and being intent in each second. 

  Far too often I seem to be zoned out, either on what has happened, what is going to happen, or what I need to do in order for things to happen. Rarely am I focused on the present. Being thankful for the now, appreciating the frost on the windows, the full moon that is outside in the ivory night sky, or my brother sitting across the room. Days, weeks, and month blur by me and I wonder what happens with my time. 

  Someday, these things won’t be here, someday the mundane will change. Appreciating and being present at this moment is something that I need to work on, and I think will make a good anthem, a good call for 2018. 

  No matter what happens during the next 12 months, I know that, even though they are filled with fear and unknown at the current moment, they will reveal themselves one by one, each with moments that will add up to memories. Each created by a God that only has the best planned out for me, you, and everyone else. Onward we go, into the great unknown. 

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