Possibility in the New Year

The Christmas celebrations are over and the New Year celebrations are just around the corner.  This week finds me in reflection of the year that is coming to a close.   There are highlight years in my life, ones that stand out as being "life changing" or those in which significant events have happened.   This happens to be a highlight year with a lot of changes, events, and much learning.

In no particular order, here is a list of eleven significant things from my 2011:

1.  I had the opportunity to begin working in an office environment for a couple hours a day while the kids are in school.  This has been a wonderful opportunity and the people I work for are great.   It has also been an adjustment for me as I have not worked in an office environment or been accountable to a "boss" for over ten years.

2.  I ran a half marathon.   It was something I never thought I could do as I never considered myself athletic.   The sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that I have completed this made a huge change in my view of myself.

3.  For five years, I have tried to teach my own children how to play piano.  As it is my profession, I thought it would be easier than it was.   This year I began a search for a different piano teacher for them and we ended up with a wonderful teacher who understood where I was coming from and helped me to not feel like a failure in looking for a piano teacher for my own children.

4.  Hard work and determination pay off.  Part of this discovery was in training for the half marathon, the other part was in coaching the LEGO robotics team.   The marathon was an event that I was excited to participate in and something that I wanted to do, the end result was exhilarating  as I crossed the finish line.    When we looked into the LEGO robotics, both Mark and I agreed that we did not have the time to coach the team, but we were both excited about the possibility for E.   Two weeks later, through events beyond our control, we found ourselves coaching the team.   The time commitment was demanding, and the work beyond my comprehension.   Determined to provide the experience for E, we took on the huge learning curve, set aside some things, and ended up competing really well at the tournament.   Whether it is something you want to do in life or whether it is something that life hands you, hard work and determination pay off. 

5.  With a new addition to our family this year, I have five nieces and a nephew to love in addition to my children.  With age ranges from newborn to ten, there are many stages of life going on.   The cuddly newborn stage when they are totally dependent on you for everything to the three year old trying desperately to find her way to express her thoughts to the five year old beginning school to the eight year old navigating though friendships and the ten year old preparing for middle school, each stage in childhood is one to be celebrated and enjoyed.   

6.  It has been a great year for Mark and I as we continue to make new friends and develop the friendships that we already have.  Each friendship that we have has enriched our lives in ways that we may not even know yet, but we know that each friendship is a gift from God and one that we are grateful for.

7.  Investing in myself is important.   This year was the second time that I have taken the time to invest in myself.  The first time was seven years ago this New Year's Day, when I made a commitment to myself to loose weight and lost almost 50 pounds.  This year was a year dedicated to exercise and fitness.   In January the thoughts of going to the gym were purely weight loss focused and also training for the half marathon.   As the year progressed the gym became a way that I was taking care of myself.   I have found that when I take the time to invest in myself, my outlook on life is so much better.

8.  You can't take life for granted.   In November, I was reminded that each and every day is precious and a gift.   In a moments notice, you can find that a dearly loved one is no longer by your side.   Each day is a day to love hard and cherish those around you because there is no guarantee for tomorrow.

9.  I am His.   Something I was taught from a very young age, that God loves us and there is nothing we can do to change that.   My head knew the words, yet deep in my heart was a different story.   I would listen to the whispers of the world and the opinions of others, letting that affect my self esteem rather than resting and absorbing in His love.  This year I am learning to rest in His presence and His love and let that be the foundation of who I am.   (Still working on this.)

10.  Despite the busyness of our schedules leading up to the holidays, I was able to spend time each day through the month of December remembering the reason that we celebrate Christmas.   The stress of preparing for the holidays took a back seat this year for the first time, while I spent the month celebrating the birth and love of my God.

11.  Possibility.   Each of the events above was an opportunity offered to me in this past year.   As the calendar page is about to turn and bring in the new year, new possibilities and opportunities will be knocking on our door.    This year promises to bring changes to our family and while those changes are already being anticipated, I look forward to the possibilities and opportunities that are not yet realized that we can embrace, wrestle with, grow through, and at the end, smile as they might just be one of the highlights of the year.

Today I am linking up with Julie, for Words, words, words.   Be sure to check out her beautiful writing here.  


  1. What a lovely reflection, Janelle. I adore 9. What a constant quest, but such a wonderful one.

    Thanks for linking up!

  2. Thanks for the inspiration this morning and for the invitation! Enjoyed it!