Sunday, January 11, 2015

The New Year

     I don't know why it's taken me 11 days to write this post. I guess I wanted to write something more than ''here are some pictures from our life of late.'' Not that there's anything wrong with those posts. They're probably the ones you like most of all. To be honest, I thought very little about the upcoming new year when it was approaching. Usually I have at least some kind of goal, usually geared towards better health, but I think twenty-some years of that with very little to show for it renders a person fairly disillusioned. But that's neither here nor there. I will continue to trudge along in my ''personal health and wellness journey,'' as goes the popular phraseology, official resolution or not. I don't know. Sometimes I get the feeling that there are so many things wrong with me (I mean character flaws) that I don't even know where to begin. Having kids has made me constantly aware of my shortcomings and ugly sides. Some maintain that that's what they're there for. Marriage too. It reveals and magnifies our ugly, so God can get to work turning it into something beautiful. Or, at least, reducing its magnified state. Sanding off the roughness, refining out the impurities. I sincerely hope this is true. My friend told me this week that our changes come like as a plant grows. We were talking then about taking things personally. She says this is egocentrism. And that the change is already happening when we realize we have this problem. When we stare at the plant and hope to see it grow, we see nothing. But when we forget about watching it and trust that it's gonna grow, then we will see how it's grown over a period of time. I sincerely hope this is true as well. But if it is, mine is one s-l-o-o-o-w-growing plant. Around new year's 2014 I was praying for my friend who was visiting us, praying for healing for all she'd been through and I really felt like when I said the word ''healing'' God highlighted it for me in that God-way that He sometimes does. I wrote a little bit about it here. I really believed that 2014 was gonna be my year of healing. I just knew I was gonna get my memory back, my concentration and clear-thinking, organizational skills, my relationships were gonna be restored, my marriage improved, my hair would stop falling out, I would be restored to spiritual health...and for whatever reason it just seems like none of that happened. None of it. There were maybe some baby steps toward healing, but I can't speak of much health in any area of my life right now. Please understand, I don't say that in a snide, thankless way. I have plenty to be thankful for. Plenty. But in many ways it just left me feeling confused more than anything else. I believe God's word when it says this: ''As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.'' (Isaiah 55:10,11) I truly believe that God gave me that word, healing. Sent it. Now I'm just waiting for it to achieve its purpose. Trying to trust. But maybe I'm much too anxious for the budding and the flourishing to let the watering happen. Staring at the plant, willing it to grow. Or maybe, and this is the hardest thought, maybe its purpose will look nothing like the purpose I am waiting for. And my throat catches as I type those words. Because although I know in the depths of me that I can trust God's desires and His purposes (even desire them above my own), letting go of mine shakes me to the core. 
     We had a really nice new year's. At least I did. Our living room window overlooks a large courtyard and there were lots of groups of people lighting off fireworks, making for a fantastic display for us. Definitely the best year since I've lived here. And both of the girls slept soundly through them, which also helped. Plus we watched a documentary that I thoroughly enjoyed, called Searching for Sugar Man. We then went on to go on our favorite visit of the year. Then we got our snow. Lovely, wonderful, perfectly fluffy, snowball-fighting and angel-making snow. And at the risk of trying to stretch a metaphor too far, I'm going to try and enjoy the watering. Wait patiently for the flourishing. Or, more accurately, enjoy the flourishing that is already here.      

Lighting up the night

Janka and Luci showing Tomáš their spreadsheet for counting their animal figurines

''Please just photograph my hands.'' 

Three tutus and a scarf

Hate the garbage, love the duckies
As Rosy says, ''looking at snowflakes.'' 

I could live in those cheeks
Totally staged kitchen scene to show off my lovely (albeit un-ironed) 50c linen tablecloth

Naked avocado eating
I made the girls these wooden spoon dolls for Christmas and yesterday I awoke to find this (below). Be still, my heart. I could have burst.
Happy 2015!!!