It’s been my tradition to start thinking about my annual Christmas newsletter around this time of year. I try to collect my thoughts, visit the year’s events in my memory, try to make things interesting and funny. Last year I did not send out a newsletter. I hope to this year. But how can I write all that life has given and God has taught us during the past 2 years in a simple newsletter? Nobody wants to read a news-book!
Just to give you an idea of how tedious this time of waiting has been – last year’s newsletter could be this year’s newsletter. We’re still in the waiting. We’re still plugging away with work and waiting for the possibility of Jason entering into a whole new career. Not much has changed – event wise. Wisdom wise? Relationship wise? We’ve come a long way.
Here is last year’s blog post on the Christmas newsletter I never sent:
This past year – not one to illicit good feelings and humor. Not one to write a Christmas newsletter about. Why bring the reader acute depression when what he wants is to be entertained with the humor, fun, and growth that a year is supposed to bring. Such is the stuff a Christmas newsletter is made of.
So I didn’t write a newsletter this year. Although I was tempted to. I expect to have an extra long one to send out next Christmas. Reader beware. I’m not afraid to depress readers – I just want to be able to write from a more completed perspective. But maybe that’s not real. It’s certainly not raw. And that’s my favorite genre of writing – Real and Raw.
So, permit me to write it down here. Read on if you want. Stop and come back another day if you prefer.
This was the year the time of waiting abruptly ended. It ended with the death of my friend. But it continued with the dying trade of my husband’s and his persument of a new career. This was a year of transitions. Of fluxuating transitions from one emotion to another. From anger to numbness. From fear to recklessness. And stress. So much stress.
And where was God in it all? He was over there – sitting on the opposite side of the couch. Sometimes right beside me. Quietly. Sometimes he’d reach for my hand. But mostly he’d just sit. One time he showed me his weeping. Many times he reminded me of his promises. And he allowed me to question him, wrestle him, ignore him, and walk away from him. And he was there when I walked back.
The evening in the ER still brings me to tears. I fell to my knees more than once that night. I begged God. How could she have died so easily? I told my sister-in-law who drove me to the hospital that evening that I couldn’t imagine her injuries to be serious. It just was unimaginable. But God taught me how frail even the healthiest are. That it only takes an instant to change a person’s life. That it’s the ones that are left behind that hurt the most. He has been teaching me the deepness of grief. My heart aches like never before for the ones who have lost loved ones. And I am so sorry that I didn’t offer more compassion to them. But how can one offer what she has never experienced first hand?
This has been a trying year. Along with the loss of Michelle and watching my brother grieve her and talking to her parents and sister, I’ve watched my husband’s hair turn more silver as his stress hit new heights. We are still waiting to see what God has in store for him. Is it in the tool & die trade still? Or the career he’s testing for? Or maybe it’s something totally different. Who knows how much longer we have to wait for the answer. We’re hoping we’ll know more in the Spring. And I’m hoping that by next Christmas my newsletter will be filled with many interesting happenings. But until that time, we wait. As we have waited for the past year and more.
All this waiting, stress, and grief have increased the need for Hubby and I to be patient and gracious with each other. Sometimes he is better at this, sometimes I am better than he. It has been a challenging year for unselfishness. I have come to realize how precious family is and how important it is to love fiercely in each moment. But it is hard to overcome my self-centeredness in times of stress and uncertainty. I have not loved like I intensely wish I could.
We’ve also had to adjust to my new schedule of working four days a week. After many months of sending out resumes, I finally found a job with a podiatry office. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 9 years, so working outside the home has been a big change for all of us. We’ve had to figure out how to have home-made suppers and Hubby now does the laundry as well as help the kids with homework each night. I’ve had to let go of some home front control. I am learning a new trade. Who knew feet could be so interesting? I enjoy working with the different assortment of patients our office presents. The people I work with are fun and patient with me as I learn and make mistakes. But along with stepping out into the World, I’m coming to realize just how uncomfortable I am in it, how I really don’t fit in. This World is not our home.
Some things continue to be normal. Thank goodness for that! We still enjoy camping as a family. EE still loves flag football and shooting birds with his bb gun. Little Miss is still a mystery. A bright-eyed teaser with a temper. Hubby has shot another buck on our property this year in archery season. I am still writing. Although I haven’t read a book in a month or so – an anomaly.
Life goes on. Strange and unfair as it seems at times. Part of me is waiting for the next tragedy to happen, for my bad dreams to come true. But mostly I am living day to day. I’m glad this year is at it’s end, but I look towards the new with some trepidation. Am I holding my breath? Or am I holding God’s hand? Can I possibly do both?
Looking onward toward 2010 ~