Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Welcome 2012 - in two parts

Part 1

In the last ten days of the year, we made our way through a merry gauntlet of weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas of course ... and arrived here in 2012, a bit weary but very grateful for the blessings of these days, which included ...

A lot of special, fun, family time

Kay and Thomas, Mama and Daddy

A wedding of friends who were just starting to date this time last year

Rick and Rachel

A visit from our nephew and the beginning of premarital counseling with him and his beautiful fiance

Our nephew, Gray (in red!) and beautiful fiance, Sasha (2nd from L) 
grazing with everybody after a morning walk and football game

Many long walks, which helped to curb the effect of ...

cranberry mousse and Mamaliz's chocolate pound cake

So much good food
Beautiful cello music, courtesy of Jenn, who is here on an extended visit

Jenn, jamming
Friends dropping in
Cooking together
And a whole lot of dish washing!
Worship, music nights, quiet mornings

Mathew, reading at my parent's house

And now, the company has gone (except for Jenn, who is really family), the parties are over, the caramel shortbread is finished, and we are settling down to a new year.

Like many, I am not a big resolution maker.  I like Susan's approach.  Start over whenever you need to.
"I don't wait for a new day, a new week, a new month, or a new year to do it.  God's mercies are new every morning, but they are also available every minute of every day."  (if you click over to the link, scroll down to #8 to read more).
So, I have no major resolutions.  I'd just like to walk more than I did last year, read more than I did last year, sew more, knit more, write more, speak more graciously, and love well.  But those are not new resolutions.  Simply pressing on ...

Part 2
Unlike some of my writing friends, I have never named a year.  It seemed artificial for me before now.  No one word seemed to capture what I was expecting, hoping for, anticipating.  Perhaps it is because I am way too scattered in my thinking, going in so many directions at once.  Perhaps I have simply felt too unclear that I could not presume to give a year a name.  But this year, 2012, has a name.

It is a threshold year.  I am standing at the door to a new season of life coming in the next few years, looking out.  It's not time to step through, but the change is coming.

- Homeschooling will end.  I've been at it for 25 years now and this year will be the last.  Joel "graduates" with his co-op peers in May and though he'll still have one more year at home, he'll do college classes.  I will write up his transcript, rearrange the bookshelves, and probably cry at some point.  But I am not really sad that these days are over.

- Teaching will end - at least for a while, maybe for good.  I've been teaching high school classes, biology and government, to other people's children for about five years and I've already decided not to teach again next year.  What happens after that is still up in the air.

- Having children living at home will end, as Joel goes off to college in 2013.

-Having adult children living in the area will continue, I hope.  Thomas and Kay are here and we sure hope they stay in the area, though of course, if they move for a job change at some point, we'll understand.  Andrew graduates from college in May and moves back to the area to teach.

- I will have more grandchildren.  *wink*  None that I know of are "in the oven" but a Gramma can hope, right!

Of course, the future is always uncertain.  I think these things will happen, but I don't really know what tomorrow holds. Still, I can only walk each day, looking ahead, knowing what I know now, stepping as far down the path as I can see, holding my expectations lightly.  God's purposes and plans will unfold and I'm fine with that.  I trust Him.  I want to be soft and malleable, not brittle and fragile.  He has brought unexpected changes before.  If the changes that do come turn out to be very different from the ones I anticipate, well, I hope this year will have readied me for them, too.

So, 2012. Threshold year. Welcome.

the view out my front door
we have grass, at last, and it is very green

Tomorrow - a bit about pausing in a threshold year ...


kkp said...

as one of your adult children by marriage, i can't help but read between the lines, particularly on your resolution to have more grandchildren.

nothing to disclose here.

j and i have a "deal" (and by 'deal' i mean, something i told j): we can start talking about when we'd like to have kids when i get my braces off. (i don't want to look like a highschooler who accidentally got herself knocked up.)

perhaps this comment is best left for an email, but here it is for the blogging world anyway. :)

Beth said...

Really no pressure, Kandyce! Coty and I waited for almost four years before Erin was born. And anyway, I've got to get going on baby knitting so I can stay ahead of the curve!

Anonymous said...

As someone who didn't have children until seven years after marriage, I'm laughing pretty hard at kkp's comment and the relaxed sense of humor it likely represents.

I like your approach, Beth. You take stock, but don't try to cram your thoughts into any particular pigeonhole. A new year is simply a good time to reflect.

The Unsell Family said...

Beautiful post, Beth!