And it was just like last year, but different. The wind howled outside our windows, rain fell hard and then stopped only to start again. The nighttime sky was black with orange leaves flying fast. It was mild for late October. Inside there was sass and silliness- questionable dancing skills and intense pumpkin carving. There was ease.

I have no idea what I’m doing. I am living by heart. If I think too hard on the days ahead and those behind me, I become lost in a hard haze of expectations; I fall quickly into a fearful fit of worry. One day at a time. Focused.

It was just like last year, but different. I was calmer this year. I watched. I was a witness to life unfolding as it will. I did what needed to be done. I laughed, I cooked, I dried tears, I cleaned. I held him close, I breathed.

And for a moment I thought of all the things that brought us here- together. I thought of the messy, heart-wrenching perfection of it all. I thought of how much it forced my heart to expand, my mind to open. I thought of each person in our house and how I loved them. While the wind howled outside our windows, while the rain fell hard- with a late evening sky of black and leaves flying fast, I loved them.

The people I love and respect most in this world, the ones whose words I hold closest to my heart, are the ones who have seen hell and know that heaven still exists. Life is messy. I know this. I still resist at times, but I know it to be true. So I do my best. I put Love first.

Between this year and last lay a lot of letting go. Less expectation, more love. Less control, more surrender. Less resistance, more acceptance.

Less Danielle, more God.

Amen.

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