Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thoughts on a New Year

This week Craig and I have spent some time dreaming about the future ... What we hope it will be, what we'd like to be doing and where we'd like to be doing it. Time will tell how many of those dreams will become realities ... but the seeds of dreaming, of wishing, of hoping, of planning have been firmly planted.

Craig is 55, I'm ten years younger. Our children are 7 and 9, which means Craig will be retiring when our daughter graduates high school and prepares to begin life as a young adult -- maybe in college, or doing something else. One day I hope they'll spend some time in a different country, perhaps as an exchange student or working on a mission. But that's my dream for them -- they will have to make it their own if it's going to work.

Each season of life has its chapters, its off-shoots. At various times I've been a student, a musician, a missionary, a secretary, an editor, a girlfriend, a patient, a wife, a teacher, a writer, and a mother. Not all at once, and each time I've tried to tend too large a garden, the weeds take over and I wind up doing NOTHING very well.

Any gardener will tell you that if you want a particular branch to bear fruit, it means pruning back the other branches. Last night at dinner I talked with my sister-in-law about this, and she mentioned that in her master gardener cours she learned that one never plants fruit trees for landscaping ... that the pruning required for good fruit production makes the trees a bit unsightly.

So it is with life. Investing our lives in one area means letting something else go. This year my Booster activities required that I give up other things -- the writer's conference, some writing projects, podcasting, and other things. Next year if I wind up going back to school to get my teaching certificate, it may mean that Boosters will need to take a back seat as I study and work to pay for classes.

Is this God's plan for my life? Good question, and one that (like many Christians) I think about often. When I was younger, I imagined that "God's will" was one particular, straight-and-narrow pathway, and that if I zigged instead of zagged -- chose one major over another, or one apartment over another -- I would fall off the grace wagon.

But God is far more generous with us than we are with ourselves. He gives us the boundaries, and sets us free within those limits. He gives us gifts and desires to guide us. Best of all, he takes our mistakes and miscalculations (when we offer them back to him and ask for help) and turns them into a thing of beauty. Or at least a source of wisdom for the future.

Sometimes "God's will" is best seen in retrospect, when the threads and knots of life's tapestry are turned over so we can see the beautiful weaving of God's design in all its beauty.

This year, may you see the beauty of your life from heaven's point of view.

1 comment:

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur said...

Wonderful article, Heidi! Happy New Year!