Today is the day of resolutions, which I never make.
Because, as I've said before, it seems to me that all the worst things have happened regardless of my best efforts, and all the best things have happened when I just could not do one thing more to make it right.
That doesn't feel like helplessness or hopelessness to me.
It feels like acceptance.
I have very little control, and experience has taught me that's actually a good thing, because God is God, and I am not.
I discovered, on this final day of 2016, that I can do something new: Janu Sirsasana.
That's seated head-to-knee yoga posture. Level of difficulty: beginner. Not a big deal. Unless you're 50 years old and partially fossilized from disuse, such as yours truly.
Back in August when I started practicing yoga, and we went to Janu Sirsasana, I could only gaze down at my knee, with love and longing, from a very great distance.
But this morning, down I breathed, and to my extreme shock and amazement, my forehead went right to my knee.
I didn't plan to end 2016 with this accomplishment. In fact, a year ago, yoga had never crossed my mind as a thing to do.
But then 2016 happened, and by midsummer, it was clear I needed to ramp up my self-care plan, and I was willing to try any crazy new thing, which brought me to yoga and my moment of happiness today.
And I realize this: today's little gift of Janu Sirsasana would never have happened without the brokenness that forced me to the mat. I would never have done yoga without the motivation of desperation.
Now. This is not a handy-dandy method of rationalizing away pain. It's not "worth it" that the terrible pain of things like my friend's ALS made me desperate enough to try yoga.
It is, however, a gift out of the darkness.
Which, I think, is what Love gives us: a little light, to help us find our way forward.
When I look forward from today, when I think about 2017, when I try to figure out what to do with the big mess of the world, it seems to me that many times all I can do is take back little moments of beauty and wonder and joy from the darkness and sorrow.
In the face of fear and distress and anger, light a little candle of Love.
Be still and know.
Maybe touch my nose to my knee.
Most of the time, lighting a little Love-candle sounds like not enough.
It sounds too simple.
Haven't we just been through Christmas?
Haven't we just learned that the best things do look simple and small and helpless and weak?
Shouldn't that teach us something about the simple, small things?
Shouldn't that foster gratitude for all the gifts that surround and surprise us?
Our Number 3 Child is a senior at Texas A&M this year.
In contrast to the Bruner family, Aggieland is awash in tradition. There are so many traditions that you have to go to a week-long camp before your freshman year to learn about them. There are class yells and whoops and probably secret handshakes and I don't know what all.
True confession: I've been a pretty bad Aggie Mom. I have no bumper stickers, no sweatshirts.
One thing I have picked up on, though, is #BTHO. It means Beat The Hell Out. You can #BTHO another football team obviously, but you can also #BTHO finals or job interviews or anything else that needs #BTHOing.
I've decided to adapt #BTHO for 2017.
I'm not going to #BTHO, though. (Even though 2017 is shaping up to be something that does need #BTHOing.)
No, I'm not going to #BTHO.
I'm going to #LTHO: Love The Hell Out.
The truth I know is this:
We can control so very little.
Sometimes we just can't #BTHO, no matter how hard we try.
And yet we can Love.
Love may look simple and small and helpless and weak.
But those of us who have experienced it know this to be true:
Love is the One True Thing.
Love brings us peace to breathe and rest and be still and know.
Love gives us courage to stand with the vulnerable and to serve the suffering.
Love opens our hearts to our neighbors, and even our enemies.
When everything else has burned up and turned to dust,
Love never fails.
We are born from Love.
We are returning to Love.
Every day, of every year, we are living and moving and having our being in Love.