Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy New Year!

We observe the lunar calendar in our home. . . Not buying that?  Maybe I just didn't have my act together around January 1st and therefore didn't get my yearly goals set quite in time to write a nice, cute post about it.  But I like this idea of a few restarts.  So I've decided that each year I'm going to celebrate New Years, and Chinese New Years, and then we'll throw in Nowruz (Persian New Year, celebrated the first day of spring).  I figure I should have things pretty squared away by March, right?  Regardless, today is the start to a new year for a large population of the world, the year of the dragon.  How cool is that?  Also, how cool that our first daughter was born in the year of the tiger and second will be arriving in the year of the dragon?  We have some little warriors on our hands!

Brief look back at 2011:  We had a full, busy, complete, challenging, fun, and fast year.  It could be all our sleepless nights, but last year seemed like a blur.  Maybe it's fitting that it was the year of the rabbit.  Joey and I went through a list of questions to help us reflect on this last year that culminated with a challenge to pick a word or phrase that defined 2011.  The first word that came to my mind was, "Really?!?"  We took two international trips (Switzerland and Canada) and two cross country trips.  We had endless appointments and updates with Aurelia.  And we had some major life things happen like buying a house and finding out we're having another baby.  It was a full year.  

We started 2011 with a lot of unknowns.  We were still getting used to being parents (still are).  We were still getting used to words like special needs (still are).  We were still getting used to living stateside (still are).  And we lived in a 1 bedroom apartment.  

A lot of our unknowns haven't changed.  Things like health, future plans, and sleep are still very fluid in the Hawkins household.   One of my dad's favorite quotes is, "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God" (Corrie Ten Boom).  We feel comfortable trusting that all is going according to God's plan for our lives. 

With that in mind, we begin 2012 a few weeks late.  On our epic drive to the cabin last week, Joey and I went through a list of goals for 2012 (we used this list and found it very helpful).  It's always nice to be on the same page and know what your spouse is hoping for and planning.  I mean, if I really had my heart set on a trip to Montenegro and Joey really had his heart set on paying down student loans, we would have a hard time making financial decisions together.  Side note: I ALWAYS have my heart set on a trip somewhere, really anywhere.  For the most part, Joey and I have very similar goals for this year.  We both want to concentrate on reaching milestones with Aurelia's care, getting ahead financially, being more involved in our community, being consistent with exercise, and having lots of closer to home adventures with our two little ones (we are planning our last trip to Duke and hoping for lots of out of town visitors).

My personal goal is to be more determined.  I have a lot in my life that I want to accomplish, like write more, raise children that love the Lord, and do something generally spectacular with my life.  And I think determination is a key ingredient to getting these things done.  Determination is my focus word for this year (past words have included faith and joy).  Throughout this year, I am going to be determined to get things done, to work on marriage, motherhood, and life.  Using this verse as a good starting point:

Phillipians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.