The last day of 2022 dawned warm and clear on the island. I snuck out to my writing hut camper for a couple of hours this morning for some quiet reflection time, and I didn’t even need to plug the heater in! My layers of wool and hot cup of Christmas Morning tea kept me quite comfortable.
As I look back on the year that was, I am thankful for how all things worked together to bring growth and connection in my life – the good, the bad, and the beautiful.
I went into 2022 wanting to make the year I turned forty a meaningful one. I knew I wanted eyes for glory. I knew I wanted to invest in my family. And I knew I wanted to invest in my writing life and community.
The year came with its fair share of challenges, including concussion setbacks, exhaustion, discouragement, and trying to make sense of a world where war was raging in new ways. I couldn’t always see the glory, or the way forward. But despite the days when my vision felt dark and strained, I know the Light never left me.
I began vision therapy back in March, a continuation of the physiotherapy work I had been doing for about a year already, to retrain and strengthen my eyes and eye-brain connection. It was a challenge to my system, but has proved fruitful, and I’m so thankful for the progress I’ve made. I’ve been able to enjoy reading actual printed books again!! I was able to take on much more visual work this year with reading and writing – at times I wondered if it was too much. I’ve made these hazel eyes work hard, but they’ve rewarded me in many ways.
I’m so grateful for the work I’ve been able to do in my writing life this year! I’m honoured to have written with and for so many great individuals and groups. Highlights include:
- Participation in the Leslie Leyland Fields writing community
- Editing two story anthologies for the Leslie Leyland Fields community
- An Advent article for the PAOC’s testimony magazine
- Reworking my Abraham’s Advent devotional for the One Church community in Toronto
- A series of Advent poetry for The Good Samaritan Society
When I think of the limitations I’ve lived with over the last two years, this list feels just a little miraculous! I’m excited to see where my writing life will take me in 2023.
(And I can’t forget the creation of my own writing space this year – a fifty year old mouse-infested camper I poured my time and tears and travail into. It has been transformed into a sweet, sacred space which has housed dear ones who came to visit this year and is a little sanctuary for my thoughts and words. It is a dream come true!)
Thank you to each of you who have connected with me in some way – reading posts, commenting, sending emails, sharing stories, and generally cheering me on. This connection is a beautiful thing, and I hope this online space continues to serve and encourage you!
If there’s something you’d like to read here on Rise Heart in 2023, a challenge you are facing, a prayer request, a question, or anything else you’d like to chat about as we live out this resurrection life we’ve been given, reply to this email and let me know!
That’s all for 2022 – I’d love to leave you with a blessing as we cross the threshold of a new year:
Be blessed to bring the good, the bad, and the beautiful
of the year that’s past
into the hands of the timeless One –
the Giver of all good things,
the Healer of your brokenness,
the true Beauty ever ancient, ever new.
Be blessed to know Him whose presence
renews our hearts,
redeems our times,
and re-sources our life in the depths of his freshness.
Happy New Year!
S. D. G.