Happy flawed, imperfect New Year!

The holidays are like a magnifying glass. Whatever pain and conflict you are experiencing the rest of the year, it feels a million times greater during the holidays. If your life is full of joy and love, those feelings are amplified this time of year.

One of my favorite Christmas memories was when Andrew gave us all these graphic t-shirts, which hilariously match our interests and personalities. We all smiled and looked happy for a photo. But I’ve hesitated to post it because I don’t mean to give the impression that this is an accurate reflection of our whole life. As I look back at 2021, the loss, heartbreak and disappointed have felt magnified during this holiday season. My life has been far messier, complicated and challenging than I would like.

I wasn’t able to accomplish most of the goals I set for myself this year. But yesterday, I realized I still had a chance to mark one thing off my list. I decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted to watch all of the Marvel movies in chronological order. Only two movies — Infinity War and End Game — were standing in my way! Trivial as it sounds, I could at least finish this one thing!

Today I was thinking of our family standing in a row with many of us in our superhero shirts. After watching those two movies yesterday, I was reminded why we love these fictional characters so much. It’s all of their flaws. Their strained relationships. Their disappointment. Spiderman’s impetuous teen-age decision making. Thor’s beer belly. Iron Man’s sarcasm. Hawkeye’s deep depression. We love that despite all of their weaknesses, they are still trying to make a difference in the world.

So whatever your magnifying glass is telling you about your year, I just want to say congratulations on the baby steps. Good job getting out of bed, cooking dinner for your family or letting someone into your turn lane. Life isn’t always easy, happy or pretty. But I hope you can find something good to celebrate as you look back on 2021.

Happy New Year!

“Consider it pure joy, my friends, when you face trials of many kinds because you know the testing of your faith produces  perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

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