The excitement of a clean slate
It's the beginning of 2013 and i'm still catching my breath from 2012.
2012 was an amazing year for us.
After four long years, i graduated from seminary with my Masters of Divinity in Youth, Family and Student Ministry (which is an incredibly long title for a degree). Basically, i read and read and wrote and wrote and listened and listened and had faith crisis upon faith crisis so i could be better prepared to walk alongside emerging adults as they navigate their faith journeys with Christ. It was...so many different things. Amazing and hard come to mind.
After 37 long weeks, i gave birth to our daughter Caroline. It was a life-changing moment in so many ways. For the past 6-almost-7 months J and i have been truly blessed to be Caroline's parents, and i can't imagine a time when we didn't exist as this family of three. (Well, sometimes i do get nostalgic when i think of pre-baby date nights and sleeping in on Saturday mornings, but i wouldn't trade it for the world.)
After who-can-remember-how-long, J and i officially launched our photography business. We've worked hard at figuring out our brand and getting it out there, and are starting to see some results.
Yet 2012 was a tough year too.
Transitioning from studenthood to motherhood was more difficult than i thought it would be. Not only was it completely terrifying to be the 24/7 caretaker of a newborn, i dearly missed the community i had experienced at seminary. Once the relief of not having to write another paper wore off, i missed being in school. i would spend hours discussing theology and life, both in and outside of class, and took for granted the stimulating and challenging conversations that stretched my faith. i went from having more conversation partners than i knew what to do with to being alone most of the day with an infant who couldn't even babble yet, let alone discuss different theories of the atonement or adolescent development or faith struggles and doubts.
Transitioning from a DINK marriage (double-income-no-kids) to a SIWB marriage (single-income-with-baby) was difficult too. Add to that the stressors that come along with starting your own business and all of the sudden all the premarital counseling that warned us money would be a big issue in marriage suddenly made sense. Being co-workers and new parents and trying to make ends meet and getting some part-time jobs and being disappointed photography isn't moving as quickly as we would like swiftly brought in the adult reality of marriage and doing life together. Not that the honeymoon is over and the romance is dead. But we gotta WORK for it now.
And then on top of those stresses, after years of perfect driving records we've had not one or two but THREE cars totaled out due to wrecks this year. i think our insurance company is starting to get nervous when we call. Seriously, it's a little ridiculous. (For those of you now questioning our driving abilities, i would like to point out that 2½ of those accidents were not our faults.)
As i reflect on the end of 2012 yesterday, it is with a mixture of sadness and relief.
Sadness to see such a remarkable year for our family end and relief that 2012 is finally over.
And that's what is so exciting about 2013. It's a clean slate. It's an opportunity for even more blessings and monumental moments for our family. But it's also a chance to move on from hard times and tough memories, a chance to see what worked and what didn't and make action steps to make 2013 different in certain ways. It's a chance to know myself better, to be a better wife and mother, a chance to find more happiness, a chance to deepen relationships with family and friends, a chance to serve more and grow more through it, and ultimately a chance to move closer to God.
Come on, 2013. Let's do this.