ImageHere I sit on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2011. The year has been long and yet fast as a blur! Under the mosquito net at the Royal Tree Lodge Villa, in Maun, Botswana, I have come to have some time alone. The first exercise was reflection over the year, and that is another piece altogether. While listening to worship by Michael W. Smith, I heard Cleo, my fearless Jack Russel, in some kind of fight. Looks like it was a Genet or a Mongoose. Do Mongoose’s climb trees? Either way, she has 2 chunks of flesh missing now against her beautiful white and accents of brown coat. I managed to clean her up good though and now she is looking so solemn. I only brought her because she looked so sad as I was leaving and she recently lost her real mom, Linda, who has just retired from the field. I also felt like I could brave the Villa alone, far from the main lodge and close to the river, if she was with me “to protect me”.

Today I got completely overwhelmed with life. As a woman, I am what I consider to be-at least most of the time-privileged- to be a wife, a mom, a minister, and a myriad of other titles that have been bestowed upon me. Heck, this year I even received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity! Well, titles aside, it is a day of serious self evaluation before God. Sometimes life is just too hard! Wonderful are the days when everything works and my children are perfect and my husband heaps loads of niceties upon me. But this day wasn’t one of them.

So I lost my cool with dishes, laundry, no water on our property for days and lazy children who wouldn’t go fetch water out of the pool. So I got in the car and drove to a nearby graveyard. Yep, that will put life in perspective! I walked for what seemed hours looking for the grave of a young lady we dearly loved and who was in an accident a few years ago. Turns out I was at the wrong graveyard, but the exercise did have the desired impact.

All the months of going “full speed ahead” caught up with me. The 38 activities planned for the 31 days in December have now passed, well, almost. 3 ½ hours to go. Who ever had the idea of putting Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve on a Saturday night? I remember 7 years ago like it was yesterday. And here we are again. I have dreaded it all month. Look, I love church, don’t get me wrong. Its just that its nice when we can celebrate our holidays with our families at home. Chill, bake, watch movies, play games. So tonight, on the eve of the biggest day of the year, I am in a room, in a house, on a game lodge, alone, just me and my dog, while the rest of the family, including my dear mother-in-law, are going to be spiritual and at 10 pm to midnight be in church to welcome the new year in. Then they will get up tomorrow morning and go to church again. I still haven’t made up my mind if I will throw on some makeup and rush over there through the bush in my Jeep. Probably not, but at least the thought is there.

I didn’t get into this state of mind overnight and I guess I won’t get out of it so quick either. But the point is, sometimes we just have to take a “time out”. I am having my “time out” with God. I will let you know how it goes.

Happy New Year!