1:36 PM

I woke up this morning not understanding much, so I decided to write. As I start to type, my Kony 2012 bracelet is dangling from my left wrist. That little piece of red string has slowly disintegrated to a musty pink and there is barely any cord left to keep it tied to me. I could not expect much more from it, considering what it has been through in the past 365 days. I, like my bracelet, started this year out a bright red. What does that even mean? Taylor Swift says "loving him (whoever he might be) was red". I do not know why I'm quoting Taylor Swift but sometimes she makes sense. Red is exciting, anxious, ready & full.

I know what it is to be red, and I know what it is to fade. Fading isn't bad, it is still red, just with a little bit more wisdom and experience. I don't know if you could tell, but 2012 rocked my entire world, ripped me apart, put me back together, all those words I've been writing and trying to write these past months. I took some time this morning to count my losses and my gains.

Here is what I have lost: my drivers license (don't worry, I replaced it), my desire to eat bagels, my debit card (don't worry, I cancelled it), my favorite ring, and a little bit of faith,

Here is what I have gained: 64 housemates, 23 more sisters, 2 more brothers, a kombucha addiction, 38 states, 2 cross country road trips, a case of PTSD, a little more faith and a really incredible Ben Howard CD.

I learned somewhere that if your gains outweigh your losses you have profited. And I believe that I have. Because drivers licenses, rings, debit cards, they don't matter when I look at the people and experiences that have found me this year. I'm not even ashamed that I lost a little bit of my faith because I know tests and trials produce steadfastness (James 1:2-4) and that is what I desire. What 2012 gave to me, more than anything else, was an addicting potential. A knowledge that to do more, be more, love more is not an impossible task. Potential is what is driving me into 2013. Potential is hope because it means there is always something to work towards, to look forward to.

It is time for me to take off my bracelet and I am okay with that. And although, I don't believe in hoarding, I'm going to keep that bracelet. Not anywhere in sight. I'm going to bury it deep in a pile somewhere so that someday when I come across it and my children or my husband want to know why a little piece of string could mean so much, I'm going to tell them this:
“I wish you could have been there for the sun & the rain & the long, hard hills. For the sound of a thousand conversations scattered along the road. For the people laughing & crying & remembering at the end. But, mainly, I wish you could have been there." 
 -Brian Andreas
And when they don't understand, I'll just pray that someday they'll have their own sacred experiences that nobody will be able to understand but themselves. That's my 2012, folks.

My friends in New Zealand, who are already a day ahead of us, have informed me that they are still here. So I'm afraid friends, that we can not stop 2013. Here's hoping that it starts you off fire-engine red, and that you end up a little faded but farther than where you started.

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