Happy New Year! My tree is already packed up and put away, but I snapped these photos of it to share with you. The crowns were entirely my three-year-old daughter's idea--for Jesus: King of kings, Prince of Peace and Lion of Judah. I cut them out of posterboard but she and her little sister decorated them all by themselves. Actually, they decorated the whole tree with very little supervision from me!
The crowns will be, I think, a new tradition. They are just so funky and fun! It was my favorite tree of all-time, even though half of the lights were burned out from the very start. I kept saying I was going to get new ones, but it turned out to be a little test of my anti-perfectionism this year to get through the season with a half-lit tree and loving the sweetness of it.
Looking at them today, these funky paper crowns got me thinking about what I'd like the "crowning" adornment of this year to be. Not some sort of goal, dream or achievement. I don't like making official resolutions--I already put to much pressure on myself as it is. But my word-of-the-year for 2012 was laugh, and it honestly did help get me through some really rough patches.
As 2012 came to a close, I began to feel the words slow-dance being pressed into my heart for 2013. I do have lots of hope for this year and it's easy for me to start feeling overwhelmed. What I want to do is gently sway in the beautiful rhythms of life, whether it be ebb or flow. I want to take in every moment and feel my Father smiling down on me.
These three crowns make me think of faith, hope and love, and that it all comes down to love, really. To falling in love, over and over and over again with Life, with the One who created it and sustains it. And in those moments of frustration and destitution when we fall out of love with life and with God--because we all know those moments are real--to open our hearts and live in God's love for us anyway, even in the midst of our disbelief.
There is comfort in knowing that Love is still the greatest. Love always wins, even when up against lack of Faith and loss of Hope (1 Corinthians 13:13). (Wow, look at that number! 1 Corinthians 13:13. This really is the message to live in 2013! I didn't remember it until I looked it up this very moment.)