2015 Hewitt Holiday Letter
Dear Family and Friends ~
I’m squeezing a Kleenex as I write this. Andrew and I just finished singing “Jingle Bells” together, and my heart just might explode. Christmas classics have a way of doing that to me. I know you know what I’m talking about.
Some of my favorite Christmas memories are from yearly family sing-alongs. Momma would play the bagpipes while Daddy harmonized on the kazoo. Sometimes Dawn would sing a capella. Love – the extra special, Christmas kind – would twinkle in our eyes, and we knew something magical was happening.
My dad has always reminded me of this piece of wisdom: “Wherever you go, there you are.” Singing “Jingle Bells” always seems to bring me back to it. Speaking of “bringing me back to it,” this has been such a year of full circle moments.
Early in the year, I decided to join Twitter to promote a local nonprofit, Switch. Little did I know, I would soon have 44 Twitter followers. Stepping into this level of influence took me back full circle to my run for sixth grade president at Gable Middle. The competition was serious – insurmountable obstacles were as far as the eye could see. But obstacle by obstacle, I overcame. When my name was announced as the winner while the results were given over the intercom, my entire band class erupted in applause and wild cheers. The road to the presidency was not easy, but the influence I gained among middle schoolers was worth the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the campaign. That day [the day I won the election] was entirely too sacred to photograph, but below is a picture of me from around that time.
Who would have ever thought that my Twitter influence would have brought back such a flood of precious memories?!
Another full circle moment happened one day this summer. Sometimes when Andrew and I are hot, we turn on our ceiling fan. One day in June or July, sure enough, it was hot. So Andrew turned on the ceiling fan… and a memory from last summer hit me like a ton of bricks. In my mind, I was taken back to our porch ceiling fan installation from last June. I remembered a proverb that was written on the fan’s box and went to find the picture I had taken of it.
Andrew and I knew the minute we looked at the picture that things were changing for us. We couldn’t go on the way we had been living any longer. It was time to take stronger steps toward better stewardship of both our environment and our finances.
Once we made that initial decision, clarity came quickly. We saw all kinds of changes to make:
We stopped running our dryer unless we had wet clothes in it.
I stopped keeping my flat iron on unless I was fixing my hair.
Andrew stopped running the shower faucet unless he was actually bathing.
We started running our microwave only to heat things.
Immediately, life got easier. Lighter. Freer.
My sister even caught the vision. She started limiting diaper changes by waiting until diapers were soiled to put on new ones. She cried when she called to tell me. Honestly, we cried together. How did we not see all of this sooner?
Before I knew it, our entire family caught on. My dad stopped keeping his stove on unless he was cooking, and the Hewitts now only crank their cars if they’re going to drive somewhere.
I can’t tell you how many hours Andrew and I have spent crying together over all these changes. We never dreamed things would spread like wildfire the way they have. Don’t be fooled: it’s been tough. But like they always say: Nothing difficult is ever easy.
Speaking of difficulties, I have to be honest. Lizards have been a real issue over the past year. Something has drawn profuse numbers of them to our home, particularly to our front door and back porch. I remember one that got into our house. I stood frozen, staring at him for a good ten minutes. I cried out to God, asking Him how on earth to go about catching him. Finally, I knew what I had to do. I called my dad. He was tied up and couldn’t help. So a neighbor came and “took care of him.” [Well, he caught him and then dropped him outside.] The problem was fixed…at least for the moment.
But, that was too easy. And like I said before, nothing difficult is ever easy. I knew I was going to have to face off with him or one of his relatives eventually.
Then the day came.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was on our porch and noticed something moving. I looked, and saw the younger cousin of the lizard who had gotten into our house.
This is it I said.
It was one of those moments in life when you know what’s about to happen is much bigger than you.
I grabbed our fly swat and started approaching him. He got nervous really fast – started anxiously running to and fro. I was on him though. Have you ever heard Andre Agassi describe that feeling he gets when he knows he’s unbeatable? Well… that’s exactly what I felt. I knew I had him. It was only a matter of time.
I finally got positioned to hit him, but when I went for it, it ended up being a much softer hit than I intended. Honestly, I barely tapped him.
But that was all it took.
Down to the floor he slid. Having hit him so much more softly than I meant to, I watched in disbelief. You know, hindsight is twenty-twenty. Looking back, I think he got so worked up over my chasing him that he actually died of a heart attack, not the blow of the fly swat.
Either way, I conquered that mountain.
Between the environmental changes we made as a family and overcoming the reptile issue, I hardly noticed how quickly the months were passing. Before I knew it, it was November. Once we figured out that Thanksgiving landed on a Thursday this year, we began planning our entire week around it. What a wonderful day we had pausing to be thankful. Since it landed on Thursday, we enjoyed a wonderful four day weekend of family time.
Since that weekend, something has been on my heart that I would like everyone’s input on. I want to share a Christmassy quiet time picture on social media sometime this season, but I’m torn as to which one seems best. Would you guys reach out and let me know which one you find most inspiring? I want it to be deeply spiritual, and I want lives to be changed when people see it. I keep praying about which one to post, but I can’t seem to get any clarity. Your input is so appreciated!!!
Well, Friends, I know you all are wanting to get back to your own family Christmas carol time, and that’s what matters most! So I will leave you with these few proverbs to hang on to for 2016:
“It’s amazing what you will see by simply watching.”
“It always gets the darkest just before it gets pitch black.”
“Wherever you go, there you are.”
“Be that as it may,
At the end of the day,
When all is said and done,
Nothing difficult is ever easy.”
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!
Previous Hewitt Holiday Letters [a few of them ;)]: