Mondays are always the days that make me teeter between wanting to hunker down and wanting to run away. I’ve opted for hunkering down because the weather’s nice, and my feet hurt. It doesn’t take much to make me happy these days. Any old couch and some good conversation will do.

If you’re just joining us, we’re taking Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare for gratitude each day during the month of November.

The prompt for today called for three gifts that start with N. If I’m answering with my gut, I’d want to say Nilla Wafers, Nutella, and novels. But I could see myself tiring of these eventually. Fat chance, I know. So, I went broader. I keep thinking these work like desert island lists, like I’d better be really honest and completely accurate with these in print just in case a day comes when someone says, “You’re being stranded on an island. Quick! Grab your three gifts that start with N!”

I want to leave myself a little wiggle room in case that day comes soon. Here goes.

#1 – The New

Since I first began to understand loss, I began understanding the value and purpose of the new. For me, newness signifies restoration, and that’s what I need and love most these days. Whether I’m reading modern American poetry where the whole gist is “Make it new!” or scrolling through Instagram pictures of The Moore Family Folk Art to see what beautiful upcycled creations they’re working on now, I’m dwelling on the idea that everything can be reimagined, and that’s such a hopeful idea: life as a sentence without a period at the end. Let it not be finished.

#2 – The Now

Having grown close to so many people lately who have experienced great loss in their lives, I’ve had the chance to have meaningful conversations that point to two things: live well and live now. We are so very temporary. I’m learning to create better boundaries around the important things in my life and to preserve what I love about my world so that I can keep it close by as long as possible. I’ve been practicing saying no to more things so that I can say yes to that which makes my heart sing. That, too, is another mantra I’ve been clinging to because I want that in my life–to have a singing heart. And once you know it can, who wouldn’t?

In the past few months, I finished Shauna Niequist’s Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet, both books that encourage celebrating the ordinary in our day-to-day lives. Ann Voskamp’s posts on her site do my heart good some days, too. I’m eager to read The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst. I’ve recently started following her on Facebook, and I might be in love with her, too. Let me learn in the now so that my next now can be new, too.

#3 – The Naked

Two words: honesty and transparency. Few things mean more to me these days.

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