I stop, look at the calendar and shake my head in disbelief. Like a typical grown-up, I pause to ask myself "Where did the time go?"
Once again, the Earth and the sun successfully conspired, meaning another year takes its place in the halls of my past.
I look back on the year and I smile, not because the past 365 days went off without a hitch, but because I fell from grace so many times I have to laugh.
I could daydream about getting everything right next year, but who am I kidding? I am human. My plans won't all work out exactly as I want. There's a good chance I'll walk right when the Earth shifts left.
But I learned something in the past year. Detours sometimes lead to miracles.
Still, looking forward, the idea of New Year's resolutions inevitably comes to mind. I know better than to make a list and try to check things off. So, I turn to God in prayer.
I ask to move forward in my career, that I might use the gift of words to tell meaningful and powerful stories. I pray that my husband and I continue to grow deeper in love every day. I pray we can start a family and welcome a baby into our world, a child who will grow to learn the beauty and mystery of this imperfect life.
I pray I don't mess up too much.
I have typical resolutions, too, things I don't bother God about. I want to go jogging, then work up to running and eventually become one of those people who wakes up early to exercise.
I also want to learn to cook the countless recipes I have pulled out of magazines. And I want to look put together, less like a messy hodgepodge who mixes fashion do's and don'ts.
Still, there's a reason I don't pray for running shoes and an apron. I might not follow through. I don't want God investing too much on my self-improvement schemes.
After all, I hate to run. Those recipes started piling up five years ago. And I really don't care if my shoes match my purse.
Then again, each year winds up being full of surprises. So maybe I'll finish a marathon, or bake a pear tart.
Whatever the year brings, one thing is certain; the time will go by fast, and I'll wonder where it went.