Perspective for the New Year

"A little perspective, just like a little humor, goes a long way."
Allen Klein

2011, what a year! A whirlwind of emotions, stresses and of constant change. Many times I cannot seem to express in words everything my mind is thinking (this is a good thing!). However, being a person with the need to express what I'm feeling, the only thing that comes to mind is a roller coaster. The ever present ups and downs of life that I experienced this last year were similar to the previous. 

Something that my Dad told me once when I was younger that I will never forget is that stress isn't always a bad thing happening. At first I didn't understand that thought, for being young and my biggest stress being an upcoming test or how I would fill up my gas tank for $12 bucks at the end of the week, the "bad" stress was all I saw.  Everything else in life was good. Now, as a wife and mother I can say I have experienced many good stresses in life. You don't realize it until you go through it, but you can look back and think "That was a great time, but took a lot of effort, dedication, commitment, sacrifice"....all good, but still with the residue of stress.

Let's digress from this for a second....

Yesterday, was sweet Hallie Green's memorial service. It was beautiful. I honestly don't think I've been to a better memorial service. It wasn't overly mournful, but it wasn't falsely celebratory. It had just the right balance between emotions to allow you to cry and rejoice in the same room. One of the things I took away from the ceremony was how well her mama did. Now, Chris I know is used to speaking in front of groups and he did an excellent job. However, Katie isn't running a staff and she's a full-time mommy, so I would assume hopefully not ignorantly that she's not as comfortable on stage. Just a guess. With what seemed like bullet point notes, she shared her heart with us like only a mother could about their child.  While she said she doesn't feel "strong" her undying faith and her 'letting go of that which was dearest to her' that was so often shared through their blog exuded confidence and a strength that surpassed my understanding as she stood sharing about her little Hallie. I was honored to get to share in their day and continue to HOPE in all things good. 

To keep up with their story, visit them here.

Now, back to my thoughts for the new year....

As I sat here this morning, I read a scripture from my devotion. It was the story where God asked Abraham to give his son back to the Lord (through sacrificing him). If you don't know the story, you can read it here, it's not morbid although the lead in makes it seem so! God never wanted Abraham to kill Isaac and the cool thing about Abraham was that his faith was so strong, he knew that God would redeem Isaac. I've read this story countless times, but the verse that Abraham says to his servants that went with them on the journey stood out to me today. Abraham was so confident that God wouldn't forsake him he said this to his servants, "Stay here....and WE will come back to you." That meant both he and Isaac would return to go home after worshiping the Lord.  I know most times I don't have that kind of faith.

How poignant a devotion after a memorial service for a child. To sum up the story in a sentence: What ever we hold dearest to us in our lives, is our Isaac. This is not implying in the slightest anything about the above mentioned family or memorial service (please do not read it that way). More importantly, it's what I came to realize from this passage. STRESS I believe is one of my "Isaacs". We can't control stress, but we can dictate it's hold on life. 

My house is never clean, I never seem to get enough work done for my clients, dinner is most often late, laundry...who folded that last?! The list could go on and on. I'm a Type A, analyze everyone, 'figure it out' type gal; Always have been, always will be. That often leads lead me to a place of need for control and self-reliance. 

All you folks are probably saying, what about your family? Of course my husband and my baby Jack would be dearest to me in a tangible sense, but I believe we all have things in our lives that we can't "see" that are our dearest possessions even though we'd say we hate them. It's a love/hate relationship between who we are and who we want to be.

A week into 2012, I have a new found perspective on letting it go. Laundry ain't going to always be done. My hair will most likely be a mess most days and my clients will need to be patient with what I'm able to get accomplished. Dinner will be served when it's done and well, our budget will be balanced, yet flexible. This year will be a year of focus on family and priorities. There isn't much more to life than those you love, whether family, friends or those strangers that come into your life for the moment.

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