It’s time to post again. To write the holiday letter, too. And to keep this space breathing and functional, by being here once in a while. This is my place to share opinions, to yelp because I got hit when some other writer shared an opinion, and to share my big ideas.
So! Where shall I start! The holiday letter doesn’t seem like a thing this year. But okay, lets say why and move on. I’ll be honest. It wasn’t a stellar year, as far as happy fulfilled life of comfort and tranquility goes. We did move again, twice, depending on how you figure it. But, I don’t want to enlarge on those adventures. They were just a lot of work and worry. For now we’re settled, I think.
We did learn so much. I mean, if you count getting through hard things with tears and prayer and heartache as learning. I shall speak for myself. Here’s my little list of learnings.
- That God is in control. I knew this at a few levels, but now I know that He is Sovereign. Even over the things that you know good and well that He isn’t happy about. Because of choice, which, He gave to us, too. I would argue that even when people sin and hide, or maybe just flub, or when our best efforts go up in smoke, He isn’t in His heaven wringing His hands and crying that He hadn’t anticipated these people doing this to each other. He still knows and He’s still on time and in time with His own plan. For me, to believe any other way would make what happened unendurable. All the terrible things are not God’s fault, but He can and He will work it out. What I have to do is to ask Him and trust Him and love people. To fling myself onto a Sovereign God being in control is my best coping tool. I use it often.
- That I am not in control. My words can hurt when I wanted them to heal, because that’s just how messy people can be sometimes.
- That two people very close to each other, even married people, can be mistaken about what the other one is truly feeling and thinking and believing. There were times in this past year that Elv and I had to go on sheer face value of a few carefully chosen words with each other, disregarding what we thought the other was really thinking or feeling. The accusations from such mountains could have taken us down. But we committed again and again to the facts of our marriage and our seven wonderful children that God gave us and kept walking. I learned that there is huge comfort in stating that commitment, in words, to each other. We said, we’re in this for the long haul, no matter the “feels”. And then I could breathe again. We had to visit this place more than once. I hope so much transparency helps someone else sometime.
- And I learned again, that prayer makes all the difference in the lives of our people. My prayers and yours, so let’s keep at them.
I feel like I’ve said all of this before.
One of the people I follow did a little article about how to feel about the know-it-all folks, and why they’re such a nuisance and so forth. I resonated with much of what was said. But I have been often called out for being opinionated and too self-assured. Well, then. I just want to give a hasty little squeak of protest. As in every other rant out there, there’s a touchy balance between honesty and kindness. If I can, at last, after the experiences of this past year learn that; it will have been worth it. Which reminds me of one more thing, that I learned, again. Nobody can truly know what another person’s story is. Those times that I have been labeled as too self-assured have been the exact moments when I am in shambles inside. My real problem is that I cannot figure out how to communicate that, but then who could … the golden moment is gone, ruined by me and the other, our sledgehammers in unison.
And now, just one big idea. In the end, Elv and I are even more married than before and we’re contentedly settled into a real house, though rented. Some things are forever changed. We’re not the same, either. Even so, we are blessed these days. Elv has some shop space for his projects. I have started on those four quilts that I have been behind on for years. And there’s time and quiet to knit and paint and read books again. At the end of that wild year. We are blessed. And we thank God.
Amy painted the cup of coffee for you, and I, the tree. Our Sunday afternoon endeavors. It is good to not give up on learning new things. It gets easier and better. That’s an extra big idea for you. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.