Saturday, January 2, 2010


2010. It sounds like a sci-fi movie doesn't it? Do you say Two Thousand Ten or Twenty Ten? It doesn't just roll off the tongue like 1990 or 1978 or one of those years.

I remember when I was in the sixth grade one of our math assignments was to figure out how old we would be in the year 2000. I remember thinking that the year 2000 would be scary and unknown and we might be flying around in saucers like the Jetson's did and seeing each other on a screen when we talked on the phone. (Well, I guess with Skype that last part came true.) And then when I realized I would be 42 in the year 2000 I felt better because I couldn't imagine ever getting that old.

Well, it came faster than I ever imagined it and I've already passed it up by a whole decade. Ouch!

Personally I am glad to close the door on 2009. It wasn't a very happy year for me. Our family was dealt some pretty tough situations - things that are really, really hard and painful. For some reason 2009 became the year of broken marraiges among our friends and family and let me tell you that divorce doesn't just ruin a marraige - it ruins everything around it. It ruins relationships between parents and kids and friends and family. I understand now why God says in Malachi that He hates divorce. I hate it too. It is completely and totally devastating and we are still reeling from much of it. Dealing with our kids moving to Peru was hard and then we had to face another difficult circumstance in our family that completely knocked us to the ground and to be honest it took me some time to decide if I wanted to get back up again.

But the good thing about starting fresh each year is also knowing that God is able. We don't walk in despair - we walk in Hope - and His mercies are new every morning. They are not limited or measured. So as I turn my calendar page to a new and fresh beginning, in my heart I find myself anticipating what God is going to do this year. How is He going to work? Who's lives are going to be changed? What miracles am I going to witness? I would love to see some miracles!

I decided to pray for a word for the year - like so many of you do. I was a little afraid to do so because it reminds me of the time I prayed for patience. God gave me lots of things to practice on to develop the virtue and I determined NEVER to do that again! So I kept thinking what if He gives me a word like that. As I prayed, one word kept coming to mind and because it's not a word I use in my vocabulary, I suspected it was my word for the year. To be honest I don't even truly understand what the word means. My word for the year is - Serenity. I have to admit that my first thought was "Yikes - does that mean I'm going to keep having all kinds of trials so I can practice being serene?" I looked it up in the dictionary and it said

n 1: a disposition free from stress or emotion [syn: repose, quiet,
placidity, tranquillity, tranquility]
2: the absence of mental stress or anxiety [syn: peace, peacefulness,
peace of mind, repose, heartsease, ataraxis]

Sounds like a good place to be. The antonym to serenity is agitation. Yeah, I know all about that word. So I'm curious to see what God has in store for me this year. I'll keep you posted.

On another note, 2010 has already brought some changes to our home. I am free to share this information with you now although we have known it for a few weeks. As you know our kids came home from Peru in November for a visit through the holidays. They were scheduled to go back on this Tuesday. However, they have made the decision to not go back. At all. Ever. And I'm sure you are thinking that I am doing the Happy Dance and am delirious with excitement.

And you would be wrong.

I know. I makes no sense.

It has actually been quite difficult to watch them work through the process of making this decision. They are staying because their house never did sell and it was a matter of facing foreclosure or staying and taking care of their responsibility. They chose the latter but it involves so much confusion and frustration and wondering why they felt God called them to go only to have to cut their contract short. They still have parts of their hearts in Peru and are just so confused. My mom always said when your kids are little they have little problems and when they are big they have big problems. She was so right. I have just been praying that God will give them peace with their decision. A place of serenity. (Hmmmmm.....there's that word I never use.) We are so proud of them. Just being willing to give up everything they had and go to a place they had never been proves how much they are willing to follow their Lord.

