12 thoughts on “Rants! and Raves! 12-31-16

  1. 2016 is almost over
    I’m glad the football season is over.
    I’m glad the election is over.
    I’m glad the move is over.
    I’m glad 2016 is over.

    In 2016 Elvera has two hospital visits with no diagnosis.
    In 2016, I realized that she was losing her mental acuteness.
    In 2016 we decided that it was best to move closer to family.
    In 2016 I was restricted to daylight only in my driving permit.

    Nevertheless:
    I am thankful that I still have her and she responds intelligently in conversation.
    I am thankful that I still have a driver’s permit.
    I am thankful that both of us are physically healthy and well.
    I am thankful that we have a caring family that is very helpful.
    Reading of some of the problems discussed here makes me very thankful that we have a close family that is Christian and active in church.

    Rereading this summery reminds me that I have been immensely blessed. I don’t know what 2017 will bring. I have grave misgivings for the country and the world.
    Nevertheless, I have always remembered the closing words of David Wilkerson’s book The Vision:
    God has everything under control.

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  2. πŸ™‚ Oh, such joy to have the four grands and their mom visit for a few days. So fun to play games, read books and teach them little things. It is always fun to observe each one’s personality. They never fail to amuse and amaze me. Well, maybe sometimes when I am ready to smack them. πŸ˜‰

    πŸ™‚ Taught the seven year old grandson how to make his own lettuce salad. Showed him how to tear the lettuce, grate a carrot and add some other things. He made a huge salad and ate it all. I did not think about it until later, but realized he probably has not seen his mom do that. They almost always have the prepackaged salads. I had the lettuce all washed and ready, so it was a good opportunity to show him he could do this himself. Now if they just have the lettuce for him to do it. Generation gaps.

    πŸ™‚ Lovely holidays.

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  3. Mumsee, πŸ™‚ Isn’t that the best? I’ve got to hold two six month old babies and a 22 month old, and the two three year olds, and even picked up the five year old a few times. The nine, twelve, and fourteen year old are way too big (the two eldest are taller than their parents, never mind me), but fourteen year old gives me lots of hugs and nine year old gives the occasional impulsive hug. Twelve year old is at the awkward stage, but he did give me a hug when he arrived.

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  4. πŸ™‚ We awoke yesterday to enough snow to be pretty without being a hassle. (One inch was predicted but we got about three.)

    πŸ™‚ I’m editing a book that is decent, but with only one project on my plate I don’t feel swamped. (January is usually an off month, with nothing or just one small project.) I’m getting some opportunities to read.

    This has been an amazingly eventful year. Not only did Donald Trump get elected and the Cubs won the World Series (I’m wearing the hoodie our younger daughter got me for Christmas), but in our own home and circle: our older daughter married and moved out, Misten died, my father-in-law has had some serious decline, we got a new pastor after my husband worked his tail off the last year and a half to keep our pulpit filled and head the pulpit committee, we visited Florida for my first visit, I met Kim, we went to the Smokies for our first spring visit (and then later in the year the place we stayed burned to the ground in the Smokies fire), and we took our usual anniversary trip to celebrate our fifth anniversary. Two new babies were born in my extended family (grandchildren of my California brother, who saw three of his four sons marry the same year three years ago–the fourth was already married) and another is due soon.

    We had a very mild year weather wise, from the mildest winter in 2015-16 that either my husband or I has seen in the Midwest (19 winters for me, at least 40 for him and probably 48 or 50) to the earliest spring I’ve seen her (wildflowers blooming in March).

    It has been a hard year healthwise for my family, with some potentially serious issues (not in my household, though it has been a bit of a hard year for my husband).

    Next year seems likely to be quite a transition year. I won’t “predict” the things likely to happen in my family, but several possibilities will be huge for us if they come through (some good, some not, some the old mixture of good and bad that many life changes are).

    But God is good, and that is the foundation for everything else.

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  5. It is strange, because in many ways, 2016 has been hard for many people around the world and for many of my friends and relatives – I have lost a friend and a relative just in the last two months – but when I look at my life, I see that much good has happened:

    Two beautiful children joined the family, and I was present to help Second Sibling through her first delivery. The joy-filled exhaustion you feel as a child is born has to be one of the most greatest experiences of humanity, and I’ve now shared it with all three of my siblings.

    I helped Eldest Niece edit a novella that she self-published. It was a joy to see her take charge and make mature decisions. She is becoming a good friend as well as a niece as she grows up.

