Happy New Year! My favorite starting to a New Year:
"Today, dear friends, we stand upon the verge of the unknown. There lies before us the new year and we are going forth to possess it. Who can tell what we shall find? What new experiences, what changes shall come, what new needs shall arise? This is the land of hills and valleys. It is not all smooth nor all downhill. If life were all one dead level of dull sameness it would oppress us; we want the hills and the valleys. The hills collect the rain from a hundred fruitful valleys." Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.
I guess I have been reading Streams in the Desert so long, that when I turn the page on January first, that is what always comes to my mind. She also says, "He leads us on by paths we did not know:
I bet you can say that about 2020. I know that we all went down paths we never expected.
When I turned the calendar at the start of 2020 last year, it was with fear and trepidation. I am sure you have read all of my past blogs about that, but I wanted to share what I think I have learned so far. The What ifs that crowd my thoughts are worse by far that those things that happen. Like:
What if our house doesn't sell? Or What if we can't find a house to buy? Those things I admit to was on my mind much more than, "What an incredible adventure I am on, I want to see what God has in store for us."
I think I spent much more time being surprised by what God allowed. How He used unimaginable circumstances to happen and as we clung to His hand and under His wings so afraid, that the next step was the Grand Canyon and not just a teeny step forward. Like:
June 2020. The house is being inspected by an inspector who looked and acted like Charles Manson. The new owners to be are standing in the front yard with their real estate agent. My phone rings, its Kessie who realizes she is in labor. A week early. She is in Tucson, I am in California. There is not anyway, shape or form, I can get there. Our oldest grandson is texting me telling me what is really going on. People crying and all kinds of stuff. There is not a thing I can do but just give it to God. Which is what I should do all of the time.
The baby comes and everyone is fine, we of course have reservations for the next week. Here is what it looked like every night in the rental house. ( God moved the fire to the back side of the mountain, until we left.)
It pretty much describes 2020 don't you think? You know what was the amazing thing? The rental company refunded every single penny. We had to leave early because of the smoke, and Kessie just wasn't resting with Grandma and Grandpa and all of her kids so close to the fire.
Then of course, we were going to move in July. On July 2nd I talked to Ben and we had such a nice chat. Two hours later he called. They had a terrible car wreck. They were fine. How in the world did I make it through that and move the following week I have no clue, you just do what you have to do and let God direct your path as you are on complete auto pilot.
The valuable lesson I learned then, was again, God is in control of every single thing, and what illusion of control I ever thought I had is completely misguided. I have no control over anything. As I have learned in 2020 not even control over my own tongue. 2020 has shown me clearly what comes out of the cup when its bumped. I am not nice.
That is my 2020 self portrait. I hope in 2021 I can get some makeup to cover up the lines. ;)
Okay back to that fateful day, when Makenzie almost died and the baby was born at 24 weeks. I have no idea in the world how we managed to make it through that, but some how we did, and the baby is home and Makenzie and William are getting to work on being brand new parents. The baby is so happy to be home you can just tell.
What I learned on the 2020 cliff I was on, that there is a safe place under God's wings even when you can't see it or feel it but its there none the less. I found what most helped me during those days, was looking each day for one tiny blessing, one tiny taste of joy. It really is there, its just having the eyes to see. I think what I learned this year is take the red pill! Its better to be fully awake and living in reality.
Even if the real part of life is scary, uncertain, full of the unknowns. You know how to really freak people out? Hug friends at the grocery store, with you mask off. I do it all of the time. I figure, I have been through so much stuff in 2020, I am not going to die, because I would already be six feet under, so why not live dangerously. ( I shouldn't have to say this, but my opinion, my blog. )
So there it goes. I only have one goal for 2021. I am going to take new pictures. It makes me sad to go back to my old pictures. I really want a new beginning and going back to what was in the past in my pictures really does make it hard to blog. I could write I am sure 100 pages of all of the things God did.
I only covered the three oldest. The three youngest had equally challenging times. I will stop here though. I am sure there will be huge surprises and challenges in this coming year.