Don't get me wrong - I AM happy to have them home and be with sweet little Tyler. But right now it feels a little selfish to feel that way. They are going to be living with us for a while because they have renters in their house that are paying part of the mortgage and they need to keep it that way to get caught up. We are having lots of wonderful time with them and our grandson. Michelle was able to get her job back and it looks like Brad will be getting his back too. In this economy - that is nothing short of a miracle. God has rained down blessing after blessing upon them since making their decision and I can't help but feel it is His way of telling them He is proud of them and He loves them. I don't know the answers to all the questions - I am ready to put this all in the past and move on to a new day. I pray they will soon be there too.

Today I am going to take down the rest of Christmas that remains in the house. As much as I love the beautiful decorations - I also love the clean and roomy feeling that putting it all away gives.

It's a new day. It's time to move on.

I am going to look over my pattern books and supplies and lay out a plan of what I want to make next. I have been knitting for months now and I feel its time to switch back to quilting for a while.

I am determined to focus more on my writing this year. I don't think I have shared yet that I was published for the very first time in December. I have to admit it was quite a thrill to see my name in print and read my very own byline. My plan is to try to get published more in magazines to help build my resume so that a book publisher will be more likely to look at my work. I have a good start on my book and it is time to get it done. My goal is to attend another writer's conference and meet with more publishers. Maybe this year?

So it's time to close the door on the past and step confidently into today. And tomorrow. And the day after. There will be lots of good and happy and there will inevitably be times of sad and frustration, but of this we can be sure - God will walk each step of the way guiding us with His great hand of love. And knowing that is enough.

Happy 2010!


Sarah said...

Robin, thank you for your sweet comment on my blog! Here's to hoping 2010 holds many great things, including serenity--I'm going to borrow some of that for myself :)

Whoever said life at a pastor's house is boring???

Becky said...

Congratulations on your published article! That is exciting news. And about your kids coming back from Peru and all the questions that remain ... I think God sometimes just wants to know for sure that we mean what we say. That we will do what we tell Him. That we're serious about our faith and our committment to trust Him. Going to Peru sure proved that. And now ... the reward ... a new and different adventure in a place they already love.

Happy new Year to you all!

Jackie said...

Thanks, Robin, for your post. I too have mixed feelings about our kids being home, but I'm so proud of them for being willing to go, and now for making the tough decision to not return. I know God used them in Peru and believe He will be able to use them even more in the days and years ahead because of the lessons they've learned through this experience. Congratulations on being published - I'm not at all surprised! Happy [serene] new year!

Kathy S. said...

Congratulations Robin!! I am so excited for you!! May the Lord overwhelm you with His peace and serenity as you journey through this new year-twenty ten...;D

Lucydolls' ramblings said...

Robin, I really enjoyed your blog today. It made me stop and think of so many things. Awesome on the publishing YIPEEEE. Now I need to go find my magazine. :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats on being published Robin! Yay for you!


Dawn said...

Wow, that was full of good stuff and some surprises. Vicki asked me the other day if the kids were going back, and I didn't know they weren't! But now I do. Your reaction doesn't surprise me.

Vicki also clued me in to your article - I hadn't seen the magazine. Congratulations! It's sitting here in my pile of things to read. I must do it soon.

I remember when I was struggling with a call to missions. I didn't want to be an "old maid missionary" and it seemed that it would be that way. I had to be willing to do it, and then God removed the call. Same with going to college - no money at all. I had to be willing to stay home, though I wanted to go with every fiber of my being. When I said to Him that I was willing, He opened the flood gates and the things I needed so desperately poured in.

So - serenity. What a good word. I am with you on waiting to see what good things this year holds. 2009 has definitely been a challenging year for so many.

nanajobx said...

Robin, I can only imagine the mixed emotions you must have! Of course having your kids back is wonderful but I am guessing that there must be a certain amount of grieving that you are experienceing. God has opened up your heart and mind to all kinds of things and I pray that he will walk you through this difficult transistion.

Michelle said...

Just getting caught up...

although it's been a difficult decision-making process about returning to Peru, or not, I do have to say I'm happy for you that you'll be able to watch Tyler grow up now :) How wonderful they were both able to get their jobs back.

I'll be praying for peace for them as the come to terms with all the decision means; I'm sure it wasn't easy.