Life is a series of closed doors and open windows. And open doors and closed windows.
Then, there are doors that you thought were open that shut abruptly in your face.
On the other hand, doors you thought were locked can be surprisingly easy to kick open.
Why write this?
In a desire to avoid a traditional Christmas letter, I still want to look over the year thoughtfully and learn the lessons I’ve been given. That’s what you do when you are fifty-plus. You learn that it’s worthwhile to spend 30 minutes reflecting, so that you can avoid months of making the same mistakes.
And occasionally, a tightly closed window will fall open, unhinged, enrapturing your soul.
Or to be more honest, if I don’t write it down, I will forget.
January 2018 began with some confusion and a closed door. It brought the opportunity for us, as imperfect parents, to seek wisdom from the Wisdom Giver and use it to give sage advice. It’s a humbling tightrope to tiptoe upon, but asking, seeking, knocking and walking in faith will always get you to the destination God has for you.
When a door slams, the breeze it creates can heal and cause growth.
June brought another graduation, which means pasta and purple-frosted sheet cake. I leafed through old photos, amazed at how God closes precious doors at the same time He offers those looming, open windows. They lead to who-knows-where and it’s a little scary. But He is holding our hand as we slide our way through them.
Summer 2018 days were traditional and new at the same time:
- Swimming lessons in a different pool.
- Beach trips to new local shores.
- New project ideas at the same old county fair.
The garden was stingy with tomatoes, but generous in zinnias, bees and butterflies.
Then came a wide open window, a chance to see an old friend after many years. That meeting was unexpected & sweet.
Summer ushered us gently into fall, so we basked in apple-bounty and we crafted on a shoestring. New doors opened for my husband and his job shook up our schedule, but it also gifted us with new stories and opportunities.
In November we celebrated Turkey Bowl #19. My husband is almost 60 and runs around a football field with such agility that his fellow amateur athletes think he’s 35. I will continue to thank God for my husband’s good health, even as I get out the Tiger Balm and Epsom salts.
And shortly after we hosted new friends for Thanksgiving, I looked at my kitchen with fresh eyes:
We have lived here for 20 years. It’s time to give this place a face lift.
- I am shutting the proverbial door on those faded chicken curtains and poultry art in general.
- I am ready to toss threadbare towels and lose that bright yellow bathroom.
(These are the types of Home Decorating Mission Statements that I hope will propel me through 2019.)
So, paint chips have been secured, walls stripped bare of rooster paraphernalia and Pinterest has been feverishly scanned. I hope next year’s recap will include some home decor success stories.
Still in 2018, we have a son who is following an idea, a dream, a possibility. It’s progressing; it’s full of many little steps. And if — after all the steps — this son finds a closed door, it will be okay. The hallway he walked down has been worth it.
Sometimes a closed door gives you the oomph to scale a ladder and pry open a window, where you find something better.
And sometimes, you just pivot, re-trace your steps, turn the corner and look for another inviting door to try.
Oh, I forgot the books.
Books and audiobooks (new & old favorites) inspired and entertained us in 2018:
In 2018, we saw new babies born and sick marriages die. People entered our lives and our church, and people exited. A dear family moved miles away and started a new chapter and we are happy for their open window…but it looks a little like a closed door on our side.
And still in 2018, our peers became in-laws and grandparents and we were reminded that we are all getting older. This happens slowly–and never in our hearts — but always in the mirror.
Well, I’ll end here for now — unless I God opens a window in my brain and reminds me of something important I forgot.
© Lisa M. Luciano
white infinity doors:Filip Kominik
colored locker doors:moren hsu
blue windows:Paul Fleury