Thursday, December 31, 2009

Adios 2009

Quick Spanish lesson: people rarely say Adios in Bolivia. The word "a Dios" means "to God" and is used for occasions when you'll never see the person again, like a funeral or when someone leaves for good. But, I guess its OK to use when talking about 2009 because tomorrow it's gone for good!
2009 was nuts for us and I have a lot of feelings about seeing it go. Last New Years, I guess I was just hoping, like I always do, for the coming year to be "good." What does that mean, though? Does it mean we hope our year is filled with blessings, health, prosperity and success? Is that what defines a "good year?" I sure thought so! But the past year hasn't always brought our family those things...yet I'm still convinced it was a good year. Here's why.
2009 brought some scary things: insecurity, stress, lost relationships, death, fear and a fair amount of heartache. It also brought some good things: travel, patience, discipline, hope, resolve, trust, new experiences, and even new life.
I'm beginning to decide that the measure of a year well spent is whether you've managed to stumble forward in the areas that matter to you, and how much of it you let God handle for you. I realize that we were in a unique position this year and that most--if not all--other years of our life won't give us the circumstances this year did. That's both a relief and a disappointment. It was hard changing directions this year, it was hard seeing things dissolve that we'd counted on, it was hard losing relationships we valued. My favorite line from "Eat, Pray, Love" is, "When God slams a door in your face, he opens a box of Girl Scout cookies." Maybe that doesn't make sense to some people, but it sure does to us! Ted and I have survived off Girl Scout cookies many times this year. Living in a foreign country is hard. I've had more bad days than this blog reflects. It can be very isolating and lonely and frustrating. But we've also feasted off our cookies too...we've had this incredible opportunity for our lives to intersect with people and places we never imagined and have been so blessed by that. We've learned a bit more about the character of God, and are seeing that He wrote our stories and knows where they're going, and that just because things seem confusing doesn't mean they aren't good and aren't being used for His purpose. The toughest lesson I'm learning now is to quit trying to flip back chapters and analyze things, or flip ahead and find out what's around the corner...just live on my page, look up to God and say, "OK."

It's warm and sunny outside. I'm writing this from a place I couldn't find on a map this time last year. I'm sitting in a room with my incredible husband and my giggling, growing son. I'd be a fool to say that 2009 hasn't been an amazing, unforgettable year, maybe not always full of sunshine, but always full of life and never lacking hope. And I've got a pretty awesome crew to be living it with:) I hope 2010 brings you everything you need and a lot of what you want! Happy New Year!

"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet." -Emily Dickinson


Lauren said...

So well said my sweet sister! You write so beautifully and I always connect so much to what you say. I have been thinking and reflecting on those same thoughts just tonight and you put a lot of my jumbled emotions into words. I know this year has been a challenge in many ways for us both, and I hope we have grown in the midst of the struggles. I love you and your sweet family so much, and Christmas just wasn't the same without yall there. I hope you know how much you were all missed. We are looking forward to seeing your sweet faces soon!!! I love you:)


Beth said...

Very well said, Caroline! I love your positivity and attitude--it has been a hard year in many ways, but you are so right that we are all so blessed and have so much to look forward to. I am so happy for your little (growing) family that you were able to create such a wonderful experience from what life threw your way. I love you guys and sure can't wait to catch up on hugs and kisses.

Leah said...

Very well said. Happy New Year!

Elizabeth and Jeremy said...

you are so sweet Caroline! I loved your entry are an awesome writer and I always enjoy what you have to say. I read your posts in amazement because there is no way I could do what the 3 (almost 4) of you have done. You're so positive about it all and always looking on the bright side! Enjoy the rest of your time in Bolivia...but Im sure there is no place like home :) Happy 2010!