I don't remember exactly how she said it, but in Cold Tangerines Shauna Niequist wrote about a period of time in her life when all of the normal, every day-living stuff seemed to get edited out and the only things left were huge life events, one right after the other without any space for breathing in between. Weddings, deaths, births, funerals, moves, job losses, and the like. 2007 and 2008 were like that for me. In January of 2007 I had no idea that I was staring down the gauntlet. I had no idea that in the 18 months that followed I would get engaged, graduate, go to Africa, get married, move to Georgia, have a baby, move again, receive a difficult diagnosis, and land back in full-time youth ministry. The events of '07-'08 completely altered the course of my entire life. I am still not the same; I will never be the same. They were beautiful years, but it is no small miracle that I came out on the other side still breathing.
It seems that 2012-2013 will be a second set of watershed, life-changing, huge-life-events set of years for me - for us.
This time last year I didn't think I would be living in Georgia. I didn't think we'd leave youth ministry for college ministry. I DEFINITELY didn't think I would be pregnant with my third child already. I didn't think my blog would go viral. I didn't think I would have a literary agent. I didn't think I would go back to work. I didn't think I would go back to work writing a book. I didn't think it would be so hard. I didn't think I would cry so much. I didn't think it would be so rich. I didn't think I would learn so much.
This year, my aim is to just keep doing the next right thing. I don't think I'll make it any other way. I want to continue to infuse order and ritual into places where, historically, I've operated in organized chaos. I want to know my limits and live within them. I want to be the best mom, to love my husband well, and to be an extension of God's grace and kindness to my family.
So friends, I'm lifting my glass to you. Here's to another year of the completely unexpected. May we be shaped every day, every minute, into our best selves - growing in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Have you had a watershed year? I would LOVE to hear about it. When did life pummel you and bless you and surprise you and change you forever? Share!