Thursday, December 28, 2006

Reflections on 2006

How in the world can it be the end of another year? I remember back when it turned to 1970. I decided that I was going to go honk the car horn 70 times. At about 35 honks, my grandpa came out and put a stop to my personal celebration. Of course, that was WAY before car alarms which honk way more than 70 times when a trash truck goes by, right?

Now, 36 years later, we come to the end of yet another year. Reflecting on the events of this year, I'm not sure how to rate this year. We had a lot of transition. We moved to yet ANOTHER country and started yet ANOTHER new language. There is LOTS of stress related to moving to a new country. The kids have had trouble adjusting to the school. We have had trouble adjusting to our new lives here.

It hasn't been a particularly spectacular year in the "Main Thing". I think I have been faithful to share with many people, but I don't recall actually leading anyone to the Lord this year. There have been many times with large seed broadcasting, but no "one-on-one" experiences, other than sharing with folks. I have seen my kids faithful to share with others, and that makes me very happy. I console myself with knowing that God calls us to faithfulness and He will bring folks to Himself in His time. I question and challenge myself with making sure that I am as faithful as I can be. A missionary (or anyone else, for that matter) doesn't "save" anyone; that is the job of the Holy Spirit. It is my job to share with people and be available to be used by God.

It has been a particularly discouraging year. As I said before, my kids have had a hard time adjusting to our new situation and their new school. My wife has battled with severe migraines and more recently chronic pain that required minor surgery. Unfortunately, the effects of the surgery hasn't been all that we had hoped and she has only seen minor improvements. We have had many personal crises with our family back in the States, from aging parents, a grandmother basically going blind, a nephew in prison, another nephew divorced, a young brother-in-law suffering a stroke, and most recently, the "burning-to-the-ground" of my childhood home. Above all, and through all, I can honestly say that "God is faithful" and He has not forsaken us nor has He left us. But, through these difficulties, He has been faithful to love and support us either by His Spirit, or by the extended family He has provided in the Church.

Perhaps one of the most significant things that happened, in a personal way, this year was that I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and am now using a CPAP machine to breath at night. For the first time in years, I am dreaming and I actually feel rested. Previously, I was sleep deprived and was becoming (as I'm sure my wife could testify) quite the cranky old man. Now, I can concentrate all my efforts in just being crotchety! ;-)

There have been many, many blessings this year as well. We have been blessed with a very nice, "biggish" flat in our new city. Generally, my family's health has been good and we have made it through the year with only my wife's surgery as a hospitalization. In fact, one of my kids has asthma, and since moving to our new country, they have weaned them self off the asthma medicine and is doing very well. My kids are making friends here and are getting along better in school.

Now then, with all this said and written, what are my goals for next year?

I will to continue to be faithful to share with folks as God brings the opportunities;
I will finish language school;
I will begin the work for which we moved to this new country;
I will be a better husband by spending less time on the computer;
I will be a better father by spending more quality time with the kids;
I will be a good son by writing my folks at least once a week;
I will be a good friend by being available to those in need;
I will be a good colleague by not complaining and being willing to do what is needed;
I will loose weight by exercising and following a sensible diet;
I will be less crotchety (God help me);
I will be a better adopted son of the Most High by spending quality time with Him and being who I know He wants me to be.

May God bless you for a Happy, Healthy, Blessed 2007!


Debbie said...

Nomad: I just want you to know that your family is in my prayers daily(sometimes 2 or 3 times a day) and will continue to be. What you are doing is bearing fruit that you may not know about until heaven, but I will tell you that your posts have changed things in me. Between you, Guy and David my top priority in my prayer and giving is once again missions and always will be.

GuyMuse said...

What a great post. Thanks for sharing yourself with us. Much of what you write are things we can identify with and are part of the lives of so many Ms. I too have a similar post that I am debating about posting. One doesn't want to sound too depressing, yet if we are honest, it is often tough on the mission field. May God grant you a joyful 2007 and may He help you achieve each of your listed goals.