Friday, December 31, 2010

wading through 2010 (a meloncholy reflection)

20 Questions for a New Year’s Eve Reflection from {In} Courage.

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

It is interesting {sad? funny} when I read this I realized I did not think of last year as good things, best things.  Isn't that sad?  I think it is more the hard part of the second half of the year, our present season, that paints a color over the whole year.  But, thinking deeper, the single best thing that happened to us this year feels like it is moving out to the country.   We just love our place here, the space, the animals, the trees, the small and simple house (the lower cost).   I think it is one of the best things about this year.  I know other things come to mind, maybe even things that should be considered the best, but with no shadow of hardship, I really think this is the best.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Growing our family.  This summer off with all four of my kids, with the dynamics of adding a new child at 11 years old, the language challenges, transition challenges, grieving, ..storming as our family changed.  That has been the single most challenging, still is.  It is getting better, much of the grieving has passed, but we are still in transition and having hard dynamics.   I cannot wait to look forward to this time next year, and see what has changed.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Our new church.   We weren't looking for it, did not know it existed, but it found us. (God found us) and it was been a joy and a blessing.   The connections, and Nick in the youth group, and how easily my family transitioned to a home church was totally unexpected and joyful.

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
 Well two actually,   One is finances.   It seemed like everytime I took steps to cut our expenses, something would happen to either increase them in another area, or decrease income.  I won't go into the details, but it was not what I expected to cut so many expenses and still be struggling so much.  I am praying things will change in 2011.

The second one is ME!!!  I have been such an obstacle, I think, to good things and progress. :(  Keeping focused and willing to do the things that I should.   Like Paul, that which I want to do, I don't, that which I don't want to do, I do.   This one really aches in me.   This self-battle and failings.   So praying for grace and help to overcome this as we move into 2011.

5. Pick three words to describe 2010.


6. What were the best books you read this year?
Choose to See by Mary Beth Chapman
Crazy Love by Francis Chen
Radical by David Platt
Memories of Anne Frank - by Alison Gold
Diary of Anne Frank
Ruth, Loss, Love and Legacy, by Kelly Minter
Lahaina Hawaii, by Boede Theone
Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg
And lots of knitting and sewing books.

7. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
My children, of course and my wonderful mom and dad. 
Good friends...Kristy, Heather, Donna, Rebecca, Stephanie...and making new friends at church.
My doggie Bella. (Kitty, previously named Amore, now named Shredder is a different story)

8. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
Personal change?  hmmmm. thats a hard one. Did I make any personal changes? I mean we moved, we changed churches, I became a mother of 4....  I guess I would say, realizing I was in over my head, and inspite of thinking that at 53, I SHOULD have my act together, being willing to ask for some help.  Hard for me to do.

9. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
Well that would be assuming I did.   Hmmmm.   Facing my brokenness and failures, weaknesses, and realizing it is what it is, and no excuses to give up.  I can't give up.  Not sure if that is growth though. More like desperation.

10. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
Did I?  I do not think I did.  Or if I did, the first half of the year, I lost all traction the second half.   (Maybe seen through the tinted glasses of my current slump, though.)  Radical and Crazy Love really spoke to me.   Solidified and put in to words thoughts that had been circling around me. So growing so out of love with possessions and materialism...I guess that is growth.  

11. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
Ok, that is a funny question.   Like, how much weight did I gain???

12. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
I started meeting with a parenting "tutor' the latter part of this year....and it is helping improve my relationship with my children. We have so far to go...but I have some hope and coaching, to help.

13. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
My boss, I have a great understanding and easy to work with boss.  He is professional, upbeat and looks to help eacxh employee grow in the areas they enjoy at work.  Truly a blessing.  I also enjoy some new project I got the latter part of the year, working with the hiring programs for college interns and recent college grads.  

14. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Juggling work and kids and home...all the responsibilities without being totally wiped out...exhausted.  I feel stretched pretty thin at times.  As a single mom, with a new child, I really did not feel I could afford a babysitter, to take any breaks.  that has been really hard. I have started the latter part of this year, to use one about once a month...but that is not very often.

15. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
The internet.  LOL.   I learn a lot from it, get inspired from others, and find lots of information, but it can also be a major distraction and time waster.  

16. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Playing games with my kids and parents. :)  Sewing, knitting.  Time spend in God's word and Bible Study.

17. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
That I am in over my head.   And only with God's help and the help of others can I make it. And that is ok to be that way.   I also learned how much of an impact I have on my children.  How my words can encourage them and wrap them in love, lifting their spirits, or discourage and hurt them, making them feel despair and alone.   What a solemn responsibility and realization that is.

18. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2010 for you
Wading on through troubled waters....we are yet here.

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1 Things Others Said:

Kat said...

I LOVE your pictures and totally understand the challenging feelings about this last year. There is so much good, but somehow that somehow fades as the hard times appear strongest. Thank you for being an example to all of us in perseverance...because you TOTALLY are.

God is amazing and blessed you with a beautiful family.