Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

Our three little snowflakes decorating our front yard!
Well, today is the last day of 2012.

This has been a year of ups and downs and, honestly, as I read back through my blog this year, I'm not very happy with where this year has taken me.  Instead of an extensive recap (I'm still recovering from pneumonia and my stamina is short today), here's a run down of the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good
* Teaching Jazzercise
* My new class that I taught this fall
* Loving my career as a university professor
* John getting Endorsed for Candidacy for Ordination (BIG yay!)
* Getting a lot done toward my dissertation
* The children finishing first grade, starting second grade - we love their school and feel so very blessed to have the option to send them there!
* A free piano and inexpensive piano lessons for the children
* Loosing 3 clothes sizes (I'm not going to mention pounds :)  )
* The children's ability to read improving so much
* Ditto for handwriting
* Being able to take our Anniversary retreat at the last minute
* Our CSA involvement
* Our summer camping trip
* Bonfires in the back yard
* Weekly Date Nights for John and me
* Really instituting a Family Night each week
* All the preaching, teaching and worshiping that we did with John's seminary journey this year
* Meeting new friends
* Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University
* The amazing ways God has blessed us through and with our faith family and our many friends

The Bad
* Pneumonia for me - not once but twice (though it probably just never left the first time)
* Having a really crazy summer fall
* Both kids getting step throat
* Finding out the hard way that our daughter is allergic to Penicillin
* Everyone getting a huge virus at the same time - right before Christmas too
* My Dad having to have emergency cancer surgery
* A very dear friends spending most of her fall in the hospital with very severe bronchitis
* The conditions from John's Endorsement (this is a really long story)
* My being sick for all of October, November and December and part of March, July and August too
* Missing the many dear friends that have gone to their heavenly home this year
* Not finishing my dissertation this fall
* Realizing how far we really have to go to reach our financial goals
* The icky stuff that keeps going on at our home congregation

The Ugly
This one isn't a list, it's a thought process and a finding out and a reflection - or all of the above.
 
I've realized that I have a really poor attitude - the Lord has blessed us so very much and I keep seeing the negative.  I have come a long way from where I was (I used to be just terrible) but I discovered that I've been slipping back into old habits, especially when I am not feeling well and with the pneumonia I've had for the last 3 months.

My children aren't old enough yet to realize that Mom can't do things because she's sick, not because she doesn't want to.  The hurt in their eyes when I have to go lay down rather than play or we have to delay doing something we had planned because I'm just to sick to do it, breaks my heart.  I know that some day they will be able to understand but, they just aren't old enough yet.  I often feel like I'm a huge burden on John and that he has to pick up the slack so much in ways that I don't want him to.  I get very frustrated when I can't meet the obligations I set for myself and often feel like a terrible failure because of this.

In the midst of all this God has blessed us so abundantly - ample finances (even though we're not where we want to be)  and abundant material possessions when so many others are struggling just to pay basic bills, careers we both love, the health of our children, amazing family and friends and faith communities, and so much in the way of opportunities.  I have chosen to focus on the negative rather than all of this bounty.

I realized particularly over the last few weeks that I have chosen to lean on my family and friends and the ability of my own very limited physical body rather than on the Lord.  It is only the Lord that can provide the peace and security that I am looking for and if this is what this whole journey has been for (for me to learn this), I welcome it with open arms.

What about 2013?
Come back tomorrow, for a look at what I'm hoping for in 2013.  I'm definitely imperfect and so 2013 will be imperfect, but I have a short "Hope List" to share and what I'm planning to do make those things move from hope to reality.

Have a blessed and safe New Year's Eve!
Lea

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Thanks,
Lea