So that is that…the shopping and the wrapping, the preparation and the planning, the expectation and the surprises, the baking and the feasting, the singing carols and christmas Muzak, the giving and the receiving, all the everything about Christmas almost ready to be taken down and packed away for eleven months. Even the year is done, going out with one last big party spreading round the world even as I write.
At the moment my resolve is to simplify next year’s celebrations, to not let Christmas stress me out, to not spend what seems like all my days off in December at the mall or a store and not to bake so much that we can’t possibly eat it all. The excess of Christmas did make me feel quite ill this year, literally. Too much cheese I expect – my weakness. What I have appreciated the most is having time to spend at home with Tim and the children, the lovely unwinding feeling after the ultra busy-ness of December.
Everywhere you look, on the news, magazines, papers, social media and websites, people are summing up 2014 – the horrific events, wars and diseases, famous dead people, sporting achievements, the things that have gone viral and so on and so on. Certainly if the news from around the world is all you look at the past year has contained some overwhelmingly awful events. Even in the last couple of days the tragedy is relentless with planes crashing and senseless shootings.
Putting that aside for a moment I thought I’d reflect on the year that has passed in the life of the Bicknells. Of course not many things are of great note. Many of these things I’ve already recorded in earlier posts so apologies for some duplication. The most significant landmark is ending the year with dual citizenship. This time last year I was just thinking of filling in all the forms for the Canadian citizenship process.
Being made permanent in my library job this year was a great blessing. I work part-time too which gives me time to do things at home as well as bring some money in. A highlight of the year for me was being asked to speak along with a team of three other women at Christ Central Church’s Women’s Retreat. I spoke on justice and human trafficking. It was a little scary and a learning experience, but I enjoyed sharing what God has put on my heart and the response was great too. Figuring where to go with this passion in 2015 is as yet unanswered.
Tim has completed another gruelling season of roofing, he does work incredibly hard in all the extremes of hot and cold weather we get here. He managed to find time to build a shed in the back yard as well. We started leading a small group in our house once again. Sam bought a car, graduated from high school and started college studying electrical construction. Lois got to go and see her favourite band (One Direction) in concert near Boston in the summer and found a part-time job here which propelled her into her last year of high school. She is enjoying all the grad events while keeping up with the work load as well, and doing it in style. Phoebe got baptized and continues to astound us with her intelligence and helpfulness, and Issie is growing up fast and started middle school, and continues to be a cheerful soul to have around.
Good things aren’t only the significant, landmark events, but the making of new friends, seeing God transform lives, the laughs around the dinner table, Tim’s sister coming to visit, when something (usually the car) didn’t cost as much to mend as we thought, the car making it all the way to Connecticut and back, the chats with family on facetime or Skype, getting to the beach on Prince Edward Island, riding on the roller coasters at Six Flags, eating at Chilli’s, growing vegetables in the garden, dressing up in costumes, Tim and Sam getting the four-wheeler to work, getting to the end of a challenging week, baking a new recipe, making it through another Canadian winter. All things to be thankful for.
On the flip side there are hard, sad and stressful times. Times when we wonder whether we’ve got it all wrong. Times when we’re driving each other mad. Times when we wonder whether we will make ends meet. Times when we miss people so much it hurts. Challenges we have in common with so many other families the world over. In those times, as in the good times, we cling onto Jesus, trusting that he has the best for us and that He will see us through.
Finally, thank you to you for taking the time to read my posts through the year. I appreciate you all.
All that remains to do is to wish you a happy and peaceful 2015!