I envy Louie’s ability to just be. As I catch him looking out the window, I often wonder, is he looking for anything in particular? Is he remembering the mole he dug out of the dirt in the backyard and thrashed about until it was lifeless (witnessed by my granddaughter Evi)? Or is he thinking of the many raccoons he’s run up the tree? Or is he waiting for the deer to cross his path? They would be wise to take another route! No matter what he may be thinking, he is perfectly content to hit the pause button and just be.

As we ring in the New Year, I have to look back over 2017 and ask with astonishment, “What happened?” It’s not my typical, “Whew this year went fast.” It’s different this year.

On December 18, 2016, I had an accident and had surgery to repair a femur that was broken in two places and full hip replacement. “Give yourself a year,” the surgeon said during an exam in which the details were extremely fuzzy. His prediction of a year seemed to hit a nerve for me. No sooner were the words out of surgeon’s mouth whenI boldly shrugged and said, “Who needs a year? I’ll be fine!” And by golly, I was! I recovered nicely and was very pleased with how well I was able to move around. Having a pretty mild winter last year helped in my getting out and walking.

Many were amazed at how well I recovered physically, including myself. But I have to be honest. The incident literally and figuratively knocked me off my feet and knocked the wind out of me for almost the entire year. The surgeon was right, it would take every bit of a year. And during that time I stopped to pause.

There’s a word in the Old Testament that I’ve grown to cherish over this past year. It’s Selah, and though some debate the meaning, I’ve learned the definition as, “Pause and reflect on this.” While it may have been written centuries ago, it is still a good reminder for our world today to pause now and then and reflect. Yet sometimes, we may need a little help hitting the pause button. I would say that accident certainly helped me to pause and reflect on my life.

Of course, I would never wish such as incident to happen to anyone, but I will admit, I am a better person for having gone through it. I enjoy life more, love more deeply, listen more emphatically, notice people in need more often, laugh more heartily, and celebrate more joyously.

And I am not the only one who has changed. I have seen a complete transformation in Louie over the last year. He is more trusting, engaging, loving, and playful.

I am grateful for a blessed life, and though I am not sure how this could ever be possible, I love God, even more, each day. And I am grateful for you! Thank you for reading our Louie blog over the years. We are excited about some news we will be sharing in the first quarter of 2018 thanks to the many words of encouragement and feedback we’ve received from Louie’s followers. You’ll be the first to know soon.

As we enter a brand new year, do what Louie does hit the pause button. And even more so, be thankful for all the many things you have to be grateful for.

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