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Abide Culture Coffee Roasters: A Family's Year in Review [2021]


January 1, 2021 — December 31, 2021: The Dash.

Christmas 2020, we were given a glass quart canning jar, empty, with a note—attached with brown twine wrapped around neck's thread—which states "to fill with notes of memories of the upcoming year." 2021 began. An eye's blink brought the year to an end. As I write this, I ponder and reminisce upon the things we have seen and accomplished in this year; dreams and excitement with the upcoming year; contemplating yesterday's past and tomorrow's future. What lies ahead? Digital papercuts penetrates engram. Sift through the static. Pause. Recollection of past splinters. A stack of analog shots sits next to me; inked images permeate recycled paper; stained parchment to remind and recall. Written word accompanies photography. Stereoscope. Recorded moments forever frozen. Tangible by touch. Organic. Measurement of time: the aforementioned dash. The dash between these days: 365 days from start to finish. Life lived in the dash.

Our family's dash, intertwined and weaved tightly together through individual members, became a beautifully braided bouquet of everyday living. Scriptures writ on wooden framing—in each of our family members' handwriting—of our new house as we watched it built before our eyes; house becomes home. New life springs forth. Waterfalls. Road trips. Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, Buffalo Bill, and downtown Rapid City in South Dakota.

Day trips. Water slides in the heat of a sun soaked summer. Night riding roller-coasters with family and friends. Lake days. Warm nights. Evening walks. Triple digit days in early June; cleansing rains in September. Back roads. Conversing around a campfire pit dug into Earth's dirt surrounded by stone and rock; fire engulfs dead wood. Afternoon visitations with out-of-state friends as they pass through on vacation. Electrical storms ripping the sky open as purple filament brightens charcoal firmament; flashes of lightning makes pitch black darkness impressive. Thunder answers.

Crushed car coliseum. Kaleidoscopic colors explode; fireworks etch evening's envelope. Perusing record stores to acquire new and used vinyl. Drop the needle. Platter spins. Lo-Fi. Hi-Fi. New moon darkens the Pacific Northwest expanse as a bright Milky Way lengthens the distance. Solitary star soon multiplies. Nature's nightlights. Curiosity of the cosmos. Opposing mediums; telescope hunts. Perseids streak. Ursa Minor dips into Ursa Major as Cassiopeia looks on. Orion ascends the atmosphere; his belt built by the three sisters: Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka. Countless stars kindle; hewn in the heavens. Cold constellations. Polaris shines bright.

Seasons change like the colors of surrounding deciduous. Equinox. Fringed in Fall's prism. Harvest festival. October skies cover a landscape adorned in autumn ornaments shrouded in shades of amber. Fire licks split timber in woodstove. Dressed in hoodies while penetrating Pacific Northwest rain descends and mixes with the aroma of forest and wood. Morning fog rolls. A palette for the senses.

Low-hanging clouds cling betwixt Ponderosa and Pine. Dampness. October's dye becomes November's gray. The beginnings of the festive season starts. Another "Operation: Christmas Child"; red and green shoeboxes filled. Another chance to make a difference in an unknown child's life. Another chance to volunteer with the collection. National Drop Off Week. Receive and collect: box, tape, and ship. A family affair.

Snow silently sits. Shadows stretch. Thanksgiving. Lighting Ceremony. Advent. Joyous celebration commences. Kids' Christmas Craft Fair and Dessert Social. Cinnamon and spices simmer: savory scent nicks nostrils; nostalgia. Evergreens decorated and ablaze in iridescence. Escaping light dances. The fragrance of burning wood riding on the clear, frozen air is welcoming. Eagles' audio echos as winter's mercury drops like snow; a blanket of white upon jagged rock—we observe from lake's shoreline—as frigid water quietly laps rocky edge. Eagles cry; Kokanee die. Fish flesh decays while bones are left to whiten among the rocks. Walking familiar asphalt transitions to rocky paths.

Countdown to Christmas. Christmas Eve. Silent Night. O Holy Night. What Child is this? Christ the King. King of kings. Messiah. The greatest of kings born in the most humblest of places. Nativity. Christmas day. Savior's birth celebrated. Immanuel. God with us. Incarnation. Jesus Christ.

“Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."”
John 14:6

Chromatic Christmas lights—spectrum of color—hung and illuminates wintry vault. Snow piles. Temperature drops; single digits and plunges below. Owls hoot. Winter weather watch. Warming breath escapes lungs; lingers. Mist fades; dissipates. Inhale. Exhale.

“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
James 4:14

Daily writing. Daily photographing. Daily capturing. Collections caught through F-stops, glass, camera, and penned verbiage. A-roll. B-roll. Trimmed photos added to roastery's interior; timeline attached by clothespin to string. History hangs. Mental postcards stamped. Fraying journal filled; noting thoughts and adventures. Old traditions live on with the hope of others birthed. Memories in the making. Sharing experiences. Celebrations. Remembrance. Theology discussed. Doxology resonates. That jar has been filled—and overflows in abundance—with personal photographs and words shared: life interwoven in our family's textured fabric. Intimate conversations. Relationships. Struggles. Growth. Joy. Sorrow. Laughter. Tears. Goodbyes. Hellos. Answered prayer. Patience. Exploration. Edification. Exhortation. Learning. Teaching. Fellowship. Paideia.

Selah.

Atonement. The simplicity of Salvation. Justification by grace through faith. Redeemed.

“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the scripture says, "everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."”
Romans 10:9-13

Moon's wax and wane; ocean's ebb and flow. Sunrise to sunset. Dusk to dawn. Seconds. Minutes. Hours. Days become weeks. Weeks turn to months. Earth rotates around Sol. Another year complete. Cadence. Rhythm. Pulse. One more dash. Inspire. Expire.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
John 1:1-5

That singular dash, unique as your fingerprint, encompasses your life. How did you live your dash? What did your dash accomplish? Is your dash meaningless? Is your dash anchored?

"I am the Lord, I change not." [Malachi 3:6] The stability which the anchor gives the ship when it has at last obtained a hold-fast, is like that which the Christian's hope affords him when it fixes itself upon this glorious truth.”
— Charles Spurgeon

Throughout this last year, One remained consistent: Christ.

“When the Gospel came, we were placed on quite another footing.
The word "go" was exchanged for "come"; distance was made to give place to nearness,
and we who aforetime were afar off, were made nigh by the blood of Jesus Christ.”
— Charles Spurgeon

May you know Jesus in this upcoming year.

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
— Corrie Ten Boom

Abide in Christ.

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