It is the end of the year and time to recap the events of this past year. We both started the year toasting it in with all of our neighbors on our front porch… and we had jobs. But this year would prove to be a series of steep climbs and sudden downhill rushes… with each of us loosing our primary job. Financially this was a really bad roller coaster that stretched our nerves and our wallets, but as the ride comes to a complete stop and this year becomes history I must say that there were amazing highs in our year, momumental moments of great joy and simple pleasure.
We launched a new buisness selling my hand dyed silk scarves, repurposed grocery bag crochet totes and Steve’s fabulous olive oil soaps. This was exciting. And sales were good. I have diversified to 3 galleries in town, and continue to look for retail venues for my work. Steve and I have learned that within us God has given us talents that the business community could not appreciate, or perhaps were resistant to.
On the home front we buckled down, and grew some vegetables, cut spending, and learned that we can get by on less. It has become a challenge to see how I can stretch dollars. I like challenges. A highlight this year was making and canning 2 dozen quarts of applesauce. We bought the best apples out in Hiram Ohio this year. That is going to be wonderful in the middle of the winter to crack open and remember the love that went into the process.
We attended our niece Jessica’s lovely wedding to Mr Caleb, and welcomed a wonderful well rounded young man to the family. They make a great couple, and temper each other so well.
And Steve held his first annual Blues and Barbeque in our back yard in August. It was wonderful to have the back yard filled with people, food and great music. This is a do it again. For those few hours we got our focus off the stresses of life and just enjoyed our friends, and the food. Good times are wonderful.
So in the midst of the year our thoughts were sent to the highest of heights, rejoicing over wonderful things, thankful that we could enjoy life; and then there were the valleys, the lows that we prayed would not go any lower.
I personally have had to lay down any anger or resentment for the events of the year. I had to lay down my desire for life as I like it to be ripped from my hands…. and trust that God holds everything in his hands. The battle has been in my mind first. When i get that right there is not a valley of sorrow, but the opportunity to join God on this grand adventure to the next step. But i have to be honest and say I have not always been able to get my head right, and my thoughts have run to the ‘what if’s” or I have wanted to turn and run to a place i must never go… the land of regret. I have learned this year that when the pain of life intensifies it is not acceptable to question or regret anything. Each aspect of my life has been permitted to occur – perhaps to develop my character, or perhaps because i was meant to meet someone, speak with someone, or learn from someone.
Like the threads of a tapestry, I am just one small strand in a grand design. I may not see the final purpose until heaven.
So this is my purpose for 2011 – I purpose to keep my thoughts and my mind free of regret, or of what if. I purpose to look at everything in terms of opportunities, rather than “brace yourself, the next hill is coming”. The next hill will come, but it is all in how I respond to the stress that makes the difference. So join me, and lets get off the roller coaster, and invent something new, exciting, or just go on the next grand adventure free of regret and questioning. There is something oddly freeing about letting go of what could be and embracing what is right here in my face.