Monday, December 27, 2010

A Year in Reflection

Like almost everyone, as the year winds to a close, I seem to do a lot of reflecting on the previous year.  It is almost funny how circumstantially life is almost identical to the same time last year.

-still live in the same house with the same housemates.
-still long to be on the missions field.
-still work at the same job at the zoo.
-still have two health issues I have not been healed from.
-still long to be married and have kids.
-still watch every cent as it comes in and out of my account.
-still keenly feel the lack of fellowship in my life.
-still continue to lose friends over the course of this year.

However, this year has been surprising as well.

I started last year:
-desperately hoping to leave Tacoma.  Upon having an opportunity to do so, I turned it down.  Who would have guessed that?  I had an opportunity to move to Kansas City to be involved in a ministry there.  I have also had opportunities to join YWAM and have not done so.  Staying in Tacoma was the biggest act of faith I made this year.  Trusting Jesus to move me into missions on HIS timing and not my own has been one of the hugest leaps this year.  I did, however, get to go to Turkey this last year.

-pretty committed to a couple of ministries.  I am now no longer involved in those things.  This is likely just a pause and not permanent, who would have predicted that it would happen at all?  Especially considering how much of my significance I put in what I was doing. 

-searching for friendships with people who weren't reciprocating.  I am now focusing on those people already in my life and reconnecting with some old friends, spending time on people who actually want to be friends with me, and remembering what it means to BE a friend.

-longing to be married.  This year has brought some dating opportunities.  None of these have panned out for lots of different reasons, but the fact that I am "out there" at all feels strange at times, and at times disheartening and frustrating.

-financially sinking.  A great renegotiation with my mortgage company, two raises at work, and getting my budget under control while simultaneously becoming a couponing queen have helped get this area at least manageable. 

-physically hurting.  A little over a year ago, I tore my rotator cuff.  Last year at this time, I was in pretty severe pain with it, and could barely lift my arm over my head.  I also, due to another physical issue, had gained back about 25 of the 50 pounds I lost a few years ago.  Back in June, I started working out with a trainer.  I could barely afford this, but knew it was needed.  Six months later, my rotator cuff, while not healed, is significantly improved by strengthening the muscles around it and I have dropped between 15-20 of the pounds I regained.  My other physical issue has not been addressed, but I am feeling much better physically.

-broken in my relationship with the Lord.  This is an something I didn't even realize at the beginning of the year.  But, as the year draws to a close, this is one area I have to say has become a source of joy and peace I didn't know I was missing.  By doing the exact opposite of what I thought I should be doing and focusing on Him instead of activities about Him....this has made all the difference.  It seems so basic, so elementary, but when I have focused on keeping the first commandment first....the peace and joy flow from that.  When I am NOT at peace with my life or myself...that is a barometer of where I am focused and where I am finding my significance.  The last three to four months of this year have been some of the most peaceful and stable that I can remember in a long time.

Every year I pray about what I am hoping will happen for the upcoming year.  This year I am 6 for 10.  I was praying to get to travel abroad...I got to do this. I was praying about dropping the weight I'd gained back...I got to to do this.  I was praying about getting an opportunity to do some teaching...I got to do this.  There are a few others in the list that I got to check off and a few key ones that I didn't.  I think last year I was 3 or 4 out of 10.  So, I am improving!  Next year, let's hope I am 10 for 10!

Blessings to you and yours in this upcoming year!

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