So many things have happened in this year. So many little memories grabbed my heart and held it captive. So many people (via blogs, the news, books, emails, and daily events) gained entrance to my mind and meandered around for various reasons. Some stayed, some drifted away, others left abruptly for reasons of their own. I've seen so much of God in every day. Sandpaper and thorns, green pastures and still waters. Tiny miracles, sweet fragrances. Glistenings and gleanings. Friendships renewed and strengthened; acquaintances developed, and acquaintances lost. Life and death. Yes. 2009 has served a feast of goodness to me as well as crumbs of sadness. As I brush away the crumbs, I am strengthened by the bounty of God's grace. For in His grace I've grown. I've learned. And He has shown me mercy wherein I've squandered opportunity and neglected to follow His path more closely. As I reflect upon 2009, I am reminded of many things of which I'm grateful:
Grateful I was able, by the generosity of others, to attend my father's funeral in January. Grateful my relationship with my brother was strengthened as a result of taking my father back to his resting place in Virginia. Grateful for the childhood memories revisited in my hometown of Triangle and Dumfries.
Grateful for the opportunities afforded me to write. A weekly newspaper column, "Common Matters", for The County Times. SBC Voices and Devotional Christian with Tony Kummer. And of course my blogs. Honored by being asked to review books for Hannibal Publishing from time to time: Alcohol Today, Families in the Bible, Lessons from a Broken Chopstick. I hope you ordered them and read them.
Grateful that Jordy healed from multiple surgeries and fractures. Overjoyed that Ryan graduated from high school and discovered fire-fighting as a vocation where God can use him to minister to others in our community. Thrilled that everyone survived the year with minimal difficulties and mishaps. Grateful for many hours of giggles, laughter, creativity and joy discovered with my four young granddaughters, Brooklyn, Abby, Haylee, and Kinsey.
Grateful the Lord has moved my granddaughter, Bethany, and her family back to Oklahoma. It will be fun getting to know my great-grandsons better--even if I have to travel to Oklahoma City to endure the Zoo, and many amusements there with them. Such travail. Wonder if I could get one of those electric scooters....hmmmn.
Grateful for my husband's continued health and the love I receive from him. Grateful God's power sustains him and allows him to sit beside my side and snore as we watch football games, Nascar races, and tennis matches. May we have many more years to do that and may his snoring always be music to my ears.
Grateful for words of knowledge and wisdom shared by various bloggers I've met throughout cyberspace. You know who you are.
Grateful beyond measure for the readers of my blogs who've prayed for me, rejoiced with me, reasoned with me, and chuckled with me. Grateful for the chance to help David Brumbelow launch his website and blog, Gulfcoast Pastor. Loved that experience. (Anyone need a blog? I'll help ya. C'mon Win!)
I'm not sure I'm grateful yet for Facebook and Twitter. Those communication oddities have yet to fuel me, sustain me, or capture my attention in ways I think some are mesmerized. However, I am grateful for the folks I've enjoined in conversations there. I rather like emails. Speaking of which...I have a few emailing buds who have regularly joined with me in chatting back and forth about everything from God's will to satan's devises, from book choices to the logic and reason of hobbies. I've shared prayer requests and lifted others in prayer. What God has done throughout the year has been amazing indeed. My granddaughter, Abby, was saved. People endured tragedy and crisis. People were healed. Depression was lifted. Disillusionment replaced with hope. God met needs where no one else could.
Maybe I should be grateful for the annoyances, the barbs and the less than prudent comments I've encountered infrequently throughout blogland this year. The crumbs of life. Indeed I am grateful for the patience and tolerance I've gained in their midst. Sandpaper, I suppose. I've learned not to indulge some in their desire to make ripples in my pond. And I've discovered once again that God never abandons or quenches the bruised reed or smoldering wick. God is so good. 2009 has been a blessing sprinkled with occasional heartache--I rejoice. I look forward to what the new decade will bring. Do you? selahV