Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What I Learned from 2011

Happy New Year!  Wow! 2011 was a humdinger of a year and I can't say I'm sad to see it go...well it was a humdinger and a gooder.  Doesn't it always seem that way...there are always two sides to the coin.  There were many lessons learned through pain, stress and tears.  There were many blessing given in the midst of all of that. There was massive massive stretching and changing.   In it all I really didn't have much to say as I got really tired of the same story of "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" running through my heart and mind.  But in the end I still can say, with unequivocal confidence, that God is...He is my Saviour, my provider, my sustainer, my joy, my comfort, my peace...the list is endless.
I was pondering all that was this year and thinking about what I learned (or am still learning).

*Shaun and I, in the midst of the intensity called our lives this past 12 months, really have had nothing more to give other than grinding out the daily stuff and keeping our home a happy home and a haven no matter what.  Some people were not ok with that.  They want you to give to them...even when you don't have more to give.  I had to come to a place where I was ok with them not being ok with me!  I had to come to a place of choosing my husband and my children over others.  It was (and honestly, still is at times) very uncomfortable but it's what needs to happen right now.

*We grappled with many things this year as far as direction for our family. We grappled with continuing to homeschool or sending the girls to school.  They had been on a waitlist for 3 years and both had a space available to them.  In the end sending them to that school has been a massive blessing and gift.  It is a fantastic school with phenomenal families...but I couldn't sleep, I cried, I worried, I stressed over that decision.  We grappled with staying in Langley as opposed to moving back closer to our church.  We are still grappling with that but it looks like, at least, for the next 13 years we'll be in Langley..and I'm ok with that...I'm more than ok with that...I'm good with that.  There were several other issues equally as heavy or heavier that were on the list this year that we worked through but those are two of the more obvious ones.

*I am still learning that worry doesn't add one minute to my life nor is it at all helpful.  I am really good at working myself up into a tizzy over something that is completely rocking my world.  I am learning however, that, in the end, it's not necessary and really REALLY does more harm than good.

*We are learning to be business owners instead of just going from job to job...we are starting to have a viable business and we are starting to actually have business heads.  It's hard work, it's exhausting, it's a non-stop challenge, and it's fun.  It's mostly fun because I get to do it with my best friend.  I'm never-endingly amazed at how our complement each others...we have completely different strengths and weaknesses but it works so very well.  We are the best of partners...this year we learned not to mess with that. If it ain't broke...

*I am learning that setting goals really does work...even when it doesn't seem possible or make sense to even bother.  I've always set goals...but only safe ones that I knew would be hit because failure was not an option. That's changed.

*I am learning that even though I am an adult and can do things it is SUPER amazing and nice to get help.  We received a lot of help this year in pretty much every area you can think of.  You know when you are most down and someone reaches a hand down to you and helps...it is a soothing balm and the greatest expression of love, kindness and mercy.  We were offered hands of help over and over and over this year.

*I learned I don't have to be best friends with everyone.  It's perfectly fine.  I don't even have to like everyone.  I can still be kind and thoughtful...but I don't have to like 'em and they don't have to like me...I'm ok with that now.  It's even somewhat of a relief if I'm completely honest.  It frees up so much mental space for me and makes room for those absolutely amazing people that come along.

*I'm learning to be more of a yes girl and less of a no girl. My first response has generally been a negative one.  This one trait has often made it so I have missed out on many amazing experiences and really living life...I more observed it and stayed safe.  Now don't get me wrong, in spite of myself, my life has pretty much been one amazing experience after another but there could have been more.  And I found myself hiding more than even I was prone too out of habit.  This last year I started saying "yes" a lot more and boy where there some fun times had because of it. And I'm not talking about saying "yes" in-spite of morals or ethics...I'm just talking about good old wholesome fun. There is lots to be had. This year I called more on my outgoing side of my personality than my shyer side.  It was fun.

*I have observed and learned this last year that letting go of something makes room...either for just having space (literally in my house or mentally, or in my soul) or for something else that is usually better for this moment.  I let go of a lot this year...weight, stuff, homeschooling, a house,friendships, the way things "should" be, insecurities...there is still more to let go of but I am getting better at it...and, dare I say, even enjoying it! Such freedom!

*I am still learning that God knows me so much better than anyone else...including myself.  He knew what I would need way before I did.  Our track record with each other is getting longer and longer and I must say...His record is impeccable while mine is quite dotty.  He gave me so many gifts this year that were so beyond what I could have even thought to ask for.  And He used amazing people to give them too me.

*I'm learning that sometimes life takes more courage than you think you have, more intestinal fortitude that you could ever come up with, and more stick too it ness than you could ever dream of.  Our motto this last year was "KEEP GOING!" And it was repeated often out loud to each other sometimes with a laugh and a smile but sometimes with tears and pain...one step in front of the other...KEEP GOING!

*I've learned a new way to look at failure and a new way to teach about it to our children.  Failure is good! It means you're working hard and trying. You're getting somewhere.  Failure is good as long as you get up and dust yourself off and KEEP GOING and learn.

So I leave you with that...Keep Going. Keep (or start) praying.  Keep Learning. The Author and Finisher is still working. He is still God.  He hears you if you call.
There is so much more to this life and the best is yet to come.
Happy 2012!