Yup, my title pretty much sums up my year. 2017 was a challenge in so many ways. I’m going to spend a few minutes just writing and remembering. I don’t want any of these lessons to be wasted (and have to be relearned in 2018!)
Yup, I must be at the “difficult” age that society often talks about but never came to me until this year. You know, they talk about the terrible twos, then the teenage years, and then . . . . . what? I seemed to float through a lot of that. Even with all my health issues, I’ve been able to manage to find good in all of it.
What do you do, when something happens that you can’t find good in? And what about not being able to find the lesson you’re supposed to be learning!?
2016 was wonderful. I wrote a book that summarized so much of what God has taught me so far in life. But 2017? In two years I have gained 30 pounds and gone from being a little size 2 to a size 12. I know that many people have struggled with their body image, and their weight for an entire life, so I’m not meaning to complain. If anything, I am so much more compassionate to those people now, who have struggled for so long. I’m just personally in a very strange place. In 2017 I had my lungs tested, my heart tested, I went to the Gynecologist and the Gastro-enterologist, and they all said the same thing. “Your symptoms are classic menopause symptoms. Get used to this as you age. It’s normal to be heavier at YOUR age.” Throughout 2017 I religiously embarked on 6 different diets. I exercised daily. I still gained another 20 pounds.
My goal for 2018 is to somehow get to the bottom of this struggle. I don’t know what that means yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I don’t want to be be satisfied with “going downhill.” Those of you who know me, know that I desire to always be learning, growing, improving, and challenging myself in healthy ways. WHY are people saying that it’s okay to be “falling apart”? I have just signed up with a Christian health and fitness coach for 2018. I am going to work harder in the gym, than ever before, and at work hard at eating for health (instead of recreation). I am going to be the best version of myself in 2018. I’m praying that the Lord will reveal any issues that are preventing me from losing weight and that He will show me the way forward, day by day, moment by moment.
I continue to peek into minimalism, to reduce the clutter in my life, so that I can have more room for meaningful pursuits. In 2017 I read about 12 books on the subject, to gain an understanding of “what the fuss was all about”. I to work through exercises on the “Happify” website daily. I benefit from the assignments there, and hope that I am able to encourage the many people I meet there. So many people, with so much pain and struggle. If I can point one person to the Hope of my life, Jesus Christ, then my time there will not be wasted.
My first grand baby has been growing in Elizabeth this year, and is due in January. I am thrilled that the Lord has blessed Elizabeth and James in this way. I’ve looked forward to being a Grandma all my life. I want to be a good one.
My mother actually picked up the telephone and called me from her hospital room in March. I was not able to get in touch with her, and she thought to call and assure us all of her love for us. It sounds small but was a highlight because it is no small feat for a 90 year old woman to call someone on a little cell phone!
I’ve been to Canada twice in 2017, and also spent 3 weeks in the U.K. with Wyatt, traveling around in our new (to us) motor home, and helping with the missions. I also took Elizabeth, James and Heather to Salt Spring Island, and they got to visit with their 90 year old Grandma. Some friends moved away and Anne & I drove to Virginia to visit them in their beautiful new home, in Amish quilt country.
I continue to teach music, but with so many health issues, I have cut back, hand picking the people that I want to teach, pour into, and spend time with. I have such amazing conversations with the Fagan children. I care about them so much, and they care right back! Allison made a commitment to Christ in the summer. Rachel continues to develop her skills that I believe will be used to help God’s people worship Him, in the years to come! I love working with the next generation of worshipers – may they lead God’s Church well!
I had the privilege of meeting David Cairns this year. He played piano at our church for Lisa Thornton’s funeral. I often listen to his piano music on Pandora, and what a joy to finally meet him! What made this moment so incredible for me was not his great talent, but rather the love and grace which exuded from him, to me. He treated me as though I were the most precious person in the world to him – and we had just met. What a privilege to play along with him on the keys, whilst he played the piano.
I had the privilege of getting to know Nichole a little, after prayer meeting. She’s the first person in Georgia I have met with a diagnosis of M.E. and we had much to share together. I was able to share many books with her and hopefully she was a little encouraged also, to know that she is not alone in her health struggles.
The Getty “Sing” Conference in Nashville was a HIGHLIGHT. Tremendous worship and insightful teaching, along with great fellowship, made it a once in a life time highlight.
My husband, Wyatt’s, cousin Paul was murdered in the fall and Elizabeth, James & I traveled to Mississippi for his funeral. Wyatt was in U.K. and not able to come. What a legendary moment to stand over Paul’s grave when everyone else had walked away, and to say with the Apostle Paul, “Death, where is your victory? Where is your sting?” I knew that death had no sting for someone who had put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. I knew without a doubt that I was not mourning as those who have no hope.
Heather graduated from New Tribes Bible Institute in December this year. Wyatt and I were able to go to her graduation. She led worship with a few others, and it was so wonderful. We really worshiped. The friends she made over the two years in Wisconsin are incredibly beautiful people and I am richer for knowing them.
My application has been submitted for American Citizenship and I am awaiting my interview. My green card expires on Feb 11, 2018 and we pray that my citizenship will be granted before that time. In the meantime, I will start to exercise, continue to get ready for baby St. Denis, and eagerly await for the GOOD things that God has planned for us in 2018!
I have a dear friend, Joan, who is writing a book currently. Memoirs of her life. I want to help her complete her book in 2018 and see it published. I’m typing it up now. I’ve also been wanting to write another book – a children’s book. We’ll see if that happens in 2018. And maybe write some music!
Wyatt & I continue to learn and grow together, how to love one another deeply from the heart and to consider one another’s needs over our own. Tonight I cooked him a steak and sewed a button on his shirt, and he kept the fire in the hearth burning. Life can be so challenging, but I am happy to let 2017 go, and happy to see what God will do in our lives in 2018. Whatever He allows, I know that He will give us the grace to live through it well. However He blesses us, I know that it will be good. We rest in His everlasting arms. We love each other. That’s truly what makes it so good.