Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye, 2016. You Were Unexpected.

I can't think of a better word. The weather returned to normal, but the Kansas wind blew plenty of change in with it.

I was promoted in an unexpected fashion. It's been a learning curve, but not as steep as, say, learning to drive. I dare to think it's gone fairly well.

I began the countdown to paying off my mortgage. It's never seemed more possible.

Life without Farmville created Bible study time, and I read the whole thing this year without skipping. I plan to focus on the New Testament in 2017. I've always preferred the Old Testament, so it's time to branch out.

The city code violation reminded me how much I like working in The Swamp, front or back. It got me in shape, it got me meeting my neighbors, and it got me a chipper/shredder that makes my heart sing and my compost pile grow.

I returned to church. It's been a while.

I was happy Trump won. I didn't expect it, I tried very hard to be OK with whatever would happen as God's will - permissive or directed - but I was pleased the election went that way. Donald is no saint by any stretch of the imagination, but he's way funnier than Hillary.

You would think losing four dear friends in seventeen days would be enough to make me curse this year, but it hasn't. God loaned them to me, and he took them back. I wish it hadn't been quite so one-after-the-other, but I don't know that any way would have been easier. I find myself embracing stoicism.

Despite the roller-coaster ride of stress that was 2016, I dare to face the new year with a sense of hope. Not because things can't get worse. They can always get worse. More that God has seen me this far, and I don't think he's going to leave me now. This may just be the year I lean into God's love instead of hairy-eyeballing it.

May the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our affliction, comfort you abundantly, both in what has passed and what is to come. May he comfort us all and bind us together by his Spirit.

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