Optimism

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(a cherry blossom with Christmas lights in the background at Boulevard park, yesterday!)

A new year. All around me I see and hear and feel optimism. It’s all over facebook. It’s (kinda) on the news. Everyone I talk to just knows that 2012 is going to be a great year! HAS to better than 2011.

I want to believe that too. I do. It’s just, I’m not sure what “better” should look like.

Financially? Yes please.
Weather? I’ll take more sunshine, of course!
Relationships? I’ll have mine healthy and damage free, thank you.
Physical health? Pain-free and Disease-free would be my vote!

The truth is 2011 had it’s difficulties for sure. I don’t recall writing on January 1st last year that I thought Rick would be unemployed two days later. Josh’s work injury, Abbie’s horse accident, Rick’s carpel tunnel surgery, all in the autumn, none of these were planned for ahead of time for our family. And the joy of a new baby aside, we hadn’t seen that coming last January! But the truth is, in spite of the unexpected, we had a good year. We had fun and enjoyed countless meals with friends and family. A son’s wedding, a new grandbaby born, and lots of time with our kids. In all honesty, I can’t say it’s been a bad year.

Looking forward to the coming year, I can’t imagine what surprises will come our way. And given the track record for surprises in the past year, if I had the choice, would I choose a year with NO surprises? Like, just let me have a status quo year for once? The tired and weary part of me says ‘YES, are you crazy!? Take door number two!’ But the part of me that knows I cannot control the weather, cannot control the actions of others, and cannot even control my own tongue most of the time, (actually that’s not true, I can) (wait, but I don’t) (well, sometimes I do) (But mostly I fail), that part of me knows that on this day, a day of taking stock, of evaluating the past, making goals for the future, on this day of resolutions, I know that so much is out of my hands, and this little word called faith creeps up, and reminds me that the heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

So we make our plans…
We hope for continued health and happiness. We hope for a more stable financial future. We set a goal of running a half marathon or a whole, and we begin our training. We make a list of resolutions to be a more disciplined people, to do unto others, to laugh more and complain less, we drag our tired bodies out of bed and make them move, to pump our hearts and fill our lungs toward the goal of better health…

…and then we walk by faith.

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