You can plot. Plan and practice and put every goal you have on a precise timeline.
But it doesn’t matter, does it. Because road maps are merely lines of projected course. The road you travel will often be much different than you intended — and far more beautiful.
On the eve of one’s birthday, who could expect the adventures of the year to come?
Year 23 was 365 days of little that I had expected. I could never have guessed where I would be living or working, what emotions would be filling my heart, learning so much about health and yet discovering so little logic behind it.
It was a year where I experienced life at a heart level. A year when I realized that I hadn’t been so willing to be raw or real before.
Like last year’s Ode to 22, here is a tribute to year 23.
Here’s to the blessings, the JOY, the pain and the love. A toast to the unexpected and the, well, even more unexpected. And praise for His grace, compassion and strength.
This technically edges back to year 22, but it had a lot of influence in year 23 — the infamous ACL reconstruction. Throughout this year -a time of rehab, numbness and watching from the sidelines- I’ve learned to never take a single step for granted (thank you, Lee Ann Womack). Healing has no timeline. The way I find JOY in pain is to remind myself that He is faithful. And He most certainly is.
Abba’s Girls, the love of a Father. With co-leaders Elizabeth and Katie, we mentored this spunky group of middle school girls. We thought we would be the teachers. Turns out, they had more to teach us.
Where, in addition to eating some ridiculously good food, I also learned a ton about American history. And walked the Freedom Trail – making people move out of the way so we could actually walk on the red line that marks the trail.
Returned to my alma mater, IU, for a little Hoosier hysteria. Became an alumna, joining the ranks of my sweet dad, godfather and “uncle.”
But a large part of my story this year was realizing that it isn’t about me. It’s all about Him, really, and then His children.
In my job, I feel blessed to learn the stories of so many of them. In a way, their stories have become part of my own.
Like this incredible little 5-year-old, Gavin Traum. He showed me that walking, even in pain caused by senseless and vicious disease, can be filled with JOY.
And these lovely Sisters, who are actually sisters. Their dedication to their home, Verboort, Ore., has helped keep their church, school and town alive.
And these two. John and Judy Krug. They came looking for family marked by faded tombstones in a church cemetery in rural Oregon.
And even Big Huey, the 21-pound cabbage. Because we celebrate victories of all kinds — even ones like growing large vegetables.
There you have it, folks. Or part of it. Maybe just a sliver that can be captured on a web page.
But I tell you this, centered in peace and Joy, I pray year 24 will be every bit as wonderful as year 23 and 22 and 21…….