As 2017 draws to a close, I am grateful for a year to remember. In some ways 2017 was a year of chaos and brokenness. In some ways 2017 was full of the richness of life. It occurred to me today: I believe 2017 was the best year of my life so far.
The primary reason I look on 2017 so fondly, is a small fry who waltzed onto the scene in February. Life has been sweet with Dieter . Seeing him grow, discover, and learn has been so much fun. It hasn’t been all snuggles and smiles. There have been projectile poos, rages that cannot be calmed with reason, and the destruction of sane sleeping patterns. I have not felt fully rested once in 2017. The few opportunities I have had to sleep-in were thwarted by my body being programmed to wake-up at random early morning hours.
Being Dieter’s daddy has been the best adventure. It has been great to partner with Pam on this journey. I have learned lessons about patience, reliance, and love. One of my favorite passages from this year has been Psalm 131.
A song of ascents. Of David.
1 My heart is not proud, Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.
3 Israel, put your hope in the Lord
both now and forevermore.
Psalm 131 (NIV)
Experiencing a little guy curled up in my arms, peacefully sleeping, has made me think about contentment and reliance.
Another aspect of 2017 that has been rich, has been the fruition of teaching preparation and research work. My classes have started to take on a more refined form, and I am excited about teaching them. I am so lucky to teach classes on topics that I love. On the research side of my job, I had three manuscripts accepted for publication in 2017, which was a goal I was striving to achieve. Those publications will make my stress level lower in 2018, when I go up for tenure.
In some respects I feel guilty about how good 2017 was for me. I am very aware of the brokenness and pain that marks 2017 for many. Discrimination, warfare, and hate have been prevalent. In this collage of life, the joy and the pain, I pray to love well.
Happy New Year, everyone!