Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking Forward... Looking Back....

I really enjoy this time of year... The hustle of the Christmas season has settled down, and it's nearly the New Year. The nights are long, and typically the weather is cool - both encourage me to settle in and reflect. It helps that I am introspective by nature, and I enjoy both "process" and growth. (Though, often, I enjoy them more retrospectively!)

2008 was long - and hard. It was a year of sleepless nights - which shouldn't surprise me. They say that whatever you do New Year's Eve is what you do all year long. For me it was true. The very first night of 2008, I was awakened every two hours.

My son had a friend sleeping over, and, like clockwork, every two hours, he came to my bedside. I'd settle him back in - sure it would be the last time! - and return to my bed. As I'd pull the covers back up and close my eyes, I'd hear "Pray for your friend"...whom He called by name. At first I agreed willingly. By the second (and THIRD) awakening, I said "You know... I DID. I'm tired. I'd like to SLEEP!" But then, I couldn't sleep. "... OK. I'll pray. AGAIN!"

And that's how I spent a good part of my year - being awakened... and praying.

Yet, in the midst of it all, there have been many, many blessings. Many new experiences and new beginnings. I began my interpreting. I began my blog. I made new friends, reconnected with old friends, and deepened established relationships. I was given a new church family that I love dearly. I was baptized in the creek - a very different experience from my sprinkling experience as a teen. But, as it should be: My relationship with God is very different now.

I could not ever say it enough: I am very, very blessed...beyond my wildest imaginings, I am blessed.

Yet, I imagine the New Year. I wonder what it will hold. I pray for balance. I pray for peace, and joy and love. I know that hope is with me, and pray that faith will continue to be at my side as well. Mostly, I pray that I hear Him clearly, I obey Him willingly, and I accept the gifts that He continues to send my way.

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