Sure, we've had tough years. For example, in 2009 we had a couple of kids get arrested and found out we had a pregnant teenage daughter. But at that time we had a whole houseful of teenagers who were involved in sports and school and work and we just had to keep moving. There wasn't time for us to think or talk about it all much, we just kept going. There were other years like that as well -- lots of drama but no time to discuss or process it.
But this past year we only had a few people living here. Our youngest graduated from High School and wasn't involved in any activities or sports his last semester. We were down to a small number of people at home and yet some of the hardest things we have ever faced. If you've kept up with our lives you know they include:
1) Bart's foot saga that really took up the whole year.
2) My mother's transition from assisted living to the nursing home, complete with some pesky physical issues that resulted it what appeared to be full-blown dementia. Thankfully, she is now back to her normal self but it was a journey.
3) My brother's disappearance in Oakland. That was a scary week, but he was found and is doing well.
4) Issues at the church that I will not go into.
5) Our youngest sons unthinkable choice and all its repercussions.
6) Three very difficult deaths in the last couple months at church.
And we had nothing but time. Time to talk about it. Time to think about it. Time to worry, grieve, think, ponder and occasionally freak out.
So it is with no regrets that I say goodbye to 2018. I know this much: God is faithful in the middle of the mess, no matter how messy it gets.
And it is with great joy that I say hello to 2019. If you haven't heard, we have a new son-in-law, a new 5 year old grandson that came with the son-in-law, and a baby on the way due in August. I'm heading to Minnesota for Sadie's bridal shower and to speak at Refresh in Seattle March. In April Bart and I are heading there for a the long-awaited wedding. We have two sons who we hope will propose this year, possibly leading to more weddings! I get to go to Florida in April to speak at a conference.... and that's just the first 4 months of the year!
Life is looking up. And I'm glad. Thanks to all who prayed for us during this tough year. We are pretty sure 2019 will be better!