17 January 2012

Bailing Out

Sometimes, life feels like a boat taking on water. No matter how fast you try to bail out that water, you're still going to sink. I feel that way today. Can't abandon ship, though. Well, maybe, tomorrow will be a better day.

04 January 2012

New Year

I have rarely been as glad to see a year end, as I was to see 2011 pass into history.

And, yet, it seems unkind, maybe unjust, to judge it so harshly. After all, weren't there many, many good things in 2011? Why do the hard times over shadow the bad? I don't like that. I don't want 2011 to just be known as the year I got cancer. Or, the year Mother's health and strength became dramatically worse. Or, the year we moved into a house so small it brings tears of frustration sometimes. Is it fair to only remember it for the year giving was so suffocated by the hardships donors faced that we seriously wondered sometimes how we'd make it from one day to another? Should 2011 only be remembered for those things? What about all the good that happened, too?

Well, of course. Of course, we remember the good! We must. It is what the Lord commands: "Think on these things," He told us.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8

So, here's to the good! Here's to 2011! Here's to the year we moved from an apartment in the downtown of a city known more for it's crime than for the Archie's; a home with all the heat and hot water we can use, free of charge. It is a home that may challenge my nerves some days, but also has challenged my homemaking and organizing skills. It is a home with wild flowers that cover the grass in the Spring, critters and birds to entertain us year-long, a deck that catches the sun and grants Mother a view of woods and neighbors and sky---a whole wide world she never saw in that apartment.

And, here's to the year where despite the shortages in giving, we still received a brand new, top of the line, washer and dryer. I don't have to tell you, that doesn't happen often!  We essentially lost 25% of our support, but in the end we still made it. Somehow, we made it! And, after eight years of waiting, Doug learned in December that he will finally begin to receive a stipend from the Essex County Correctional Facilities for the work he does as Chaplain. It is not a salary, but it does make-up for that 25%. And, the validation for his years of service doesn't hurt, either.

I would also not want to forget that 2011 was the year Hannah graduated from Bible school, or the year the Lord helped her make the difficult transition from student life to "real" life. It was the year I survived cancer, not only making it through surgery alive, but with a hope for better days. This was also the year my family really started sharing the day-to-day burden of caring for my Mother. My illness forced me to let go of some of the responsibility for her care, and Doug and Hannah picked-up the slack beautifully. And, just before the end of the year, the sweet baby my niece had conceived in February was born. I never want to forget 2011 was the year the Lord brought us all Annaka.

And, could I forget all He did within the ministry? Perish the thought! This was a year of such growth!

Really, truly, it wasn't such a bad year. I could actually keep listing wonderful things the Lord did. Yes, the more I think about it, 2011 was a very good year! We can only trust the Lord 2012 is so blessed.

Happy New Year!