Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Beginnings

My family just got home after spending a few days at our camp reunion.  It was a great way to end last year and begin this year.  It was a bitter-sweet trip... filled with reminiscing, laughs, and talking about how life is so different.  I miss the community that we once had at camp, but I also left knowing deep with-in that the "camp" chapter of our life has come to an end.  In many ways this is hard to believe... we have been a part of that place for a long time.  Robert was on a rec team that stayed there almost the whole summer in 1999.  He was an SMT (summer staff) in 2000, I was an SMT in 2002, and we both were in 2003 (that's when we met).  He was on full time staff from August 2003 until August 2006, then again from February 2008 until this past summer.  It has been home for us for most of our adult life.  We have so many memories there.  Robert and I met and married there.  I had two of my babies actually on the property!  We will always be a part of the camp family, but it is very clear that we have moved on now.  We are starting a new chapter in our life. 

The end of 2009 and most of 2010 was filled with many heart aches and huge changes... I lost my brother to a very gruesome suicide on November 30th.  We moved to a different house at camp three weeks later.  I had my third child in 4 years in February.  I went through postpartum depression in the Spring.  We moved to a new city in the summer.  I started teaching full time in August.  Life has been crazy and non-stop.  I have had some really hard moments, but God has taught me so much... about myself, about others, and about life.  As hard as this year was, I'm thankful.  I have so much more freedom to be me now than ever before. I know that God has created me for a specific reason and purpose.  I know that I am who I am because that's who He created me to be.  I'm far from perfect... and I'm okay with that.  I won't be perfect until I am home with Jesus.  Until then, I strive to know Him and make Him known.  That's why we're here... we're not here to be happy.  We're not here to have a bunch of things.  We're not here to be comfortable.  We're here to know Him and make Him known.  To have a broken heart for the lost and hurting.  To love others like He loves us.  To see past what the world sees and see a child loved by God. 

I'm not expecting an easy year.  I'm not expecting everything to go my way.  I'm not expecting my ducks to line up in a perfect row.  I'm realistic and know that there will be hard times.  I will have moments in which I'm not sure I can go on.  I'll have moments in which I doubt our move to Dallas.  I'll have doubts about working full time.  I'll have times when I'm so exhausted that I'm not sure I can function.  But that's just life here on earth.  Life isn't perfect and it never will be.

I am hopeful, though, that God has some good things in store for the year as well.  I have seen Him use me in ways that I never thought I'd have the opportunity to be used.  I will continue growing.  I will continue desiring more of Jesus.  I will continue learning how to love my husband better.  I will continue learning how to love my kids more.  I will continue learning how to be a better daughter, teacher, friend, etc.
Lord willing, we will find the home that is perfect for our family, in His time, in the location that He wants us to be.  We will begin to create new routines and traditions as a family.  We will begin developing a community around us.  We will continue getting to know new friends at our church. 
And if God says to make some changes, we will :).  I'm not surprised anymore when that happens.  I am learning to just go with His flow and allow Him to lead (as hard as that is some days!).   

I'm not going to make any resolutions this year because life should just be lived... I have made so many goals to not be able to live up to them... and for now I'm not even going to come up with specifics.  I have some things that I would like to begin or continue to improve in, but I will just take one day at at time because that's all I can do.  My priority is Jesus, and everything else will fall under that priority. 

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