    I finally got the green light, most unexpectedly, to move forward. I’m still surprised I was accepted to this program. I’m thankful for the good marks I’ve been able to get despite the big adjustment it has been going to school again.

    The most wonderful part of returning to the city was the dear friends at the church who greeted me as if I had spent most of my life there. I had wondered if they had forgotten me, but I was welcomed by people whose names I barely remembered. To be able to sing in the choir and volunteer in the church ministries is the deepest joy I have in my life in the city.

    None of these are spectacular events, but that makes them all the better. I find the quiet lasting joy that the simple things of life brings is better than the exhilarating but short happiness of special events or temporary success.

    As for what comes, beyond returning to class, I do not know. I have learned more and more over the years, to not try to look too far ahead. The Lord never tells me more than I need to know for the next task, nor provides more than I need to accomplish it. My parents may be selling their home and moving this coming year – details are still being worked out – meaning my life will lose the one physical anchor that has been constant since I was born. Eldest Sibling expressed it in the recent discussions as feeling like a part of her was being torn away. I feel like that myself when I think about it. I trust the Lord that he will provide for all that will mean I lose (just having a permanent address, for example). School funding is month by month, semester by semester, so I wait on him for that too. My past experience, as Paul says, gives me hope for the future:

    Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
    And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
    And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
    And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:1-5)

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  6. Four of my nieces had babies this year — a firstborn (on my birthday!); two second-borns, to my husband’s oldest sister’s two daughters; and a 3rd-born, just this month. I’ve only held one of those babies. Tomorrow is family Christmas on my husband’s side, so I’m hoping to get lots of baby-holding time, as all those precious ones are on that side of the family. πŸ™‚

    My oldest daughter got engaged a week ago. My mom told me, “So you’re going to be a mother-in-law.” I responded that I like to think of it as gaining another son. πŸ™‚

    I became a member of Music Teacher’s National Association, as well as of our state affiliate, and at the local level, too. WONDERFUL people.

    Got business cards printed for the first time, too. πŸ™‚

    This is the first year that I feel I can call myself a composer. I’ve not tried to publish anything, but have performed two of my pieces and have been asked to do that again. Composing has become a way of life for me. It’s something I do regularly now. My sweet 3rd Arrow told me tonight when I was working on one of my current compositions (I have three in progress) that she often thinks I’m playing some other piece, until I stop to write something down, experiment, stop, write down…etc., and then she knows it’s my piece and not someone else’s, already completed, that I’m playing. She says my pieces sound professional.

    What a sweetheart to say that. I’m trying to find my own niche, but sometimes it seems like all my music is too similar.

    I still love the challenge of expressing myself musically, though.

    2017 is a year I want to sing with my kids more. As satisfying as playing and composing instrumental music are, there is just something about using the vocal mechanism to sing that is so energizing and uplifting. I don’t want that to only occur on Sunday mornings anymore in worship.

    I majorly fell off my Bible reading schedule for this year. Didn’t even come close to finishing. With God’s grace, that will be different this new year.

    And it’s all God’s grace, isn’t it? Where would we be without it.

    Praise God for the hope and peace we have through Him. (Thank you, Roscuro, for the Romans passage you quoted above.)

    Blessings, all.

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  7. Ah, 6 Arrows, that is a lot of sweet things.

    I’m jealous you will get to hold all those babies. My California brother has three grandchildren (with a fourth, a stillbirth, in heaven) and another on the way early next year, and I don’t know when I will possibly ever have a chance to meet them, as only his daughter travels and I rarely get that way (and am unlikely ever to get that way with my husband). I also have two grands in NC I haven’t met, but probably will meet them someday.

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  8. There will probably be about 50-60 people present, so there will be a lot of other people wanting a baby-holding turn for me to compete against. πŸ™‚ (Although lots of them younger folk themselves.)

    You’re quite a ways from the grands you mention. Only one of my siblings, and none of my husband’s, is outside the Midwest. Most of these babies I mentioned live about 3 hours from us (one only about two hours). It seems like such a long ways (for me, a person who hardly ever travels anymore), but it really isn’t, considering how far you and many people are removed from family. I hope you have an opportunity to meet those CA and NC relatives some day that you haven’t yet.

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  9. Christmas gathering today, and only two of the four babies I mentioned above were there, and another one of them I erroneously said was born this year. She wasn’t — she’s 16 months old now. Time flies.

    So the one infant that was there, I got to hold for…five minutes. Sigh.

    Nice to see everyone who was there, though.

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