2008: The Crucible Year

Now is the time for looking back and taking stock of those 525,600 minuteshot_crucible1 that have almost elapsed to form another year gone by. That year is 2008.

At the end of 2007 and early into 2008,

I made a pledge to approach 2008 in a different way.  I penned the following in my journal:

January 1, 2008 journal entry:

…I am eager to fully embrace 2008. When I get to December 31, 2008, I don’t want to wonder where the year has gone. I want to be fully aware and alert during each month.

January 6, 2008 journal entry:

He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. -Colossians 1:17

This is the focus scripture for today’s sermon, and it matches one of my hopes for the new year. I hope not to let the year go by in a blur but to be fully engaged in every moment as it comes. I want to cherish each moment, knowing that Jesus is there holding it all together through the joy, sorrow, upsets, frustrations, rejoicing, answered prayer, surprises, and the mundane.

There was a bit of prophecy in these entries because the lot of my 525,600 minutes has been rife with joy, sorrow, upsets, frustrations, rejoicing, answered prayer, and surprises.  Even the mundane was less than mundane.

For me, this year has been what I will call a crucible year. The third definition of “crucible” in the merriam-webster.com online dictionary sums up my year:

3: a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development.

I was true to my pledge to be in every moment, refusing to check out and get lost in each day’s sunrise and sunset.  I was caught up in Obamamania, but not in a superficial, bandwagon manner. The movement for change was a portal to my burgeoning political consciousness.  I replaced my regular TV shows (a shrinking list as it was) with the news shows on CNN and MSNBC, along with a whole host of internet political/news sites.  I stood toe to toe with the pundits every night from the comforts of my arm chair of course. I joined Facebook and posted my musings on the political topic of the day.  Next came this blog that has enlarged my territory considerably. I haven’t won in any awards for blogs with the most hits, but the feedback has been enough to unearth a nascent desire to read, think, and write full time. I am grateful for the whirlwind of forces that conspired to give me this considerable gift.

During this crucible year, I have shed elements that weighed me down: my job (no coherence there) and my church (no community there). Thankful for the lessons learned in those spaces, I am much lighter and free for the shedding.

Leaving my job was a luxury afforded me by my recently sainted husband, Larry, who was a bulwark through all the pressing and forming brought on by the heat and pressure of this crucible year.  I realize that this gift is a tremendous priviledge especially given the global economic downturn.

I have been deeply contemplative about the next 525,600 minutes, 2009. Setting my own agenda and creating  my own daily plan has been empowering and frightening. I strive to measure up to my standards of progress and achievement. I aim for realism, authenticity, and freedom, while trying not to be oppressive or unrealistic. Between the reading, writing, and mommying, I want to continue my community volunteering. Well, the bridge from 2008 to 2009 is coming together nicely. Let’s walk on across.

Welcome 2009!



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