Reflections, 2011

Saturday morning. December 31st: today it’s 73 degrees — truly gorgeous sunny weather. This is when it’s great to be in Texas! The oppressive heat and record-breaking drought of this past summer seem a distant memory.

It’s New Year’s Eve. Seriously, how did that come upon us so quickly? It seems like the time from Thanksgiving through Christmas and the week-after-Christmas literally flew by. Typically, on New Year’s Eve and throughout the weeks leading up to it, one tends to ponder what the past year has wrought (there’s an archaic term for ya!). For certain, I have been mulling it over.

Jim and I drove over to Dallas from NC on Dec. 10-11 (a two day drive), with our sweet dog who had recently gone through knee surgery just after Thanksgiving. The surgery went well, but it’s a 10-12 week recovery so that’s the real issue. It’s not easy to keep her restrained and inactive, especially as she begins to feel better. And, she is so inactive that we must cut back on her food, so she seems starved by the time we feed her, twice a day. Growing up, we only fed our dogs once a day — but I think that is not so fun for the dog, especially if they love to eat like our Lab does.

We arrived at home two weeks before Christmas. I admit that I was tempted to just put the wreaths on the double front doors and call it a day…. but in the end, we got our Christmas tree out of storage and put the usual Christmas decor all around, so when the day actually arrived, we seemed prepared.

(It’s now Monday night, January 2nd….) Happy New Year!!!

Jack could only be here for three days over Christmas but we loved every minute of it. Rob had more time off from work so he was able to be here almost two weeks. It was wonderful to have time together as a family. Lee Anne seems glad for the chaos of having us back in town.

I’ve been thinking back on 2011, as well as 2010, because they kind of ran together. These past two years have surely left an impression. I’ve always tried to focus on my main “jobs” of being a wife, mother, CEO of family operations, daughter, sister, in-law, staying involved with friends, trying to serve the Lord, and busy with life. Going through the death of both of my parents and then walking through our son’s intense cancer battle with him (wishing all the while it were me suffering the physical and emotional trauma instead of him) took some doing! The only way to have survived intact has been through God’s power, grace, and His daily presence providing the necessary strength to survive. I’d say the family has not only survived but has come out on the other side with more understanding of how to live daily with hope and joy. It’s important to give credit where credit is due: divine intervention.

I’ve also been thinking of the word proud.

In many ways pride has negative connotations – as in pride cometh before the fall. Pride is often the very thing that separates people – as in being too prideful to forgive or apologize.

But, being proud of our kids — doesn’t that fall into a different category? I suppose many parents, as well as grandparents, identify with this trait. As for Rob, he has not only endured and persevered but seems to be accepting his new status as a cancer survivor / amputee as well as anyone possibly could — yes, I’m proud of this quality and achievement of his. And I must add that we are quite proud of all three of our children. While we are happy for their accomplishments, we are ultimately proud of them for who they are and for the values they embrace.

On Jan. 1st, 2010, I had no inkling what that year would hold, and as for Jan. 1st, 2011, being in the midst of Rob’s cancer treatment in New York, I wasn’t thinking far ahead at all — all we could do was deal with what was immediately on our plate. Actually, it was a good lesson on how to live in the moment. Now, as 2012 gets underway, if we’re honest, we have absolutely no idea what lies ahead.

So, as we embark on another year, how shall we face it? Shall we not all adopt an attitude of joy? There’s good reason to hope, good reason to make resolutions, good reason to give God all the glory, as He provides daily for our most important needs.

What are our most important needs? What are our most important tasks? 2012 will unfold and then things will become clear.

Psalm 36:5-6 — Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.

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