It's a happy night here at the Moore house because we successfully took down all Christmas decorations, and our house looks much much much more "orderly" than it did this time last night. This time last night to say I was overwhelmed by the state of our house is an understatement. I no longer feel overwhelmed, so goal number one of the new year--accomplished. There is still much to accomplish, however. For example, we ate dinner out instead of at home because our dining room table is so covered in neatly stacked piles of clutter that we had no where to sit to eat our dinner. That is tomorrow's project. Make sense of the dining room table.
However, as I patiently wait for Parenthood to come on (does anyone else love that show as much as I do?), I decided to use Simple Mom's list of 20 questions to do some quick reflecting on 2012. I am going to just answer with what pops into my head first. A very quick, jot it down fast, reflection on 2012. So, maybe reflection isn't the right word. Hmmm...anyway, here goes...
1. What was the single best thing that happened this year?
There is just no way I can answer that. The single best thing? Pass.
2. The single most challenging thing?
I think I am going with teaching Ada to read. I thought that was going to be smooth sailing all the way and that by this point in the year she would be reading whatever she wanted, all of the time. Ha...not quite a true picture of how it's going. But we will press on into the new year. And the entire situation is yet another way that God is showing me that I am not in control--He is!!
3. What was an unexpected joy?
As far as unexpected goes, definitely our van. Who knew we would be getting a new-to-us van? We are still so thankful for that!! And I think the other unexpected joy has been our tiny house. For the most part, it is such a good fit for us. I thought this house would be all about surviving, and it has mostly been thriving. Unexpected, indeed.
Oh, and our beach trip. God provided so obviously for that trip. And it was such a treat and an escape and a vacation in every sense of the word. So much joy.
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Okay, now I think the reading thing more fits this question. It's more an obstacle than a challenge. Or maybe it's both an obstacle and a challenge. And I guess you could say that our car catching on fire was a very unexpected obstacle, with a very happy ending ;)
5. Pick three words to describe your year.
Steady, growing, rebuilding (are those sort of synonyms? But you understand, there is a theme forming)
6. What three words would your spouse use to describe your year?
normal--I asked Scott what he thought (the questionnaire said not to ask my spouse), and he said "I don't know!!!" as if to say, "who thinks about these things?!!!" and then wrinkled his forehead like he was thinking really hard, and then he spit out, "normal." I was like, "that's it?" He said, "Yeah, it's been a normal year." Then he said, "2011 was crazy, 2012 was normal, uneventful, and steady. There's your three words..." Lesson learned from that question, guys don't really reflect on things like this. At least not my guy. But, also, we had a steady year. Praise the Lord!!!
7. Best books that you have read this year.
This should probably be a post all it's own. I'll get back to that.
Okay, I'm going to start skipping some at this point. 20 is a lot.
8. What your biggest personal change this year?
Absolutely, hands down, the way that I run my house. God has answered huge prayers in that area. I know it seems like a small thing, that I now keep my laundry going and have a clean kitchen and no longer feel weighted down by the state of my house, but it's not a small thing. It's not, I'm telling you. A year ago, I felt hopeless in this area. I felt weighted down and lost, and it was almost as if God spoke audibly to me and said I can change this in you. I can redeem this.
I will never have a perfect house. See above--we ate dinner out because the table is covered in clutter--but the weight of it is gone. Again, Praise the Lord.
9. What is the biggest thing you have learned this past year?
That I am not in control, and that's it not about me. A lesson I have learned and will learn over and over and over again. But I think in my head, this was the year that I was going to get it all in order--the house, the finances, Ada's reading, my children, on and on and on I could go. But God is in control, and I can try my hardest to make my lists and check them off, and I will fail every time. Or, I will get it right, and life will throw me a major curve ball. God is in control, and I just have to die to self, rest in Him. I thought that if we were really, really careful with our finances, then everything would fall into place. But cars catch on fire or whatever, just fill in the blank, and things are out of my control. They just are. But God is faithful and sovereign and good. That is what is always still true at the end of the day. And, bottom line, God isn't out to make my life comfortable, and my prayer is that comfort wouldn't be my goal. Show us more and more of you, Lord, more and more of you. It can't be about us, it has to be about Him.
If I was going to use one word to sum up how I feel as I look back, it's thankful. I am so very thankful. God has provided in abundance. Again, the first time we saw this house, we looked at each other and said, "it's just a year, we can do anything for a year." And we are in year two, and I can't say it enough that the house itself has been such a gift and a refuge and a place for us to steady ourselves. And we feel steady and ready to see what's next. Life feels like an adventure right now. Scary, but also very exciting. Where is God taking us? Who knows?
Again, just thankful.