Sunday, January 01, 2012

Already a Better Year by Clint

When last year started off so poorly and this year has started off so great, it is hard not to note the stark contrast. Around mid-December last year, we knew our baby had died, and Wendy would miscarry. It was a long wait. The baby passed from her body on New Year's Day. It was a day of sadness. We figured the year could only get better from there. 2011 was not an easy year. We lost our child, ended a negative relationship, saw many friends lose their battles with disease, had the large loss due to the barn fire followed by livestock and wildlife issues, were involved in three car accidents, had a long term injury due to an accident, dealt with a flood, had our nerves shaken by an earthquake, and had some damage due to a hurricane. Then Wendy broke her heel.  Just as we thought things were getting easier and we were looking forward to the holidays, more hurt and disappointment walked into our lives. Most would say 2011 was a horrible year for us.

It was tough, but through it all, we saw God's blessings. We have seen spiritual growth not only in my and Wendy's life, but also in our children's. Team Asbell bonded even closer as we tackled the clean up from the fire and began the process of restoring our lives. Blessings poured out upon us as we handled the insurance claim and reached out to help others. Friendships were strengthened. Wendy and I have grown even closer to one another. The trials and blessings were beautifully mixed.

Yesterday, Wendy and I got a rare chance to sleep late. Together we went out to a late brunch and had a nice, uninterrupted time talking. Later at home, we enjoyed watching our children play with their new Christmas toys. Then they took turns racing down the zip line I installed.  We had a bonfire and cook out followed by some game time indoors after it became too chilly outside. Our home was filled with activity and delight.

Last night, we rang in the 2012 with a lot of laughter and playfulness followed by prayers and rejoicing for all we experienced in 2011. In the last few seconds of the year due to a mix up in instructions, we were running to grab the grape juice someone stuck in the freezer. As we raced the clock together to serve sparkling grape "slushy" to everyone, we laughed at ourselves! It was a hilarious moment and a perfect end to a challenging year. Today, after worship and a trip down memory lane, we spent the day focusing on what is good in our life. Our day has been filled with thanksgiving, rejoicing, and lots of love and laughter. It's already a better year!

Psalms51:10-11 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.