Tradition be darned, and a word for 2019

I’ve always resisted a fad. Tell me the world’s loving some hot new thing and I’ll cross my arms and purse my lips, dead set on proving myself different from the rest of you. But like a big brother sitting beside me in the backseat of a sedan, it’ll keep poking me over and over and over.

This choosing a word for your year fad has been poking at me since at least 2012. Last year I almost caved. It was a dark time and a moment of light burst in one early January day and I threw up my arms. “The joy of the Lord is my strength,” I claimed. It stuck. Many times over in 2018, I whispered that verse in my soul. I needed both joy and strength and somehow I still wanted to believe both came from him. I placed the emphasis on a different word in that sentence depending on the situation. The statement could be good for so many things.

Maybe that’s why I was willing to claim it for a year. It was good in different ways – and I quite like freedom. One word seemed too – well, limiting.

Until last night.

Last night I was perusing Facebook and a friend was asking for comments. Share a word for 2019 that starts with the same letter as your name…

I just about put M&Ms.

I do love them. And with all the flavor choices they keep coming out with, it certainly didn’t have to be limiting.

Instead I wrote Magical.

It’s a shame you can’t choose different fonts in Facebook comments because I felt the word needed a little fanciful flair. But upon hitting return and seeing it there, it stood well enough on its own. And I was not surprised at all that it quickly earned a ❤️.

So here we are, me and Magical. Anything else can stop poking its finger at me this year. I’ve committed and that’s resolution enough.

The husband asked a bit later if we’d be having traditional New Year meal and I ain’t gonna lie, I resisted. I don’t even know what I was resisting. Was it the grocery run that would need to be made? The cooking (and cleaning) and the not going out that would then be? Or was it the very foods themselves that tradition brings?

Nevertheless, I like making him happy. (And, ok, had nothing better to offer as a suggestion.) So I set about trying to figure out how to make black-eyed peas like-able.

Because, well, I do not.

Google brought me the answer with Cheesy, Creamy Black-Eyed Peas, or so I thought. (You really should check it out.) I could almost taste this rich concoction (did you see the ingredient list?) until I stood with cart in front of the dairy case at Aldi, wondering when they were ever going to restock the heavy whipping cream that had been out since Christmas baking week started.

I am both faithful to Aldi and faithful to heavy cream. As such, I feel there should be some secret inventory stashed for me on these occasions. But as I’d asked them three days ago about extras in the back, I knew it would be a waste of breath.

Still, I parked my cart in the way of everyone waiting to get soy or almond milk and stared at that empty shelf like I’d stare at someone on Christmas or Easter who’d taken our family pew. And when I felt I’d shown it how disgusted I was with it, when I felt it had heard me send my telepathic you will have my coffee cream when I come back in two days, I set that cart in reverse and left, leaving the vegans to pillage.

There is no substitute for heavy cream. But all was well enough, because as I found out not two minutes later, there was neither a black-eyed pea to be had in that place either.

Truth be told, a bag of frozen butter peas were more our tradition anyway. (Shhh. Don’t tell the coin gods, please.)

There was no time to return the already procured ingredients. A new check out line was opening! If you are an Aldi shopper then you know how rare this is. Once that employee made eye contact with me and mouthed aisle three, there was nothing left to do – but buy the cream cheese and Monterrey jack. (You DID read the recipe link above, didn’t you??)

And I need to tell you that today I made those butter peas pretty Magical.

364 more days of Magical headed my way. Some days I’ll find it. Some days I’ll have to make it.

Today’s magic: cream cheese!

(Ok, ok, and a handful of brown sugar – those greens are mighty bitter!)

How in the world did you do tradition this New Year’s Day…


4 thoughts on “Tradition be darned, and a word for 2019

  1. Love this You did a wonderful job writing your Aldi dilemma. I could just picture you.

    I agree, choosing one word for the whole year is hard. What if half way through the year the word doesn’t fit you???? I have resisted choosing a word too but I am pondering it. Betsy

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. At this point in life, I’ve abandoned so many things 🙂 I’ll be ok if I need to change words. But I love the idea of MAGICAL. I would like to find the joys in life and ALSO BE THE JOY , being intentional to put some magic in my husband and boy’s life. Now to brainstorm how!


  2. YOUR wonderful words are Magical. I can’t begin to tell you what joy your writing brings to me every time I read anything you share. The funny part of it all is that I remember you as a little girl, not as this grown up Magical and Inspirational woman who speaks to the heart of so many just by telling her story. I am truly so proud of you and your journey. I can’t believe how gifted you are with written words. God has blessed you with a gift to edify others & your obedience to do so is so evident. What a ministry you have my friend. I treasure the honor of calling you MY friend – my FOREVER friend. I admit I am having too much fun reading as much of your writings as I can, I am truly proud of you and a HUGE fan. I love you Melanie ❤️ Keep using your gift…


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