Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Reflecting Back

It's the night before Christmas eve. The gifts are all bought and wrapped. The turkey is defrosting in the refrigerator. The (beef) sausage for the apple, sausage and cranberry stuffing is waiting patiently in the freezer. The house is as decked as it can be. The year is drawing to a close. And what a year it has been.

In January, we made the very difficult decision to end our homeschooling journey and enroll our two amazing kids in school here in Doha. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but we felt it was the Lord's leading. Two months later, it was my turn to leave home and enter the workforce. A job opened up for me in the high school office of the kids' school. It has been a perfect way for me to keep in touch with my children's lives, get to know their friends in some small way, earn some extra money and expand my social life somewhat.

Over the summer, we made the long, long journey through Saudi Arabia to visit Hubby's family in Jordan. It was a trip which none of us were looking forward to following last year's horrible experience when our kids and their cousins didn't get along and made everyone miserable. After 3 days of travel, wearing the traditional black abayas and head coverings all the way, we pulled into Amman, only to be sideswiped 5 minutes after entering the town. Not an auspicious start. However, we were happily surprised when everyone got along, was happy and enjoyed their time together.

Sadly, just weeks after we came home, we got the call that no one ever wants to get. Hubby's father passed away at the age of 91. He was a deeply loved man, a godly man. The knowledge that he was already in Heaven with the God whom he loved so offered comfort, but he remains missed every day. Knowing that the next time we go, we won't be seeing his smiling face, or hearing his words of wisdom, or feeling his strong hugs makes it almost impossible for me to think what it will be like without him. There will be such a void.

And this fall we moved to a new home. Our new home is perfect for us. It's a five minute walk to school, closer to friends, allows us to use the amenities at the school like the weight room, track, basketball courts, and pool, and is easier for us to maintain.

And so, again, it's been a year full of change. In fact, I wonder if we will ever again have a year that seems "normal." This life we have chosen certainly has its ups and downs. It's good to know that as we enter a new year next week, we have the promise that God will be with us. That He is always with us - through the good and the bad. The highs are made much sweeter by His presence, and the lows are softened by His comfort.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, 
who have been called according to his purpose." 
Romans 8:28

3 comments:

Leeann said...

Lori,

I have really enjoyed following your family's journey over the past two years (I can't believe it has been two years already! Gah!) overseas as well as the countless years before that (14, actually! Can you believe it?)

Love you, love your family.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

xoxo

Nancy M. said...

Wow, what a year of changes! I hope y'all have a Merry Christmas!!!

Claire said...

Merry Christmas, Lori and family! I hope you have a year filled with love, peace and happiness.

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