The last couple of years, I have joined some of my blogging friends and chosen one word or phrase that encapsulates all my goals and ideals for the new year.
Last year I took the phrase "Law of the Harvest" and began applying it to my life, especially in our homeschool. We definitely made some strides, and I am grateful for the lessons I learned about being more consistent. I still have a long way to go, but I can see that we have improved. And improvement is progress, right?
Ups and Downs
I feel like 2014 held some of my biggest, most difficult trials, and also some wonderful blessings. I've seen several people online saying how glad they are that 2014 is over-- and I kind of agree.
But the good things that did happen in 2014 were worth it, including:
- Two children serving as missionaries: one in a part time service mission, one in a full time proselyting mission.
- The birth of our beautiful and beloved thirteenth child.
- Simplifying our homeschool group to offer classes only to youth aged 12 and older. (I'm the chairman.)
- Being cast as the Narrator in a musical program for our church based on the parable of the Ten Virgins.
- Welcoming home one of our missionaries.
- Learning more about high school transcripts, preparing my high schoolers' transcripts, and teaching other homeschool parents about keeping records for their homeschooled high school students.
- Giving my very first keynote address to a winter homeschool convention.
The last few days, I have discovered something that I am not proud of; gradually, imperceptibly, I have let a huge amount of cynicism into my heart this past year.
It surrounds how I feel about homeschool, and the methods I have used in my home. It has also come as a result of letting go of things I had always hoped and dreamed for my children. It appeared as a result of mistrust of some close friends, the choices of some loved ones, and maybe also because of the loss of both of my grandmothers this year. (Though I know they are in a much better place, now!)
As an optimist, dreamer and idealist, I am astonished at how much negativity has been able to sneak into my soul. It scares me, in fact!
I am NOT a negative person.
But in the winter of my trials, I have forgotten who I am. And WHOSE I am. And that in the midst of the "cold and snow," light and happiness can still be found.
And so, I am looking up this year. I am gazing into a much brighter, lighter future-- not because I think all my problems will disappear with the power of positive thinking.
It's because I have HOPE in salvation because of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
And so that is my word for 2105.