Saturday, January 5, 2013

Answering My Questions

What's the best thing that happened in my life this past year? Moving to Oriental, because it gave me hope -- a hope for pastoral ministry for Adam, new joy in church ministry, and a belief that God had not forgotten about us in His scheme of things.

What was the most challenging thing in my life this past year? Waiting and trusting God with the pastoral call here. It was in no way certain, and I had to let it go and not stress or worry, but just leave it to His wisdom. If it happened, I'd be happy. If it didn't, I'd know it simply wasn't His will for us. That was hard to do, and not natural for me.

What unexpected joy came your way this year? Well, how many can I list? 1) the fun of the farmer's market, and my success there, 2) being near big water!! 3) my lovely, helpful, dear, understanding online group of ladies who cradle me along every day, 4) the flourishing of Julia's artistic gift, 5) seeing my husband happy and thriving in his work.

What unexpected obstacle appeared in my life this year? There were obstacles to our being able to come here to Oriental, that I could not imagine overcoming. But God worked it out. Getting child #3 in college, and having all 3 college kids find work this past summer -- God worked out those troubles too.

Best books: I should really keep a better list. A Gift from the Sea, From the Journals of MFK Fisher, Tell Someone Your Story, and I reread A Tuscan Childhood and The Big House, both excellent.

Biggest personal change that happened to me? I discovered that I no longer wanted to teach in the classroom. That was a real shock to me, a redefining of myself, professionally speaking. I was equally surprised to find myself able to accept this change, realizing that there are stages in life, and I shouldn't expect them to last forever. Accepting that the Teaching Me was a stage, not a permanent definition of me. It was odd, but not a crisis, thankfully.

What was the most enjoyable part of my work this year? Since I count my farmer's market goods as "work," I'd say I've enjoyed becoming a more adept knitter and crocheter, among other things. I also very much enjoyed directing the handchime choir; I didn't realize how very fun it is to direct. I want to do more of that.

What was the most challenging part of my work? Going to teach classes when no students showed up, wasting hours of my time. That, I did not enjoy.

Single biggest time-waster? See above.  No, that's not fair. I learned a lot from the experience. I do waste a lot of time, and this past year I've spent an inordinate amount of time wondering what I should be doing with myself, because clearly I should be doing more!! Others tell me no, I'm doing plenty. Still wrestling with that one.

How did you use your time wisely this year? I think I spend my mental time wisely. I mean simply that I spend a lot of time thinking about important things, not trivial matters. I don't watch TV. No Dancing with the Stars for me! I don't play computer games. I think blogging is a good use of my time. Hashing through political issues this year was extremely useful to me. Conversations with Adam about dozens of issues is time very well spent. The "doing" stuff is fine, but it's the "thinking" stuff that's more important, to me.


7 comments:

  1. A great summary of your year - and what a great God we serve! Sharing so many of your experiences too - I have had less teaching work [and more crafting stuff]

    And it is so good to have a spouse with whom you can talk about Big Things - as well as trivia. But no computer games, and no TV dancing shows, please!!

    May 2013 be a year of unexpected blessings for you and those you love as you serve Him together xx

    ps, one day I may get round to reading Gift From the Sea too! why did you think it was so good?

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  2. Oh, Angela, my memory is SO bad, but I"ll try :) Her writing style was very appealing to me, I know that. I found her pleasant to read. I did not agree with all her conclusions or observations, although she's a thinking person, so she was accurate on some things. She's a woman going through some horrifying life experiences with grace and humility, I think, and that's also worthwhile -- the pain she felt was very real, and we all need company in our trials. I know I did a blog post on it somewhere -- you could search in the search bar for it.

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  3. Yes, Angela, I did do a 2-part review of it, on August 6 and of 2012. So you can look for those on the sidebar, by the year and month. But the reviews are lengthy, and may be more than you want; I don't know. I don't want to give you any spoilers!!

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  4. The photo is fabulous and perfect for the post.
    I think one of the most difficult seasons of life is that of waiting. Yet, wait is a verb. How do we wait? Patiently, with no patience at all, with expectation or hope, with dread or joy?
    I've been thinking about this a lot, lately, and feel a blog post coming on -smile-.
    I hope this post was as enjoyable to write as it was to read. You asked, and answered, penetrating questions.

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  5. Thank you, Sandra! It was a very good thing to write, and to ruminate on as I did so. I think I've avoided these types of questions in other years, but this year rather forced me to look back and assess.

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  6. I'm so glad you answered some of those questions as soon as you did - they were really intimidating to me for myself, as no answers seemed reachable for most of them, in my case. Answering them seems to have been an excellent exercise for you. May God bless 2013 as much as He did 2012!

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  7. Yes...contemplation...it counts!

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