Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year Reflections

January 1st, 2010.  I can't believe it when I see that date in print.  I remember being a girl of 9 years old and looking forward to the future.  I remember thinking that the year 2000 was SOOOO far away!  I was born in 1970, so the year 2000 represented a lot to me.  First of all, it was the year I would turn 30 years old - I was pretty sure I wouldn't live that long, I mean, not even my parents were THAT OLD!!!  Also, I thought of all the things that would be different in the future.  Technology (we still had 8-tracks when I was a kid), cars (I wanted a hovercar so badly!), and I thought food would be made in "replicators" (I watched Star Trek and Battlestar Gallactica alot back then).  It's fun to think back to how things used to be (remote control?  Microwave oven? VCR?  What are those???) compared to how they are now (I'm typing this on my laptop via WIFI connection).

In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined my life today.  Although I have always believed in God, (I used to call "prayer lines" advertised on TV and have them pray with me - it was free back then), I didn't belong to any organized religion until 1984 when I was 14 and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Arguably one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.  That decision has guided me to every good thing and blessing in my life.  First of all, I not only survived to the age of 30, but I will be turning 40 a mere 2 months from today (God willing!).  Also, I have learned how to be more Christlike.  I value service to others, kindness, honesty and faith in God.  I served a mission at age 21 and learned a lot more about the Gospel and about myself and others.  I was married to Tom, my best friend and eternal companion in the Seattle Temple in 1995 and we are now the proud parents of many beautiful, intelligent children.  I am especially blessed with the opportunity to be a stay at home Mom to them.  We had 2 babies of our own, are in the process of adopting 2 more, and for the past year, we have been foster parents for several newborns who, unfortunately, have been born affected by drugs or alchohol and must be protected from those influences until a safe and permanent home can be provided for them.  Our family has been very blessed by this service to others, and sometimes I wonder who is getting more out of this; the babies, or us?

It's not that we haven't faced challenges over the years.  To the contrary, we've had our share, it's just that with the Gospel in our lives, we have the tools we need to deal with them.  We learn and grow from each tragedy, heartbreak, and disaster.  I have learned to be grateful for the challenges in my life because, even though they are difficult to deal with at the time, their true value lies in their ability to make us better, stronger, and more prepared not only to deal with future challenges, but they also prepare us to help others in unique ways.

That being said, I hope that everyone who reads this has a very happy and healthy new year.  I hope that you will accomplish all your goals and receive every good thing you hope for throughout the year.  I know that I am excited about what the year will bring.  Our 15 year wedding anniversary (I still love you, babe!), a milestone birthday for me, a milestone birthday for M (he'll be 1 in March!), a child entering high school/seminary and being old enough for Youth Conference and Church dances, and hopefully 2 adoptions will become final during this year, which will be the biggest blessing of all.