Throughout 2011, my mom said a phrase to me over and over again: "And wipe your feet on your way out the door."
It's a silly phrase, really. Per our Korean tradition, our girls wipe their feet and take off their shoes when they come into our home. On today's rainy Sunday morning, I watched person after person wipe their feet on the large black floor mats, put their umbrellas into the plastic bags that were available, shake the rain out of their hair, and walk into the church. My daughter often reminds me when we walk into a store, "Please be sweet and wipe your feet."
But... Who wipes their feet on their way out of a place?
I do. That's who.
Difficult things happened in 2011. Wonderful things happened too.
I got fired.
I lost friendships.
I lost hope.
I lost perspective.
I struggled through a bout of depression.
I sent my first child to kindergarten.
I served my husband after his painful knee injury.
I gained new friends.
I continued to mourn the loss of old friends.
I served at church.
I fell in love with my church.
I walked through healing and restoration.
I gained weight.
I gained knowledge.
I gained self-forgiveness.
I gained perspective.
I gained a dog.
I learned what I really want from life.
I learned that what I want doesn't matter nearly as much as what I'm willing to work for.
I learned to hope.
There are lessons that I hope to pick up and carry with me as I leave the year 2011.
Lessons about forgiveness.
About being planted in God's house.
About accepting what is.
About loving what isn't.
About the mark of a true friend.
About emotional boundaries.
But there are things I have walked through in 2011 that should be left schmeared on its doormat as I leave. Things that should be recognized as the [enter expletive here] that it is.
Lies that I believed about myself.
Cruel words - from my own lips and the lips of others.
Leased out mental space.
Those things will have no place in 2012. They have taken up enough of my time and energy.
So if you'll pardon my mom's silly phrase, I'm excited - and deliberate - when I say: I'm wiping my feet on the way out the door.