‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2011 - In Like A Lion

I would have all kinds of great photos to enhance this blog post with, except that my computer is on its' deathbed. I went out of my way to take photos this week, but instead all I can give you is words. I have to find a way to buy a new computer during the very week that my bank account is at an all time low - go figure! But I'm not worried. I honestly have found that putting it in God's hands is the best thing I can do. Of course I will be proactive as well -- there are two schools that still owe me payment. One is two years overdue and I got tired of calling and writing them. But its time to put my 'nice' aside and go after them with a new vengeance..lol.

So, 2011 has come in like a lion. Nastia arrived home from Florida after 11 days away. My house is back to lovable chaos --legos strewn all over each room, clothing slumped in makeshift laundry baskets in every room, hair clips in my sink...lol. But I say 'lovable' chaos for good reason. As much as I hate clutter, seeing her clutter makes me smile. I missed her.

I spent New Year's Eve alone, by choice. I prayed and meditated and pretty much talked to God all night. In the morning I had a spectacular New Year's breakfast with two kindred spirits to look forward to. Kim and her daughter Bridget. I had never met Bridget before, but she is an avid follower of my blog and I recognize my childhood self in her. At 12 years old, she is already out to save the world with her colossal heart. And she will.

Bridget showed up with a large clear container stuffed to the brim with dollar bills and an abundance of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. She pushed it towards me across the table at Brother's Deli. ' This is for D's adoption.' she said quietly. Bridget had saved birthday money, Christmas money, and everything other bit of money that came her way, and handed it over to me. It was almost $90.How do you possibly say thank you for a heartfelt gift like that? I told her I couldn't take it, but I knew that was not an answer she would entertain. I thanked her while doing my best not to lose my composure in front of Salem's breakfast crowd. Stunned is a word that comes to mind. I was stunned by Bridget's compassion.

I've made a concerted effort these 24 hours to implement my many resolutions. Some of them never change year to year -- be swifter to love, make more haste to be kind -- but some are new and scary:

  • be present with my daughter in the activities she loves
  • find ways to help her want to go to church with me
  • set an alarm for both of us and get up regardless of how tired we are
  • walk the dogs twice daily regardless of the weather

We did all four of these in the past 24 hours. It felt good. I have other personal resolutions, but it feels wrong to share them here. They are between me and God. But I can share some of the things I've chosen to focus my attention on in 2011. After prayer, I chose a saint at random to be my patron saint for this year. I got Saint John of Kanty. He will teach me what he knows this year, God willing. I also chose a quote from the Bible at random, after prayer, and got this one from 1 Corinthians.

'Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.'

I'd say that's pretty appropriate given what Nastia and I have endured these past few years. I continue to bear, believe, hope and endure all things, and this is only through love that it is possible.

If I get my computer to work, I'll add the photos in later. Happy New Year, everyone. I hope 2011 brings you every blessing and great peace.


  1. Glad your home is back to normal and you are not alone. Good luck with the computer.

  2. Anonymous7:44 PM

    Your right! I would have said you need to take it, and if you still insisted that I kept it I would have mailed it to you! lol

  3. Happy New Year Keri! :)
    Those are excellent New Year's resolutions.

    We are going to memorize more scripture this year.
    Last year, we read our scripture, but only memorized 1 chapter.
    This year, we are going to start with the Book of Philippians. It is a smaller epistle and full of wonderful theological truth.... you could surmise the book as being about joy through suffering.

    I can't wait to see you new pictures, and see what/who 2011 will bring into your life!

  4. Happy New Year!

    Oh, may you feel the continued outpouring of God's mercy and grace this year!



  5. Hi Keri, I privately commented on a post not too long ago and I wondered if I offended you somehow. I'm sorry if I did. God bless you this new year. You are making BIG changes in the world letting God's love shine through you in so many ways.

  6. Om my goodness Kelley, no! I'll have to go back and find it! I have pretty severe attention issues if you havent noticed. Have one of the worst cases of ADD that the halowell Center had ever seen..lol! so I often lose track of emails, calls, messages and simply forget them altogether. i try my HARDEST to attend to thinkgs immediately so that doesnt happen, but with all the projects I have going on, its pretty easy. Good thing ADD comes with a whole host of POSITIVE effects, too!

    I am SO sorry if I never responded! I'll go back and track it down and respond!

    love to you! And apologies!!

  7. About Nastia finding ways to help her want to go to church with you - some teenagers get more involved in church through music. I know that at my church, the Wednesday evening offerings for classes, activities, etc., are kind of slim for teenagers, and one teenage son of friends of mine recently became part of the bell choir. He goes to the bell choir practices and has enjoyed it. Does Nastia play an instrument? Might there be a teenage band that could get put together at your church? Does she sing? Might she enjoy choir?

    One friend of mine recently helped out at our church's St. Nicholas service by organizing a scavenger hunt for the children, where they had to find all the angels depicted in the stain glass windows and other decorations within the church. Is she into art or architecture? Is there some aspect of your church she could get more interested in, become the expert on?

    My daughter enjoys helping me one Saturday morning per month doing the breakfast prep for our church's Sunday morning homeless breakfast. We collate the styrofoam trays, napkins, forks, salt, pepper, wet-wipe, and jelly (300 trays' worth), and we help with cracking 300 eggs and laying out 17 trays of bacon on big trays with parchment paper on them. We like it best, of course, when there are other families there to help too and the kids can play some too. I like to do it because it has become a prayer practice for me - one silent wordless prayer per napkin, egg, etc., for the people who will receive this.

    I hope she'll find something at your church that she will be able to claim as her own. It's been a huge blessing to me that I have found a real community in my church.

    About Dasha - I miss her, too, just from your posts! But I am glad to hear that there will be a family for her (knock wood).

    And I don't stop thinking about Anya and Daniel. Those of us who have met our children and then had to wait to go get them totally understand how it's hard to think of anything else in the meantime.

  8. I keep forgetting about your ADD. Next time I will call again instead of assuming you got busy with Nastia back at home. I hope this is your best year yet!


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