Happy New Year
“What a year!”
I can honestly say that, every single December 31st that rolls around.
Yes, of course–some years are better than others. Objectively speaking, I had more reason to celebrate 2008 (the year Dadoo and I were married) than 1998 (the year where I was both a late freshman and an early sophomore in college. Ooof: that was a rough year).
But honestly, I would have never arrived at my wedding in 2008 had I not gone through the trials and lessons of 1998. And there are major and minor events from 1998 that outweigh the struggles; late night, heartfelt conversations with my college roommate in March will always overshadow the nerve-wracking final exams in June.
2013 was the year that we got a ticket for parking in our own parking strip out in front of our house, some wonderful new friends moved away, the swamp cooler stopped working in the last weeks of my pregnancy and during the hottest weeks of the summer, the furnace motor went out during a cold week in December just before Christmas, my sister-in-law was diagnosed with MS, my Nana-in-law was diagnosed with colon cancer, my best friend has had so many crosses that I can’t help her carry while we live so far apart, and my young godfather inexplicably suffered a stroke.
I’m still working outside the home on both weekend days, so Dadoo and I still struggle in our constant efforts to find quality time alone together. Our three children are all under the age of 5, and I am an imperfect mother. There are 3 major prayer intentions this year that have gone unanswered. Many times this year, I have been overwhelmed with the feeling that I cannot do it all, or at least I cannot do it all well.
But also, this year, Tiern turned 4 and played t-ball for the first time. He continued to impress us with his athletic abilities, and we marveled at his creativity in play, his attention to detail, and his quick, eager mind.
Little Miss turned 2 in January, and potty-trained in the fall. She brought us such joy, with dancing smiles and fluttering lashes, rising confidently and affectionately to her new role of Big Sister.
And this year, our third child was born. A joy of a boy-child, happy just to see his Mama’s face, full of snuggles and hugs, and easily content.
At the end of the year 2013, all three of my children are alive and healthy. They tell me they love me and give me kisses every night.
This year, I’ve learned to cherish the people that God sends into our lives, when and for how long they are there.
I’ve learned that there are advantages to renting instead of owning the home we live in.
I’ve learned–and I’m still learning–how to make the best of any time we have together as a couple, and to appreciate the seasons of life as I go through them, instead of waiting to look backward with nostalgia in years to come.
I’ve learned that God has a plan for this year. With all of the bad news, the struggles, the sufferings, He sends His help.
With all of my failings, with every month of 2013 that passed with shadows of my shortcomings and imperfections overtaking me, He was there to light my path. And “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” Rom 5:20
Every year, I can choose to appreciate the lessons, to say Thank You for the blessings, and to reach out for His grace.
This year is no different.
May the Lord bless us with joy, and send grace to accompany the sufferings.