I learned several important things this year….

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After a wild and crazy year I have discovered a few important things. Here are my top ten so far:

Family ~ Our kids really like each other and like to spend time together. How did I learn that? Well, I suspected it because they would get together separately for lunch out, movie night or some other way of connecting. But, boy oh boy, move 2 of them 14 hours away from the other 2 and there is no end to the complaints about our new situation! Heart warming and heart wrenching at the same time!

Love ~ I hung out with Don for most of a day nearly every day (in less than ideal circumstances) for 5 months AND we got along great! If that is a glimpse into retirement, we should do just fine.

History ~ You never know who from your past will make an appearance in your future. And you never know who in your today won’t be involved in your life ever again. Relationships are funny things so celebrate who is around you and what they mean to you today!

Plans ~ Sometimes plans you have made get put on hold one way or another by things completely out of your control. Don’t be caught spinning in circles while you wait for the next thing. While it looks like nothing is happening in that cocoon or chrysalis from the outside, the inside is experiencing an amazing transformation that needs a certain amount of time to pass. Don’t waste your time while you wait!

Discovery ~ The person I was 30, 20, 10, 5, and 2 years ago was the person in the middle of becoming who I am today. It is easier to be me now, I suppose. There were many bunny trails early on that were distracting although they each helped me learn and better define who (and Whose) I am. And if you learn something from them it wasn’t wasted time. All is redeemable in the hands of God ~ the trick is in learning how to release it to Him and let Him do it in His time!

Beauty ~ There is so much beauty out in the world! ~ in your home, yard, community, state, nation, and the world! Wow! From simple to complex. Open your eyes, heart, and mind and get engaged with the world around you!

Quiet ~ I used to always want music on–even as I was going to bed as a teenager and college student. Now I crave quiet or at least only “natural” noise. I definitely plan to take more time this year to step away from the craziness and celebrate and savor the quiet.

New ~ So much has been “new” for me lately and it is taking a lot more energy than I thought it would to adjust to everything. In general, I don’t mind change. I can handle a few new this and thats but orienting to many new realities at the same time is taking me longer than I thought. Be sure to give yourself some extra margin if you travel down an unfamiliar path!

Trust ~ It takes time to develop relationships with people you trust. I don’t know very many people on personal level in New York besides Don, Elizabeth, and Hannah but I don’t feel like it’s a problem at this point because there are so many different things happening in the adjustment and I can’t imagine adding in other things right now! I know the relationships will come with time. How do I know? When we moved to Evansville in 2006 I only knew Don and our four kids. And as we adjusted and lived and breathed and played in our new town we met lots and lots of precious people. I absolutely trust God will take care of these details again for us in New York.

Perspective ~ Your perspective makes a HUGE difference in what you see. If you are looking for reasons to be miserable (in a marriage, at your job, in your town, in your church) you will likely find your “proof”. If you look for the interesting, the positive, the “good” in any situation, you will likely find that as well. Seek and you will find…so be careful what you are looking for!!!

What did you learn in 2013?

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