It is New Year's Eve.
I guess it is normal on this day to reflect. To ponder. To look ahead.
This year is the first year in awhile that I haven't been counting down the minutes to the New Year, the fresh start. 2014 was an alright year.
It wasn't perfect. In fact, it started with a devastating loss-one that I know my family and I will always feel. It is a loss that has forced me to answer very tough questions, especially from my little girl. It is also a loss that brought me and my family closer to God. It is a loss that allowed me to see God working through other people. It is a loss that forced me to allow others to do for me, to be a blessing to me. It is a loss that gave my sons the opportunity to give to me. Given the choice, I would still choose to not have experienced the loss. But I can still see how God has worked in my life and the lives of others through the loss.
This year I have watched my oldest mature and grow into a young man of whom I am quite proud. I have always been proud of him, but this year I can really see the man he is becoming. I have been able to watch him excel at two jobs and learn enough about himself to learn what he might want to do with his life.
I have gotten to watch my younger son learn more about himself as well--and to make some very grown up decisions about his life. And I have watched my daughter's faith continue to grow through her prayer life--even when the answer is no or not yet.
I have learned so much about and from my kids this year.
This year I continued to grow closer to my husband, and I actually have learned more about having a Biblical marriage as well. I have finally realized the importance of putting my husband before my kids, and I am working on it.
Most importantly, I have finally figured out that my being where I am is no accident. These kids didn't happen by accident. I didn't just stumble into this life. I definitely don't do it all right all the time, and when I try to do it on my own, things don't go well. But even when I make mistakes, I am where He intends me to be.
I still have so much to learn. I still struggle with doing a consistent daily devotion and praying as much as I sometimes think I "should." I still deal with mommy guilt and mommy doubt and all those other "Am I good enough" questions.
But something about this year has just been different. I am excited about 2015--not because I am so ready for 2014 to be done but because I am excited to see what 2015 holds.
Someone told me once that her 40's were her favorite decade. When she said it, I couldn't believe it. It seemed so old, so far away. Hahaha. Now I get it. Well, I don't really get it, but I identify with it. I don't know what it is about my 40's. I am just different. I guess maybe part of it is that I finally stopped trying to change the people and circumstances around me. I decided to stop spending the majority of time with people I wanted to change and instead started spending time with people I enjoy just the way they are. I have realized that there are some people I will always be able to count on and some I will never be able to count on (and being related by blood doesn't always have anything to do with it). I have stopped trying to move the people in the never column into the always column. That doesn't mean I can't still talk to and have a relationship with the people in the never column...it just means it isn't the same kind of relationship I will have with the people in the always column. I have realized that God has provided me with the people I need in my life...but all the people in my life aren't necessarily there because I need them. I realized that if I am not happy with something, then maybe I am the one who needs to change.
I have finally learned that if the voice I am hearing in my head is tearing me down, then that is not God. I have learned that God doesn't deal in guilt trips. I have learned that I will never have it all together, and that is okay. If I was perfect or could achieve perfection on my own, then there would have been no reason for the Cross.
I can't really say that 2014 had fewer ups and downs than previous years. I guess perception is important. And I am thankful for the ways God has given me to look at my life this year.
I am excited about 2015. I am excited about what God has planned. I am excited to find out what he has for me to do this year.
I still don't plan to have it all together. I know I will make plenty of mistakes. I know I will fail...sometimes little and sometimes big. But I know I won't be alone.
Happy 2015 everyone. Let's do this!