2016 was a beating that rarely took a breather. Many have wished us a brighter yet mercifully duller 2017. We would welcome such a thing, if it exists. Last night we gathered friends in our home. We ate and laughed, listened and drank, and toasted a dear friend's birthday.

A few of us talked late into the morning of what we're looking forward to in 2017. On my turn, I rambled on a bit. These days I feel mostly undone, rarely at home in myself or clear. Trauma does that. To be honest, there's a whole lot of wreckage in my life from the past few years. Physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, relational. I hope 2017 yields a path to healing. I hope 2017 yields. Mercy. Uncle. Lets us up for air. I hope. A part of me still believes that hope does not disappoint. That it all gets shaken up for some purpose of good. Even if it's being the storyteller, the truthbooker, the one who lives to tell and pass on hope. And I'm still standing.

When asked, "What are you looking forward to?", the clearest thing for me was I don't want to miss moments with Hollis and Bea. It's so fleeting, this season. The days are long but the years are short. I hope I feel more like myself this year so I can be present with the kids, and they can feel me take up that space as a safe, full of love mama.

Today I've read a number of moving, empowering declarations about 2017 (Sheri Guyse & Rebecca Ann Loebe really spoke to me.) I've wanted to join in yet didn't have the words or clarity or courage. But tonight as I tucked Bea in, I got to witness her read a book for the first time ever. She actually sounded out and sight read three little books. I won't lie, it was like bearing witness to a sacred rite of passage. Some sort of one syllable word holiness. I made David come in so he could be a part. Our daughter can read. The world awaits before her full of knowledge and courage and heartbreak and responsibility and wonder. I'm crying just thinking about it. I told her how big of a deal it is, reading, literacy. That it's a privilege some little girls are never given. We beamed at her with delight and awed at all she doesn't even yet know to dream.

So, if you ask me, I'm fairly certain Beatrice reading for the first time on January 1st is no coincidence. Bring it, 2017.