Monday, December 5, 2011

This year....

...I have learned that:

~God always answers prayers, and sometimes He even answers immediately in an obvious way!

~God still calms storms. 

~my children's character is more important than their academic and extra-curricular accomplishments.

~it is difficult to restrain the mama-bear in me when someone is purposely mean to my children.

~sometimes, the very thing I was dreading was precisely the thing I needed.

~God uses some very unlikely people to show me some amazing truths about Him and me.

~there are many things I really miss from Texas, such as:  Braum's, Grandy's sweet-tea and fried okra, good Tex-Mex, the sound of all the summer bugs, the beautiful sunsets, the ability to see thousands of stars and the Milky Way, and good-ole-fashioned manners.

~vacations are wonderful, but there is no place like home.

~purposely venturing outside of my comfort-zone can be very uncomfortable indeed, yet greatly rewarding in the end.

~spending extended periods of time away from home, around other people, really makes me appreciate my own family's rhythm and routines.

~getting away from civilization--leaving all schedules, electronics, responsibilities, to-do lists and most of humanity--is one of my favorite ways to refresh my soul and reconnect with my Creator. 

~I really, really, really LOVE Colorado! 

~I am capable of more than I thought I was.

~even when I am not capable, God gives me what I need to accomplish what He wants.

~my sweet Jacob is becoming a young man.

~there are many people who don't agree with our parenting and schooling choices. 

~no matter how crazy and ridiculous other people think we are for our world-view and lifestyle, we are wholly committed to it.

~I devote my entire life to my husband and children and I wouldn't have it any other way.

~some friends come and go, some friends are life-long, "but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (Proverbs 18:24b)

~the meaning of the word "family" has little to do with DNA.

~I have some a.m.a.z.i.n.g. women in my life who have made me a better person and continue to do so.

~right when I get into a groove, when I feel like I've got the hang of this thing called "life", that is when I need to brace myself!  My world is about to be turned upside-down.

~fears can be emotionally and physically paralyzing.

~having the two sides of my brain separated by 1500 miles is painful. 

~"sometimes, even music cannot substitute for tears." (Paul Simon)

~I can only stuff my overwhelming emotions down for so long before they come exploding out and send me into the ugly cry for days on end.

~I cannot make anyone feel the same way I do about life or any aspects thereof.

~I have a habit of giving all control to God, then quickly and stealthily taking it all back, thinking (of course) that I know what He wants and I know how to make it happen.

~that never ends well for me!

~my heart hurts in a whole new way when one of my boys experiences some of the heartbreaking realities of this life.

~some people are just rude, entitled, narcissistic jerks.

~God still calls us to pray for and reach out to those people.

~I fail daily.

~God's grace abounds.

~when it comes to my husband and children, God has blessed me more than I ever could have imagined.

~I am so thankful that I am where I am, rather than where I could have been.

~God opens and closes doors.

~being angry and giving God the silent treatment only makes my life more miserable.

~trusting God is not synonymous with understanding His ways.

~"in repentance and rest is [my] salvation, in quietness and trust is [my] strength"         (Isaiah 30:15)

Now to be fair, I realize that most of these are not new lessons.  They are old lessons that God has brought to the forefront this year. 

It has been a roller-coaster of a year:  lots of ups, with plenty of downs sprinkled in....often at the same time.

New experiences and old friends.  Beloved chapters ending and new, unknown adventures beginning.

It has been a painful year with lots of personal growth; it has been a fun year with lots of laughter.

As it draws to a close, I look back and marvel at the way God is weaving the threads of my life, knowing that the bright colors are more beautiful because of the dark threads woven amongst them.  I trust that He is creating a beautiful work of art, even though all I can see are the loose ends right now. 

So here's to another year full of memories, lessons and growth. 

May you be content where you are,
and may your joys be worth the difficulties.