Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Where I’m Going: Counting Blessings…

On our new property
copyright Cindy Dillard

 As 2014 comes to a close today, I find myself, like so many others, taking stock and reviewing the events of the year. I’m amazed at the changes the year has brought! Blessings have far outweighed heartaches, and who could ask for more?

Although the year started off with a great deal of tension between my son and me, we are finishing the year with a stronger relationship, and I am proud of the way he is maturing and beginning to take responsibility for himself.

From our new house
copyright Cindy Dillard
My daughter has impressed me greatly this year. She finished her senior year and graduated from our home school, and has started executing her plan to become a surgical nurse. She intends to complete her education with no debt, and I am very proud of her for that. She just completed the coursework toward a CNA certification and will complete her clinicals in January. She is already working in an assisted living facility and will pursue her nursing degree with the educational benefits her employer provides. She has shown remarkable maturity in stepping up to the challenge of caring for her father as he recovers from the effects of alcoholism. She has had more stress on her than anyone her age should have to endure, but she has risen above every challenge she has faced. I’m one proud Mama.

My job responsibilities have expanded into a more interesting (if not lucrative) position that affords me a greater sense of worth and contentment. If you have to go to work, might as well enjoy your job, right? Perhaps financial rewards will follow in the new year…

We purchased a new home this year, with a little over 7.5 acres. It’s a lovely house and a beautiful plot of land, and every day I’m amazed that I get to live in such a wonderful, peaceful place. In the coming year we will be working on improvements we want to make and will hopefully get the other property sold or leased. Moving an hour closer to my work has been life-changing and is among the greatest of the blessings this year has brought.

I’m not sure most people would call a motorcycle accident a blessing, but the Good Lord was watching out for me on this one, and for that I am truly blessed. I had an accident on our cross-country trip and in that accident I lacerated my spleen, but I didn’t know I was seriously injured. I got back on the bike (which only suffered cosmetic damage) and rode from Oklahoma City on to Los Angeles without realizing I was bleeding internally until I started having some severe pain 6 days later. Although it ruined a lot of what we had planned for the trip, it could have been much worse!  But we still made some great memories and now have a very good reason to make the trek again soon so we can do the things we missed this time around.

I came into the year with a lot of hurt caused by friends that I considered as close as family, but time heals and teaches, and I believe there are ways to learn and grow even in painful situations. This is what I learned:
I got a tattoo this year!
copyright Cindy Dillard
  • I can hold my head high because I stayed true to myself and my values.
  • Although first impressions can sometimes be deceiving, sometimes they are dead on. So from now on, I’ll pay much more attention to my gut feelings.
  • Unfortunately, many adults will still do or say whatever is necessary to fit in with a clique. I was naïve enough to think that people generally grow out of this pubescent tendency by adulthood, but it seems in some ways people do not change with maturity.
  • I learned that I’m not one of those people that I just described. I found out that it’s much more satisfying to be who I am and what I am, even if I don’t have the approval of my peers. After all, the only people I need to please are God, my man and me, because ultimately no one else matters. But then again, I never have been one to run with the herd, so I have never felt the need to change who I am so that I will have someone else’s acceptance.
  • There are situations where it is important to be concerned about what other people think of you and situations where it is of no consequence. I am learning the difference, and most of the time, it's the latter which applies.
  • I can choose not to allow someone else’s drama and pettiness influence me or my behavior.
  • I am the only one who is responsible for my sense of peace and happiness.
  • Other people’s actions and opinions do not define me. They may have hurt me, but they did not break me, and they did not change me.
  • Although I made the choice to forgive, I do not have to forget. There are no mulligans when it comes to lost trust.
  • One should always be aware of another person’s agenda. We all have them, but women in particular tend to be ruled by them.
  • I will accept new friendships with caution, tempered with kindness and respect, but my trust will be hard-earned. I will use better judgment in the future regarding those in whom I place my trust and friendship.
Our Fur Babies
 copyright Cindy Dillard
In the upcoming year, we are hoping to add a female Rotty to our little pack, and hopefully we’ll soon have a nice big fenced area where all our puppies can play. We have some primitive camping planned, and if everything works out, we’ll finally get to take our trip to Ireland sometime this year. I hope to make progress with my nature photography and digital scrapbooking, and there are several other crafts I want to work on this year as well, including becoming more skilled at Tunisian crochet.

I am looking forward to a wonderful year in 2015, with many plans and dreams that I hope come true! It’s always exciting to have a fresh start, a clean slate, and a new beginning. Happy New Year!

There is joy on this journey, on my way home to my Father’s house,
Cindy <><

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