Our New Year’s Eve family dinner covered much conversation of the ups and downs of 2014. Honest heart felt words of grief were shared. Amazingly, gratitude followed.
The final question of the night was:
What were your favorite memories and moments from 2014?
Our crew had some pretty incredible responses. Word worthy. Worthy to be written and recorded. Consider this a holiday hug from our family to yours.
1. “Going to Uganda…”
2. “Meeting the Stengel Family…”
3. “…AND receiving Isabelle!” (aka Palmer the AG doll)–an incredibly thoughtful gift given to Kylee from a friend–her age–from the US.
1. “Friends from Jaca”
2. “Moving to Restoration Gateway and getting Caspian”
3. “Meeting Link”
(He’s ridiculously famous in our family and we use our precious internet data in Uganda to get a giggle or two from this comic duo!) http://rhettandlink.com/
1. “Seeing all of the animals on my birthday!”
2. “Climbing trees in Uganda”
3. (Caleb said this one too) “Shooting bb guns at granddaddy’s house!”
1. “Baptizing Joshua”
2. “Teaching 100s of orphans “The Banana Song”
1. “Becoming an auntie at RG AND becoming Auntie to Yates Alexander Ellis”
2. “Swimming with Dolphins!”
Jenni and Chris–“Our 15 Year Anniversary Cruise!”
ALL 3 children said, “Spending 9 months with Caroline and Jonathan”–of course the parents agreed! Those months together in 2014 were moments we will treasure forever.
I was amazed as I pulled up our photos of the past year how many unimaginable things we have experienced in such a short amount of time. So many agonizing and painful pieces laced with unfathomable beauty and treasured life experiences.
The culmination of 2014 is one that will be ear-marked with sorrow, suffering, and love. It will be a year we will never forget and always treasure. It will be a year we view life through a more serious lens. Yet we saw more colors and beauty than our eyes could fully take in. The tight-rope walk of faith has proven worthwhile. We feel certain it was part of growth toward greater understanding of the deep suffering and deep beauty offered in walking a white-knuckled faith journey with no safety net.
Such a vast range of emotions surround the past 365 days.
Many may hope 2014 will shut with a slam…never to be opened again. But to review…good will be found. No matter what your year held…I hope you will find good in the grim. It is there and worth digging for.
I pray whether you slam or slowly shut this past year in your heart and mind…may you find whispers of gratitude. Search your mind or your iphone for images…reminders that there was goodness, kindness, and love. It was not a silent year void of all good things. Amidst your year if there was pain, search for the good and be thankful. There is a strength and mystery behind a grateful heart. It will set you free. It will bring hope for the future. The old has gone and the new is…well…coming.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Have HOPE in 2015!
Jenni (and the rest of the Cockerham Crew)