Welcome, 2016! I’m ready for you. I think. But first, let’s look back.
I had no idea going into 2015 how many changes lay ahead. I got a new job, full-time, with the City of Shelton. Old skill sets, long shelved and back-burnered, revived and thrived. I got to work with a friend of mine and make the acquaintance of others. Not only that, but budget cuts forced me into a new position. God’s favor has proved amazing. My new job won’t be cut from the budget any time soon.
Because of this new job, and all the budgeting skills we’ve learned since moving to Shelton, we paid off a 14-year-old debt. We purchased a timeshare back in 2001 (which has forced us to take vacations over the years), and paid it off few months back. The extra income from my job will also allow us to take a month-long trip around the U.S. this year, a longtime dream of my husband.
In June, after his first season of singing in the choir, Jonathon got offered the artistic directorship of Anna’s Bay Chorale. He took it! He gave up directing as a regular gig when he got out of teaching in 2005. The choir loves him, and he loves them. He lights up when he steps on the podium. God restored something we thought gone forever.
One of my oldest dreams received new life this year. I believe the seed got planted more than 20 years ago. This year, Father’s Day Sunday, it bloomed.
This year also brought out many challenges. Mainly, turning our old routines upside down. Jonathon took over the household duties, well, most of them. He took Ruby to school, shopped, cooked, budgeted and ran things from home since he telecommutes. I left for work every day, dropping Zac off at the high school on the way.
Which was the other battle: Zac out of homeschooling, for good. He went back to school in January of 2015. He’s doing well. He’s learning to plan ahead and that homework matters. He’s even made some friends.
For me, time is my most precious commodity. I dropped kettlebells and writer’s group. My social circle and free time shrank. I struggled with feeling lonely, trying to find the new purpose in this season. I felt guilty about the lack of time I had to spend with kids, especially Ruby. I couldn’t work out as long as I wanted to and still get quality sleep. Running suffered. Writing suffered, too.
And yet, I ran another half marathon back in October. I tried a gluten-free and mostly sugar-free diet. I participated in NaNoWriMo. I got to attend a Prophetic Conference in Bellingham in July. I read through the Bible in a year again.
At the very beginning of 2015, the Lord impressed the word restoration on my heart. I thought it centered around relationships. In fact, I prayed that way. It turned out to be way more than that. He’s restoring the imago dei in us.
So I ask you, what does 2016 hold for you? What are your dreams, long trammeled in discouragement and disappointment? What will live again in your life in the new year?