I’m a sappy head.
Which is why I established a family tradition of praying in the New Year on the beach when we were just newly weds. We’ve always lived (or been) close to the shore on New Years. Delaware. Rhode Island. Tanzania. And it just makes my sappy heart feel all warm and fuzzy to stand before the powerful vastness of the ocean and dedicate our lives anew to the One who created it all!
Also, it’s fun the heckle the crazies who brave hypothermia every New Year!!! There were three of them on our little rinky dink beach this year.
Jonathan says, “Hey, who wants to take a dip with those crazy people?!”
The two big kids immediately shout “NO WAY!”
Trevy (true to form) shouts, “MEEEEE!”
Now for a little back story.
It also happens that there is snow on the ground this year. And for the first time in as long as we can remember we felt like we could actually take the kiddos sledding. It was to be their maiden voyage! I just knew Trevy would love it. (I couldn’t have been more wrong) And it’s a rite of passage as New Englanders!
So away we went. To find Potato Hill.
Which we discovered is HUGE! And very crowded!
Trevy was terrified.
Toby just slightly less so.
Fearless Bristel had the time of her life!
But wouldn’t you know it…the last trip down the hill was drama laden. Because I’m convinced our family is cursed!!!!
Trevy and I were freezing our patooties off at the top of the hill. His cheeks may have been frozen into a frowny face. He was NOT a fan of sledding or watching those who were. But I wanted to watch them go for the last time. So there we stood, waiting for them to stop lolly gagging at the bottom and get the heck up here so we could pile in the van and go. I had NO idea what they were doing. Jonathan, Bristel and Toby were on all fours…rooting around in the snow. I thought one of the kids must have had an iPod in their pocket. I wish! Nope. Turns out they were looking for half a tooth. Half of a front tooth. Half of Tobin’s permanent front tooth!!!!!
So fast forward to our New Year’s prayer moment several hours and lots of emotional upheaval later.
We park the toasty van in view of the waves.
Jonathan and I have a lot on our hearts and minds this year. It’s been a heavy year for us in many ways. Not a bad year. Just heavy.
Jonathan asks me to open the prayer…each of the kids taking their turn (except Trevy who was still nursing a grudge that we wouldn’t let him swim!) and Jonathan would wrap it up.
So I pray. I confess my heart wasn’t entirely in it. I was upset about Toby’s tooth. Upset about Trevy hating sledding. Upset about some financial issues. Upset about other drama. And my heart was just not as tender as I wished.
Bristel prayed sweetly.
Trevy said, “NO!”
And then came Toby’s prayer. Some days that boy drives me positively bonkers. Who knew boys could be moody?! But then some days…I have glimpses of the man he’s growing into…and it leaves me breathless. He is a beautiful. In the soul. His prayer was one of those moments. I don’t remember it verbatim but my favorite line by far was something like…
Lord, our family is tough. We can take a few hits and still get back up. I mean, I broke my tooth. But I know You don’t care about the outside. You want my heart to be what people see as beautiful. And Trevy. He’s been through so much and he still smiles. And that’s beautiful too.
The rest was lost on me because by that time I was a snotty weepy tender hearted mess.
Gosh, I love my family.
Even in the cursed drama laden moments.
These are my people.
The joys and loves of my life.
And even with broken teeth, missing brains, plus the run of the mill life drama…
I am feeling wonderfully blessed to call them mine.
And by the Grace of God we’ll make it through another year. Hopefully, with the rest of our teeth intact!!!!
But if not…I now know a dentist who can do a bang up job of creating a fake!