what a year can do…

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time for recaps and resolutions, reflection and do-overs. Saying goodbye to 2011 and hello to the new year, to new opportunities, to the chance to try, try again.

Today is also the day I turn 28. Which implies in some small way, with 2012 on the next page, I am also given the opportunity to shed 27 and all that it was and begin fresh with the new year.

South Dakota photography

A few days before today 28 years ago.

South Dakota photography

2012 - the year of makeup, hair brushing?? Anything is possible!

Many things have taken place in 2011; the good with the bad. Some of those things we writers choose to share on the blogosphere… and some with only our friends down the road over some coffee and tears.

South Dakota photography

January 2011

I joked this morning as I awoke to waffles made by Country Man, that this is a new year, a new me. I pinched the extra skin on my sides that high school me would have fallen over dead upon seeing, and said goodbye to these! He just smiled, of course, because he will be happy either way. Love is funny like that.

South Dakota photography

February 2011

South Dakota photography

March 2011

If I had to sum up 2011, I would say it was the year of faith testing. The year where I clung hard, painfully so, asked the tough questions, prayed with a flooded heart of broken determination and relentless grit. Faith. Only this old home knows the behind-the-scenes of this true tale.
And that man.

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April 2011 - calving season

South Dakota photography

April 2011 - calving season

2011 has been a year of wounded souls, depleted spirits, but amazing, amazing grace. Grace not only for myself, but for others. I learned, am learning, that as a human race we like to think we know a lot by what we see, but truly, we have no, none, zero, nth clue about a person’s story. We have to listen. We have to give people a chance. A second. A third. A thousandth.

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May 2011

South Dakota photography

June 2011

I can say 2011 has been a year of “knowing”, to realizing I have not a clue about much in life. About people. About God’s people. I learned I am thankful I am not God, that my fellow man is not God. I know a few of the beautiful people who read this blog may have qualms with this talk, but can I encourage you to keep seeking this thing called faith? With me?

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July 2011

South Dakota photography

July 2011

South Dakota photography

July 2011

2011 has been a year of walking uncertain through a dark, large room, with small hands flailing in front. At first these hands searched desperately, scratching for walls and through the air for some support to rely on. But soon they quieted to my side, surrendered, realizing no crutch would save them. It was like a Deadwood show down; Faith and I. Either I turned to face it, or I’d have to run.
I won’t run…

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August 2011 - garden

South Dakota photography

September 2011

It’s a strange thing how much beauty can be found living along side darkness…

How love can flourish amidst uncertainty…

How glory can dwell among disaster.

South Dakota old house

a week of heavy rains (unlived in house)

South Dakota photography

October 2011

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November 2011

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October 2011

2011… a year to be reckoned with. No matter what 2012 brings, we can do this. There will be nuggets of beauty and mountains of ugly along the way, but we can embrace it.

South Dakota photography

December 2011

South Dakota photography

December 2011

May 2012 be a year of simpler times, ceaseless wonder, and a multitude of gratitude.

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51 thoughts on “what a year can do…

  1. First of all, Happy Happy Birthday! I hope today is filled with a lot of love and laughter. Twenty-eight was a good year for me and it will be for you as well.

    Second, you’re an incredible writer. I really have enjoyed getting to see bits and pieces of who you are and even though we live many states apart, often I feel like I know you in some way and I believe that is because of your ability to write from your heart. Thank you.

    Cheers,

    Amanda @ Bullfrogs and Bulldogs

  2. Like I said…you and I have a few things in common. Happy 28th Birthday fellow country girl! I just celebrated 29 yesterday. What a great time for you to have a birthday hand in hand with a bright new year. I wish you all the best in finding your balance and simplicity with this new year and your 28th year.

    take care
    Sarah @ butterflyacres

  3. Happy Birthday! I so enjoy your writing. You have a beautiful way with words. Here is a favorite quote that I have posted in my computer and I will share it with you. “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

