2008: Good Riddance or Fond Farewell?

"The last day of 2008. Good riddance or fond farewell?" This is the question that I posed to some friends via text message this morning. I didn't get very many responses, which, I suppose, is to be expected since it was only 6:32 a.m... (What can I say? If I don't do something when I think of it, I tend to forget. They'll get over it!) The few replies I did get echoed my own sentiments - this year, it's a mixture of both. I'm very happy with the year that just passed, but I'm also excited about what the year ahead holds.

On one hand there were so many blessings this year... being with family, growing friendships (new and old), employment, good health, manuscript with a publisher (there's more, but you get the idea)... It has been a good year. I'm not saying that there weren't trying times - like back in July when I wanted to sell my entire family to the gypsies when we were planning our family reunion! - but I digress. My point is that I can honestly say that the good times far outweighed the bad.

As I was reflecting on how good God has been this year I realized that this is the first time in about 8 years that I can bid a fond farewell to the year. Before now it seemed as if there was tragedy after tragedy, mishap after mishap, disappointment after disappointment. I couldn't wait for the past years to be over and never missed them when they were gone. The bad times loomed so big and bold and loud before. So much so that I could barely even see the good times let alone weigh them!

For reasons I don't fully understand myself, 2008 has been about changing my perspective independent of what is going on around me. It's been about making the choice to focus on the positive in every situation. It's been a struggle at times because we live in a world that makes it all too easy to focus on the negative. It's been well worth it though because I've been able to locate God in some less than ideal circumstances and as a result I'm able to bid a fond farewell to the year 2008 and received 2009 with arms open wide!

Praying this will be a great year for all of you! Happy New Year!