I wish I could say I'll miss you, but honestly I'm rather glad to see you go. It's been a long, difficult year for me and my family, but through it all I've learned several things.
The first is that God is always faithful. He always shows up on time (His, not mine!) and He is so patient and merciful to me it blows me away.
The second thing I have learned is a renewed appreciation for my husband. I mean, I always have loved him and all, but this year, I realized I took a lot of things for granted about his character. To say we are opposites is a bit of an understatement, but one thing I am very glad we are opposites on is how we react to things. I call him my Xanax with legs because he has the capability to calm me down when I have worked myself into an emotional overreaction. I see the end of the world as we know it and he sees a bump in the road. I want to do something RIGHT NOW!!! He wants to wait and weigh all the options. It's a great thing to know that I can count on him to do the right thing - even if it is the hard thing.
The third thing I have realized this year is what true blessings both my boys are to me. I guess working evenings made me realize what a privilege it is to be their mom and to take care of them. I've watched them pitch in to help due to my longer work hours without complaint (at least most of the time!). They love the Lord and each other - those are things I don't take lightly. They are blessings.
This year, after almost six years, I have my brother back. That in itself is a small miracle that I thank God for pretty regularly. It's neat to see him renewing his relationship with his nephews and it's nice to have him around. I missed him!
This year, I learned not to take good health for granted either. Not only did I go through about five months of colds and flus that knocked me off my feet, but my husband found out he had a genetic heart condition. Fortunately, it's manageable, but it made me very aware that nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.
My various jobs taught me a lot too. I learned the art of listening to constructive criticism and attending to details. I learned a lot about humility too as I messed up several times. I learned to learn from a mistake and then let it go, instead of obsessing over it and beating myself up - neither of which helps at all.
I also learned a lot about spiritual warfare. I learned to pick up my shield of faith and wield my sword of His Word. I'm still in training, but I am miles ahead of where I was a year ago!
Finally, I learned to trust God because even if I have no idea what is going on, He does! He's got the path already laid out and He promises to light the path for the next step (not the entire pathway). I can trust Him not to lead me off a cliff! :)
So, what am I thinking about next year? I have always been a person who did New Year's resolutions, but in the past couple of years, I've prayed about having a phrase (although I still make about a jillion resolutions in all categories!). This year, I'm not doing the enormous list of resolutions in all the categories that make up my life. Instead, I feel God has given me a phrase that covers things succinctly and that is "to be intentional." This covers all areas of my life from my relationships to my job to my health - just be intentional. Instead of letting circumstances and feelings swirl me around in the stream of life, I'm going to be intentional about what I do and don't do.
So how about you? How do you see 2012? I don't know what God will do in my life, but I know it will be an adventure!
~ Blessings, Bronte