Thursday, January 1, 2009

Time to Reflect.

In keeping with tradition, on this, the first day of 2009, I am going to do some reflecting. Both on the year to come, and on the year that's just passed.

So... about 2008. It was a year. A year that seemed to take forever. And flew by, all at once.

It started with the culmination of the first year without her.

That anniversary, which is now just 30 days away, is a hard one. It is almost incomprehensible that she's been gone nearly two years now. At the same time, it seems like she's been gone for years. It feels like I've lived a whole new lifetime without her. Does that make any sense?

After that anniversary, things shifted focus a bit to a remodelling project, which we're still in the midst of. It's been draining. Difficult. It's caused conflict, anxiety, discouragement. But it's also a blessing. My husband and I wanted a house that was truly our own, truly "us." We want to minister to people - and that's happened even in the midst of all this. The location is phenomonal.

We volunteered with a cat rescue, and raised five kittens (two separate litters) by hand. Three went to new homes. Two, we fell for and they still live with us.

My dad married a beautiful, sweet, Godly woman. It was a day of rejoicing, and also a little bitter-sweet. My gramma would have loved to be there. She'd have been so happy. And Kelly, my new step-mom, would have loved her. She'd have been so blessed and privelaged to have a relationship with her.

My husband and I were faced with a battle which was not, is not, and likely will not ever be public knowledge. A battle we're still fighting. It's been challenging. But we are winning. And we will overcome. Because of God. We've not been fighting alone. Our Pastor has stood with us, and directed us to someone who is able to give us the tools necessary to come out of this stronger, better, and whole.

We were faced with impending homelessness. With less than two weeks to go before we were literally left with NO place to go, my cat became very ill, very suddenly. That might sound slightly trivial to you, but not to me. Not when he may be the closest thing I'll have to a child for years to come. Not when life was piled up so high around me that it was hard to breathe. With less than a week before homelessness, we were presented with a way out (God is always faithful that way). We moved to a somewhat dumpy little place in a less-than-desirable location. We stayed there for three months and were then forced to move again. We ended up here, in our construction zone. Er... home. We have walls in our bedroom and the guest room. We have exterior walls on two sides of the downstairs, and a ceiling in about 1/2 of the house. Otherwise, it's still bare studs and insulation.

And we are blessed. We are not hungry. Actually, I am hungry, but that could be remedied if I merely went downstairs and got something to eat. We are not cold. We are not without clothing. We have a vehical to drive.

We pushed and hemmed and hawed and stalled, and I ended up having surgery just six days before Christmas. It was stressful (and painful), but went significantly better than anticipated. It was shorter, less involved, and easier to recover from than we'd have dared to hope.

And now, to look ahead.

What will 2009 hold for us? I wish I knew. Then again... if I'd known in advance what 2007 would hold, I don't think I could have handled it. If I'd known what 2008 would be like, I'd have wanted to run away to a cave somewhere and hide. God gives me the strength and grace sufficient for today. He doesn't give me the strength to process and handle all that will come, until it is here. Does that make sense?

Anyway... in 2009, I will:

Along with my husband, become the owner of a home. Our first. That's pretty cool. :)

Get a job. Somewhere. Doing something.

Begin and work through a process of healing and reconciliation.

Continue to serve faithfully in my church.

Continue to love children and have a heart to impact their lives.

Work harder to develop my photography business.

Love God more, deeper, and with more intensity.

Continue to share myself here, on this blog, hoping that somewhere, someone will be impacted for the better by what they read here.

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