is one of the hardest lessons to learn.
I thought I would end 2011 with a bang. It was my first holiday season with an online shop, and I was so grateful for all my sweet customers! It had been a great year with so many wonderful experiences, new friendships, and great opportunities. Perhaps it was too much wishful thinking to go out with a bang. So instead, I'm ending the year extremely humbled and started 2012 full of gratitude.
In the beginning of December my heat started to act up and eventually went out. I spent a few days sitting by a space heater while we waited to get the heater fixed. And I was so relived when the repairman came out and fixed it so that I could stop freezing during the day. However, when I returned later that evening, my entire house had filled up with smoke. I remember thinking.....am I prepared to lose all my possessions? My head was screaming no, but my heart was whispering you were made for another world. And thankfully, I experienced some smoke damage to clothes and furinture, I did not lose my house. But it was a wake up call for sure.
My sweet friend Lauren once said....
"if it weren't for the pain, I wouldn't have this joy."
I am reminded that even in our deepest most painful experiences that joy often follows. At some point, we are able to look back and glimpse a tiny bit of hope and joy in the experience.
In December, I gave away 25 gifts to 25 strangers. While I didn't blog through the entire experience, I can say without a doubt it changed me. It reached so far down into my soul and reminded me just how deeply I am blessed. As 2012 is officially underway, I want to live this year differently. I want to live a life that says, "I have enough". And out of that abundance, I want to give, and give until it hurts.