The sun touched the tips of the mountains across the valley this morning as I was tidying up the kitchen. The thought occurred to me that this was the last time I would see that this year.

I felt such gratitude for endings and beginnings. Endings allow me to find closure - triumphant, grateful closure when things have gone well, and submissive, peaceful closure when the outcome was less than what I’d hoped for. The phrase from Anne of Green Gables always gives me renewed hope:  “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it…”

If I’ve done less than my best, I can close the day, be glad it’s over, and determine to do better the next.

This year I’ve experienced so many blessings - the love of a truly good man, the affection of nine wonderful children, new grandbabies born into the family, blessings of increased health and improved employment for loved ones, reunions with old friends, the support of a wonderful extended family, and, most of all, the comfort and guidance offered by a loving Heavenly Father and the forgiveness and lifting hand of our Savior. 

On this last day of the year, my heart is turning to the future. I’ve been told that setting goals for the New Year is just setting myself up for failure. Yes, it’s true that I have rarely reached every goal I set in January. But as I learn more about life and about myself, and about the true purpose of life, I get better at setting goals that are meaningful and helpful to me and to my unique circumstances in life. I look forward to the progress I know will come as I pursue them - whether I actually reach them or not.

I prefer to think of it as reaching for the stars. The stretching that is required opens me to new experiences and to a greater understanding of others, which I greatly need.

I love new beginnings! I‘m looking forward to the first dawn of 2015, and to every dawn after that. Another Anne of Green Gables quote sums up what I’m feeling today:

“Dear old world’, she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”

May you be reminded of all the blessings that came your way in 2014, and may you look forward with hope for the good to come in 2015.

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