Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Rome Wasn't Built In A Day


How did this even happen?
How is it possible that it is December 21st today?
Where did the year 2016 go?

I sit here typing with a cup of coffee (of course!)
while my outside cats are, once again, trying to destroy my Christmas tree.......
or, are they ripping into the gifts again?!? (I have a problem. I know.)

I have mixed feelings as I reflect over this past year.

So much has taken place.

My son graduated high school, and is now attending Bible college.
(Well, at this very moment, he is home for Christmas, and hollering at me to shut my eyes as he walks from the bathroom to his bedroom because he forgot to bring his towel with him, and I won't let him use the "company" towels hanging on the rack. I am an awful person.)
Anyway,
I loved, and hated that transition.

My daughter continues to grow into a young woman.
She is my favorite girl in the whole, wide world.
(But, sometimes I am afraid of her. She is 15, people!)

My oldest son is still in Calgary.
I miss him insanely.
Painfully.
Achingly.
Nothing new there.

I have feelings of regret....... (is regret actually a feeling???)

And, as a mom, there are things I wish I would have handled better.
You know, with less screaming.
Or crying.
Or manipulating.

And in hindsight,
sometimes I gave in to easily.
And other times, I should have let things go.
I struggle finding the right balance between the two.

Being a mom is hard, folks.

But, they will all be here for Christmas, so, I guess they haven't given up on me yet.

I wish I was a better wife.

Look, I would be the first to admit,
Jason is one lucky "son of a gun" to be married to me.
I am pretty fun, amazing, kind-hearted and not hard to look at.
I really am "quite the catch"!
But, sometimes, I can be a real "B".

 (Um, "brat" people!)

And unfortunately, he often receives the worst from me,
when in all honesty,
he deserves my absolute best.

He is a good man.
I love you, babe! Even more than coffee! (Please don't make me prove it.....)

I had hoped for more personal growth.
And, for more spiritual growth.

But, I still feel like the same, selfish person I was at the beginning of 2016.
Perhaps, with less new stuff in my closet, and in my home,
(See "6 Things")
but, still, so very selfish.

I don't like it.

I've felt disappointment, too.

I am disappointed in myself.
The reasons are to stinking numerous to relay.
(Or maybe, too embarrassing.)

And, I am disappointed in God.
I know.
Christians aren't supposed to say things like that.
It's very un-Christian.
And petty.
Maybe even, sacrilegious.

But, friends, He asked some hard things of me this past year,
and, I did them.
Not perfectly, but, I did them.
And, to be quite honest with you,
I did not like His responses to my obedience.
I had hoped for so much more.

I asked some pretty big things of Him, too.
And, I liked His responses to these, even less.

But, I will say this,
Even though I've felt disappointment with God,
Even though I did not get some of the answers, or the responses that I wanted,

He still showed up.
Every time.
He always shows up.

I could weep as I write this.
Because, in spite of the regret,
in spite of the disappointment,
in spite of, or, maybe because of, some of the heart-ache I've experienced,
(See A River For Jordan)
God showed up.

And, because He showed up,
my life has been changed for the better.
My heart has been softened.
My eyes have been opened. (At the very least, they are being opened.)
I see things, feel things, differently........
deeper.......
truer.........

I have experienced His grace.
Such deep, perfect, complete grace.

And, I have experienced His forgiveness.
Forgiveness for my selfishness.
Forgiveness for covetousness.
For envy.
And profanity.
For disobedience.
The list goes on, unfortunately.........

But, fortunately, so does His forgiveness.

Oh, thank GOD for His FORGIVNESS!

Regret, yes.
Disappointment.
And heartache.

But, also,

Joy.
And peace.
Comfort.
Grace and forgiveness.

But, perhaps, more than anything else,
Hope.

Because, I know,
He is not done with me.
There is more that will come.
More that He will teach me.
More growth for me.
Probably, actually, most definitely, with more painful lessons.
But, I welcome them.
I want to be changed.

I want to be less like me.
I want to be more like His Son.

So,
I'm ok with 2016.
No.
Actually,
I'm great with 2016.

I've wept.
I've grieved.
I've learned and loved.
I've grown.
I've changed a little.
Perhaps, I even look less like me than at the beginning of the year.
If that's the case,
then I do look a little more like His Son.

And, I will continue to walk this path laid before me.
I guess it will take time.
More, perhaps than I would have liked.
It doesn't matter.
He knows what He's doing.
His timing is perfect.

And, hey,

Rome wasn't built in a day!