I first came across the phrase "taking stock" in the book "Betsy Was a Junior," one volume from the beloved Betsy-Tacy series penned by Maud Hart Lovelace. I read those books when I was seven or eight years old, I think. In the opening scene of this particular volume, Betsy is sitting by herself in a row boat on a pond, looking back on her life and thinking about the year ahead (her junior year of high school, which is about to start). “Taking Stock” is the title of the first chapter, and it was the first time I’d come across that phrase.
I like the phrase, and I still take stock myself from time to time.
Today is New Year’s Eve – the last day of 2009, with only one more year to go in this first decade of the 21st century. Now that I am middle-aged, time is really flying!
Today is also my ninth wedding anniversary. I don’t have a good track record when it comes to matrimony, but this marriage is a gift from God and has allowed me the opportunity to grow and to act on lessons learned during a lifetime. God IS merciful and He DOES redeem our poor choices, if only we will open our eyes and recognize it (and accept the gift).
2009 is the year I became an orphan, which is a weird feeling. I still find myself mentally “storing up” things to tell my mother the next time I talk to her, only to be hauled up short when I realize she’s not on this earth any longer.
2009 is the year my fuzzy ideas about eternal life finally became clear. In the process of helping to guide my mother home to her Creator, in the process of her earthly body shutting down, I gained an iron-clad awareness of what makes life eternal. That awareness has deepened my faith in ways I am still discovering. To be truly reconciled once and for all with God through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, is the most precious of gifts.
In 2009 I fell in love with my husband all over again. That sounds sappy, but the reality is anything BUT sappy, believe me -- because it isn’t based on warm and fuzzy feelings. It’s a new awareness of the depth of his character and a more profound respect for his spiritual walk with his Creator. He’s really an incredible person. Period. In the (admittedly paraphrased) words of Robin Williams from the movie Good Will Hunting: there are no perfect people, just people who are perfect for you. Amen.
And so we begin 2010. Bring it on!