I flipped through Time magazine’s Year in Review while I waited to check out at the grocery the other day. Then, I started thinking about my own 2013 highlights. Hmm…let’s see…we began the year with our usual New Year’s Eve here on the farm, with lots of fireworks, Karl screaming in fear as rocket launchers whizzed by his head, and Harris and I cracking up.
Right after Christmas break, Harris came home and announced that he hated his school and told me why. “On most days I feel invisible at school, but today I felt non-existent.” THAT was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and our son, a straight A student who somehow fell through the cracks, was soon enrolled in the school I dreaded the most: the public junior high school. I seriously thought that after two days he would come home with a bloody nose or a black eye but instead he developed a skip in his step and a beautiful smile. I finally realized that our child had been miserable since 3rd grade, and the new public school environment not only recognized him as a gifted student, but it gave him a place to be himself while flourishing. So that was the beginning of the year with the first major change for our family.
As I sit here thinking about all the things over the last year I really can’t remember any funny stories. I could tell you about our two beloved pets that died, Annibel and Benbo, but that’s depressing. Or, I could share hurtful stories from my crazy siblings, but that is just too old and used. Oh wait, Harris killed his first snake! No, that’s gross. Hmm…I went to Montana and Wyoming? Nah, you probably saw that on my FB Wall. Umm….we lost all of hens…nope. Yuck. I started menopause? TMI. Well…
My plan to change jobs and move to Hawaii was halted because I realized that my husband needed something new and fresh and more challenging in his life. Instead of my career change we focused on Karl’s. Okay I’m just kidding about the Hawaii part—I just like to pretend. Karl did however make a HUGE change and now he is an insurance claims adjuster. He will be traveling more so this has prompted another change. What will we do with the farm? I mean as much as I love to cut grass, I can’t “farm” our — wait we really don’t farm. I forgot. At any rate, this house, albeit beautiful, full of great memories and like another family member, is really too big for the three of us. So we are in transition and figuring out what’s next.
Well…I can’t say just yet what “next” is but I will tell you that BIG changes are in store for the Friedrichs-Baumann clan in 2014. We have opened the door to our future and with prayer and hope in our heart we are ready to follow the path that God has laid out for us. It’s kinda scary in our middle years to make this switch but I’m a true believer in late-bloomers and the adage, “it’s never too late”.
I keep thinking of Pope Francis who goes out to see the poor or invites the homeless to help him celebrate his birthday. Karl and I, and Harris, have been given so much. I think it is now time for us to share with others our good fortune. We feel like this is a great opportunity for all of us to grow and move forward in grace.
Maybe this change will teach Harris to be open to God’s plan and purpose for each of us. Pope Francis recently said, “When God meets us he tells us two things. The first thing he says is: have hope. God always opens doors, he never closes them. He is the father who opens doors for us. The second thing he says is: don’t be afraid of tenderness. ”
Overall the year 2013 has been a great year for the Friedrichs and Baumanns.
We’ve grown stronger as a family, we’ve learned to let go of our hurts, to let go of pretenses, to open our hearts to forgiveness and somehow through God’s grace we’ve laughed…a lot.
Now some of my non-religious friends would say “no that is just your great sense of humor.” But I believe the joy that we feel as a family is a grace bestowed on us through the Spirit. And the year in review is just a looking back on all that happened with love and not remorse. Sort of like God looking over us with his Joy and His tenderness.
So here’s to a very Merry Christmas and a Joy-filled New Year…one with hope and tenderness.