Monday, January 17, 2011

A Blank Slate.

Have you ever done a Tabula Rasa?

It's a ceremony of sorts; something of a tradition now in my own life.

Tabula Rasa (essentially) translates to "Blank Slate". 

It's something I've done alone, or with a friend or two. This year was the first time some of my closest friends gathered around to join in.

Tabula Rasa. Wiping the slate clean. Starting over.

So we started with 2010. We lit 12 candles, one for each month, and one by one, remembered, reflected. Old wounds showed up and we did our best to lay them to rest. We prayed for forgiveness. We prayed for wholeness. We prayed to let things go. Some of us (including myself) had a few months to lay in our Father's hands — broken, bloody, messy pieces of our heart that we don't quite know how to heal.

We had a few moments in silence. And one of us continually said, "Let's not forget the blessings. Have we forgotten them?" Her gentle spirit being sure to voice a light in the darkness. "Let's not forget the blessings."

So we counted. And numbered. Our hearts danced with a year lavished with love and commitments. We tiptoed about the shattered glass, and found some forgotten, nearly rusty treasures. We chattered and said things like, "One reason I didn't want to come to that weekend at the lake was because I didn't want to be caught dead in a bathing suit." One friend cries out, "I knew it!" and we laugh until we realize we've lost track of time.

We went from wine, to coffee, to water, as a year was closed...month by month, story by story. Weddings, deaths, dreams realized, dreams crushed... all until we said, "Goodbye December."

Honestly, it took us four hours to get through 2010.

FOUR HOURS. ((good grief, we can talk.))

By the time we reached the first candle for 2011, it was near midnight. Husbands were calling and coming home. My early morning hours seemed to loom on the horizon. So we resolved to finish on our own. To let the New Year become something of a secret we hide in our hearts.

I didn't realize how sharing this with friends would alter it for me (in the best way). I wish I could've shared it with more kindred hearts. 

And I wonder, next year, will I be doing this on my own again? Maybe. But that's 12 months away. I have 11 to fill with memories until then.

Until it's time for a blank slate again.

"go on and ask me anything
what do you need to know
I'm not holding on to anything
I'm not willing to let go of
to be free, to be free...
it's a sweet, sweet thing
standing here with you and nothing to hide
light shining down to our very insides
sharing our secrets, baring our souls,
helping each other come clean.
" (Sara Groves, Different Kinds of Happy)


  1. i love this and long for it.
    thanks for the reminder and idea :)

  2. oh, wow. I am seriously amazed by your writing and your photos and I so wish I was there to do this. I think this would be an amazing thing to do with girlfriends. ahhhh

    hope to see you tomorrow, friend!

  3. I love this idea. Have already begun the process of wiping the slate clean. Thank you, Andrea, for sharing your life here. You always give me food for thought!

  4. abby - i long for it even though i had it. it's just that good.
    jen - it's so great to do with girlfriends! and i will be linking up!
    maureen - i'm so glad you're encouraged! it's just a giant circle of encouragement around here! :)

  5. What a brilliant and inspiring idea...

    And I pray loads of wisdom and grace and courage and open doors and new opportunities and favor upon you as you venture into this new season that God has for you :)


  6. Jeanine - thank you! I hope to see you at some point!

  7. i love that you did this. i love HOW you did this. i've never thought of practically, physically, tangibly embracing "tabula rasa" like that... but wow. the significance and weight is unmistakable. love it.

  8. Alece — it has a way of really shifting my vision every year. it's like a workout for my soul. ha.