Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Quick Look Back Before Moving Forward

I'm really lousy at keeping up with my communications: phone calls, email, Facebook, even thank you notes. I'm guessing most of you know that already. :-( It's not that I don't compose these notes/calls in my head...I DO! It's just that I struggle getting from the planning to the implementing stage. I know that this is...not nice.

Since this has been a struggle for me my entire life, I don't expect to conquer it all at once. But one of my non-resolutions (I don't make New Year's resolutions 'cause I'd just fail and feel guilty; I DO however take the opportunity at the beginning of each year to review areas I want to improve in.) was to try to do better in this area.

And step #1 was to clean up my email inboxes. I have three main email accounts: one for work, two personal--mostly divided as one for subscriptions/junkmail and one for personal notes. Between the three accounts, I had over SIX-HUNDRED emails in my INBOX. That's not including myriad additional folders (generally a dozen or so) attached to each account.

Clearly, I wasn't managing my electronic communications.

As I began the process of weeding out my inboxes this week, I discovered something very important: I had quite a 2008...and God sustained me through it all.

Wanna review a bit with me?

**February: Doctors found suspicious calcifications in my breast (sorry, guys), that led to a series of painful and expensive procedures {the day before}...eventually to tell me I was just fine {the day after}. Yee-haw. But this is the month one of my girls received Christ as her Savior...I still tear up at the memory.

**May: I was contacted regarding my 'dream job' and began a deep, draining, God-seeking journey to discover His will regarding this opportunity.

**June: May & June are my very busiest time of year at work, and coupled with the strain of the process above, this made for a really challenging month. I thought it was tough enough, until my mother was (finally!) diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening disease (she is quite stable now, thank you) {as it began} and my handicapped sister started code-blue-ing (stopped breathing) several times a week for no discernible reason. This was an achingly difficult month.

**July: Interviewed for this job and visited my family. My mother began to respond to treatment, and a battery replacement(!) resolved my sister's ailment. My elders asked to meet with me to pray over me and for my family--one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given. EVERYONE in my life who knew about the job opp thought it was a done deal...until I had to turn it down. Yet I truly believed God would intervene and open the door. He didn't.

**August: Felt adrift and alone in the aftermath of the previous months, and really struggled to find my footing again.

**But by October, things were looking up. Despite the near-totalling of my car, joy came when TWO of my sisters gave birth to boys in the same week! AND my brother announced that he and his lovely new bride were expecting in May! Good news for a happy aunt! And, I celebrated happy milestones in The Journey.

**November: We voted! I celebrated some more Journey milestones. The girls I work with shocked the pants off of me when three of them (out of five) finished memorizing the books (2 Timothy, Ephesians--only one per girl!) I had assigned them. To see their growth and their excitement was so thrilling...and humbling.

**December: A busy, happy month. Of course, I started day 1 with the stomach virus (you should definitely pass on this one!) and spent the entire month (until now, actually) sick in some form. BUT, I love the Christmas season, and work--though crazy busy--was full of excitement and fun. THEN, I tried getting out of the boat; that didn't go so well. But THEN, most of my wonderful family came for a crazy week of food and fun at my house! Whee-ha! And THEN, I got to start the new year with a trip to visit my BF from middle school...still one of my very dearest, most precious friends. Busy, busy, but happy.

A review of my email showed me encouraging blog comments and prayers from many of you, and the consistent care of my local church leadership and family. And though there is little electronic documentation, I keenly recall the love my work family poured out on me in those really intense times.

And when I look at all of this, I recall the goodness of our God. How He carried me through unknown and frightening waters; how He brought me words of wisdom and encouragement at my most desperate moments; how, even when He would not answer my questions, He comforted me with quiet assurances of His presence and His plan.

And though I would be okay if 2009 didn't bring with it some of the crazy, scary, nutty things that 2008 did, I would not trade His sweet presence and lessons for anything at all.

I'm so glad I started the year with a communications clean-out. I think it made for one of my best New Year's ever.

Now, onto 2009 and all that it holds,

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. --Hebrews 13:20-21, NIV

(c) 2009


Beth said...

what a year!!! what WILL 09 hold?!?!?

Rachel said...

Technically you were with me in 2009. How can you start out a year better than that. You should be here now. It is -8 with a wind chill of -28.

600 emails. WOOOWWWWW! is that unread? Or read and not trashed. I trash mine almost daily.

You have had too many medical issues last year. I hope you used all of those up last year.

suzann said...

I'm so glad for this blog so I can keep up with you! :)