2015, A Blessing Winter Count

My friend, Larry, is a writer. He has a tradition of doing an end-of-year summary of the events, blessings, trials, and occurrences in his year –after the Native American tradition of the “winter count,” a pictorial history painted on a buffalo skin. One image was chosen for each year.wintercount

I’ve done year-end entries before, some to celebrate the end of an “annus horribilis,” as HRH Queen Elizabeth called 1992, some to celebrate a year of restoration and blessing. This year has been one of overwhelming experiences of God’s faithfulness.

I began this year in a bit of a whirlwind, spurred on by a general nagging in my soul that it was time (perhaps past time) to get my degree finished and start taking myself seriously as a writer. In January, I returned to Dordt –only taking a part-time load, but committed this time to finish. In August, I took on a full-time load, and all I can say is that the more I trusted, the more God showed up in abundance. He has shown up with resources and energy and provision and endurance that I didn’t know existed.

The kids have remained healthy, our family has remained relatively happy, maybe more so since my depression has lifted, thanks to rediscovering my purpose in and beyond the home. We have eaten well, we have stayed warm and dry, all our needs have been provided. It’s been an amazing year.

I’m beginning to find a community again, and we’re settling more and more into our local community between church and school here (I know –we’ve only been here five years. Give it time…). It’s been a quirky little bit of a blessing being the oldest student in every one of my classes, but it’s also been a unique privilege to be the voice from the other side of life sometimes. I am in a unique position to be an encourager and a validator. I’m hoping I’m filling that obligation well. I am in a unique position to re-learn humility and discernment. I’m also hoping I’m doing that well.

I’m experiencing an enforced discipline to keep writing, and that has been a huge blessing (I know, that word keeps showing up. My internal thesaurus is broken. Sorry.). I’m learning how to fix the technical glitches with my writing, how to plan a piece better, how to write with a voice that will be understood, how to read things I wrote through the eyes of a reader. All things I desperately needed, and was unaware of (see also: “humility”).

So, that’s where I’m sitting here, a few days from the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. May the next year bring things just as amazing and maybe even more so.

Luke 1:45 -this is meant to refer to Mary, but I am going to go out on an exegetical limb and claim this as truth for myself: “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!”