Looking back, 2009 seems like the year that lasted longer than a year. Everything that happened...no way it could only have taken 365 days. My precious Claire was born. Micah missed it, but returned from Iraq/war three months later. Frantic job search. Deep soul search. Whirlwind reunion summer. Joy in finding work; sorrow in another goodbye. Learning the rental process from every angle. Evaluations and re-evaluations. Move to Kentucky; more goodbyes. Learn to be a family again; more joy. Holiday homecoming. More questions. Abundant love.
Talking. Growing. Faith. Doubt. Joy. Children. Sadness. Chaos. Boredom. Weakness. Love. Overcoming. Relationships. God. Never. Fails.
This is what always happens when I consciously slow down in order to think about this last year or so. My brain starts off just fine, in Full-Sentence Mode if you will. Before long it deteriorates into fragments, then single words, sometimes completely unrelated thoughts. 2009 was unquestionably the fullest year of my 25-year existence thus far. And any attempt at a simple recap is doomed because I can't, for the life of me, even pick a general feeling to describe it. The greatest highs and deepest lows found their way into me and without such a faithful God, loving husband, and supportive family, it could have been very wearing. But I am loved, cared-for, and listened to, and thus feel exceedingly blessed. I wouldn't wish to re-live last year, but I am grateful for it and wouldn't give it back.
It is safe to say that '09 was a blessed year. I realized the love present in my marriage like I never have before; through thick and thin we went, and loved. It brings me endless joy to watch our children grow up with health and brightness and hilarity in their every development. My girls are my treasures. Every one of my needs were met. I grew closer to several of my favorite friends. There were opportunities for fun and for stretching. I learned so much. Like to not only seek wisdom and guidance in many directions, but to filter it appropriately. And to fight for what is important to me and best for those I love most, even at the risk of hurt feelings or disapproval along the way.
My biggest and favorite lesson/realization of the year: I have a significant yet oh-so-tiny place in the great scheme of things. God is God and I am not. As all-important as life (or money, loneliness, doubt, future-planning, arguments, child-raising, etc.) can seem, there is so much more that is going on in God's creation and his plan for redemption. So much more and so much bigger. Bigger than me. I have a place, but it isn't about me. Thank you, Lord, for that!
And so, going into 2010, I hope to grow in awareness of my relationship to things in this life and with God. I will strive to grow in grace by submitting my cares more fully to Him. Each day, I will begin with "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is heaven." And I will make an effort to be more aware (globally and in my own home) of how heaven is being brought to earth.
And so on we go, armed with the experiences from the past year, boldly into the next. Full of hope, arm-in-arm with fellow life-travelers, confident in the One we follow. Happy New Year!
Cousins~Growing up together
5 months ago