We spent New Year's Eve with some dear friends and their children. All three families brought a pot of soup to share, along with bread and dessert. At 9:00 p.m., we gave 7 kids party horns and blowers (!), and ushered in a new year and a new decade.
All of us adults talked about what we were doing 10 years ago, when the year 2000 was new. (Peter and I had celebrated at a great restaurant in Chicago with our best friends from college.)
As we looked back, it was a shock to think about all that happened in 10 years! None of us three couples had children yet, and after a year of hoping for a pregnancy, Peter and I were wondering if starting a family might not turn out the way we anticipated.
If you'd told us that we would be celebrating 2010 with three children and another on the way through adoption, our jaws would have dropped at the sheer blessing of it. Add to that the fact that Peter and I both still have our parents, and we have far more than we deserve.
I haven't written much about the end of our year on the blog, because it's been hard. In addition to the first two funerals I wrote about in November, I've attended three more. Five funerals in five weeks . . . and a friend I used to work with is in the final stages of cancer, so I know there will be another funeral soon. We have other friends walking through difficult times right now, too, with fears for their children's health and their own, or with job troubles. My head has been spinning.
But, along with saying goodbyes, I've been so blessed to say hello to a dear friend's new baby. She is a first-time mom at 43, and she and her husband are bursting with joy. Another friend is due any day with her first baby, who will also be a long-awaited blessing. When I think ahead to finding out this year who our next daughter will be, it's another reminder that joy still exists in the midst of sadness.
So, I guess I'm feeling some emotional fatigue. Last night, it was good and necessary to remember where we were 10 years ago, and to remember that even though we don't know what's coming, God does. He's not surprised by any of it, even when I am -- and that goes for both the sad things and the times of rejoicing. I'm actually grateful that I don't know what's going to happen ahead of time because it forces me to stay focused on God's character: consistent, loving, and trustworthy, no matter my circumstances are.
If I were someone who makes New Year's resolutions, I guess that would be mine. May your 2010 be filled with the same focus, and the joy that comes along with it . . . no matter what each of our circumstances are.