2010 was full of a lot of ups and downs in my life, and in retrospect I discovered that THAT was a very good thing indeed.
If things stayed the same all the time, we’d never learn. Never grow. Never realize what we were meant to do. Of course that doesn’t mean it’s not painful; and that I’d just assume never learn some things if it meant enduring the kind of torture I’ve gone through this year. But how on earth do I know what I want and don’t want before it happens?
Thank goodness there’s a higher power at work that does know what I need. AND want.
I wanted to make a list of all the plus and minuses of this past year before I realized that I’d probably end up putting everything on both lists anyway, so here’s my year in a nutshell.
January–started a new budget with the enthusiasm and anticipation of a fiscially fantastic year. Then promptly broke the budget by buying two plane tickets to my parents missionary farewell. A good expenditure if I do say so myself. Especially considering February.
February–My Mom and Dad entered the MTC. Two days later she got sick. A week later she was gone. Another set of plane tickets, funeral flowers, and no interest in fiscal responsibility whatsoever. BUT…I had a great support group having just joined American Night Writer’s Association the week before her death. My new literary group turned into a support group like no other. My struggle to write was quickly swept away with my first chapter meeting and helped me pick up momentum faster than I would have expected. They wouldn’t let me fall!
March–My struggle to move forward was met with fasting and prayer; And a decision to go back to school. I had taken a few months off after working on my associates degree (something my mother had encouraged me to finish and celebrated with me but a few months before–love you Mom!), and I felt the desire to take some time off and try and get published. The Lord had other ideas. He knew I wanted to finish my degree someday and that it would be especially hard if I got caught up in the world of publishing at the same time. Plus, the instruction via classes would give me further insight through more varied reading.
Then my daughter got sick. I waited for my admissions to be finalized while sitting in a hospital room with my laptop. I felt hopeless. Lost. That no matter how much I pushed forward, there would likewise be a setback. Then my daughter got better and the Lord reminded me who is really in control. That he doesn’t just take. He heals.
April–I spent a blissful April relishing in my acceptance to the University of Houston and making hard decisions about which foreign language to pursue. I grew up studying three different languages, but wasn’t fluent enough in any one of them to test out of it. I’d be starting from scratch.
May and June went by in kind of a blur. With no ill memories to pull up I’m going to say those were pretty good months. Lots of writing and thinking about my mom I’m sure.
July–My family stopped calling me Karen. Actually they just gave me a pen name for my YA writing. I love it!
August–December was a time of beauty and chaos. I started back to school and in a few months learned more about organization than I have the whole 20 years I’ve been married. November I was admitted to the Creative Writing Concentration and offered a writing opportunity for an auto magazine. By December I had succeeded in my personal and educational goals, but not without a few tears and a lot of prayer. Even having two car accidents in two weeks made me realize a few things about myself. No, I wasn’t a bad driver–neither one was my fault. No, it wasn’t time to get rid of the truck. I LOVE that truck. Two accidents and damage only to the bumper both times? Woo hoo! I’m keeping it!
What I learned was that no matter how much we delude ourselves into thinking we’re in control…we’re not. Even when we’re organized and are pursuing matters around us, we are NOT in control. Any one person’s actions could affect us at any given moment and we need to learn how to roll with the changes. Given the year I had undergone this was a profoundly important principle for me to learn. Yes, I could organize. Yes, I could plan and carry out. But to think that I had “control” over any given situation was unrealistic.
I gained a lot of personal freedom as a result and a lot more confidence. To the point that I’ve decided to close out the craft business my girls and I started a few years back. Instead of trying to mass produce our products for sale, we’re going to give them away.
You heard me. We’re going to be running a series of contests over this next year and sharing what we’ve designed with all of you. Cause…you deserve it!!!! We love having you as part of our lives! Now I just need to come up with a good contest to start this venture off right….