So, Mark has been saying for many months that he will be glad to see 2009 hit the road and he wouldn't mind if the door hit it in the behind. He has said it many times and many times I keep my thoughts to myself, because I know that they would not be appreciated. You see, 2009 has been tough...really, really tough...but it has been one of the best years for me in some ways too. We have been being held in the center of the fire where it is really uncomfortable and really hot. We have grumbled and complained. We have scratched our bites and licked our wounds. BUT, we have grown. We have stretched ourselves. We have discovered things about ourselves that we did not know. We have improved our marriage. We have loved each other well. We have had health. We have had wealth in the midst of the dreaded unemployment. We have had family. I know that he has felt very alone in Wichita in many ways and I respect that. I cannot concur with that for myself, though. I have found friendships that I'd never imagined. I've reconnected and refound lost friendships. Yes, I left some great friends and still miss the constant contact with them. Don't think that I don't mourn you, my KC friends. I do. BUT, God chose to bless me here with great friends, as well. Our mom's playgroup has been a huge blessing to me. Being near my parents has been such a great comfort and help to me. The church has been so encouraging through prayers, personal notes of encouragement, support, and just random people that you don't even know asking how the job hunt is going.
2009 was definitely not the most fun year or the most comfortable year. At times, it was downright scary trying to figure out how we were going to make it through tough times. Then, the world shifted and it wasn't we...it was God and His amazing work through us and others that got us through.
So, 2009, I'm not so sad to see you go, but don't think that I loathe you. I am thankful for all that you provided in people, lessons, opportunities. I am thankful for health and safety. I am thankful for my beautiful, brilliant children. I am thankful for life and love.