  4. Happy Birthday! I always appreciate a little talk about faith now and then. I left Christianity to be a loosely self described pagan and ten years of carefree bliss later, I left that path to study History. Having developed a caution about discussing religion with others be they strangers or my own family, I can appreciate a simple discussion of faith, which is often necessary in keeping oneself going from day to day. Love reading your blog. Thanks for the warm cup of coffee or tea this morning shared with a blogging neighbor from down the road. >’.'<

  5. Hi! Happy Birthday! This was very, very nice. I read your blog some weeks ago, and here I am again and I think I’ll follow you. You have a very sweet spirit and it comes across in your writing. 2011 was a trying year for us too, but the Lord is so wonderful and powerful. I love your photos.
    Have a PEACEFUL birthday and new year!

  6. Well Happy Birthday, I too reached what I thought was a milestone this week I turned 49! I never minded any other Birthdays…even 40..BUT 49 – I am very nearly 1/2 a century old! Why am I scared? Unsure? Insecure? I suppose because there really is no such thing as complete security, (and even if there was what fun would life be.) I came face to face with my own mortality. I am glad for faith.
    I think. rather than running circles around the difficulties in our lives, why not face them with our complete confidence and meet the challenge. Now isn’t that what makes life’s journey exciting anyway? We create the outcome of every situation in our lives, and it all starts with our FAITH! ( hope this makes sense)

    “Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.” ( I don’t know who said this but, I bet it was someone great! 😉

    Happy New Year!
    Jess

  7. Beautiful sentiments and photos. Happy Birthday! Happy New Year!
    May you and Country Man have a peaceful and joyful celebration of your faith.

  8. Feliz Cumpleanos from North Carolina! Your post made me thoughtful regarding my own year of revelations and challenges…the loss of a dear friend, my mother’s health issues, being laid off, on being a grandmother and working on a charity golf tournament with my husband…all these things made 2011 remarkable and stretched me as a person. You are right, no matter how long we live, how well we know someone, we never really know someone and that walk of faith you speak of…that gets you through it all. Best of luck in 2012, and God Bless.

  9. Another moving and poetic post from you, my dear. I am sorry for the trials of the year gone by, but it’s clear you have been refined, not defeated, by the fire. Your beauty, which needs none of the aforementioned makeup or hair brushing, being already so fine on the outside, continues to grow inside you as is evidenced by your thoughtful and heartwarming posts. Thank you for sharing yourself and your life with us so generously. And may you and the Country Man have a peaceful, joyful 2012 all through!

  10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You have such a sweet touch and honest purity in your blog, it’s no wonder so many different kinds of writers and people are drawn to you. I wish you all the best in 2012 .. and may your faith lead you to wonderful abundance & even more love!

  11. Happy (belated) birthday to you! It seems that, at such a young age, you have already gathered a lot of life experiences, and many of the things you’ve said in this post give me the notion you got the best from those hard times especially. Everthing that makes us kinder towards ourselves and others makes us better persons overall, and the unhappy experiences are the shortcut to this probably most important learning experiences.

    I hope 2012 will be happier and more peaceful for you – but now that you know what you can handle, you’ll be able to get along with whatever may come. All the best to you in this new (life) year! 🙂

  12. First time to your blog…I’m new to wordpress. Really enjoyed reading your year wrap up…very poignantly written. And I fully am with you in the journey of faith. All the best for 2012!

    🙂
    Kate
    thissideofeden.wordpress.com

  13. Happy Birthday. I think your reflections here are lovely and so appropriate for a new year. It seems that as we get older we don’t necessarily have more answers but we get more comfortable with the questions.

  14. I have similar feelings about 2011 and your perspective is one I have trouble adopting for myself but desperately need. Thank you for writing it.
    “May 2012 be a year of simpler times, ceaseless wonder, and a multitude of gratitude.” – HEAR HEAR! 🙂

  15. Aah – to be 28 again. I was a new mother. Now, I’m 49, and another new chapter is blooming. But this time is solely for me. I wish you a happy birthday, joyful new year, and all of the peace, love and harmony you can hold for the entire year! Enjoy.

  16. Pingback: no more rain dancing for me | The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife

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