danacox31

Hoping to share the love, joy, and grace I have received in my own life.

The Yearview Mirror- 2017

on December 30, 2017

As I sit here on this cold winter morning with my warm cup of coffee, daylight has just started to illuminate the white stuff covering our Northern Illinois ground.  I am pondering just what it is I am hoping for with the possibility of the new year approaching.  I am not one to really make resolutions, but I do ponder the year ending and consider hopes for the year to come.

2017 was a good year with several changes for our family.  Amy graduated high school and began college.  Megan and Austin celebrated their first wedding anniversary.  Megan graduated from college.  Jeff lost a job, due to a plant shutdown, but began another job just 10 days later.  Jeff and I went to visit University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in July, as I was searching for the next step to take in answering a call that I believe has been on my life for years.  On our drive to Dubuque that morning, we talked about the possibility of me taking a couple classes to try to discern what to do next.  God worked that day the way that God does and I was accepted and enrolled as a full-time resident student of the seminary and have begun the Master of Divinity program.  I had a successful first semester and am preparing for an intensive class that begins in just 9 days with about 1800 pages of reading on United Methodist history.  I have more than 20 books to order for the approaching spring semester.  You can guess how the majority of my time is spent right now, but I absolutely love it!  I feel like I am in the perfect place, not only with my seminary experience, but in my life in general.  I have begun taking better care of myself.  I had been contemplating how it is I could care for a congregation when I wasn’t properly caring for myself.  In November I started a healthy living plan with regular exercise (cardio drumming is AMAZING) and better eating habits.  With just over a month in the program, I cannot believe how much better I feel…emotionally and physically.  I am leaving 2017 with much more than I started with.

It has been more than six years since Trevor died.  There are still times that completely take my breath away and I cannot believe he is gone, but I think this is the first year that I can actually look back on the past twelve months and see that everything really will be alright.  Life isn’t at all the way we planned it.  That’s the way God works.  God takes circumstances we cannot see any way out of and turns them into something we never would have imagined.  My favorite part of 2017 has been that Jeff and I have put a priority on our time together and are dating again.  That sounds a little silly, knowing we just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary, but I feel like a newlywed.  I am sure it comes from all of the experiences this year has brought.  My seminary experience is, as expected, bringing me closer in my walk with God and the joy that comes from that is unexplainable and floods every aspect of my life.  Finding a healthy way to fuel and care for my body has been a major lift and I’m only a month in.  Megan and Austin are doing great.  Austin has one semester of school left and Megan begins her career as a Special Education Teacher in just a few days.  Amy is doing terrific in college and is enjoying her job as a paraprofessional in a Special Education classroom, as well.  Life is good.  My hope for 2018 is that I am able to just take whatever comes my way and allow it to help me learn, to grow in my faith, to spend quality time with my husband and our kids, family and friends, and that I am able to use all the lessons God has for me to help make the world a better place.  That is my hope for all of us next year.  Let’s end 2018 even better than we begin it.


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