Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 Looking Back: But Joy Comes in the Morning

As 2011 approached, my one thought has been, "I can't wait for this year to be over."
2010 has not been my best year.
It has, in fact, been the most difficult one I have ever experienced.
This year I lost a baby, went through a rocky patch in my marriage and, for the first time in my life, I struggled with depression.
There were many mornings spent crying in the shower.
There were many nights with a wet pillow.
I have never felt so alone as I have this year.
Largely, that is my own fault.
None of the things I was dealing with were easy for me to talk about.
Especially for this girl who likes to have it together, handle things herself and be in control.
I am not good at asking for help.
Sometimes being fiercely independent isn't for the best.

I read these verses a lot.
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea."
Psalm 46:1-2
Because that is how I felt--my earth was giving way.

And while things are not all better now, they are a lot better.
Once again God has proven Himself faithful.
He has given me joy in my sorrow.

It was a surprise, really.  
I was looking for a picture I wanted to print up for Aaron for Christmas.  And since I had a whole Saturday morning to myself, I just began looking at the hundreds, maybe thousands, of pictures I took this year.
As I looked, I smiled and cried and found that despite all my negative feelings about 2010, the year was also full of much, much goodness.
I felt like I had been given a gift.
Usually I am an optimist.  I try to find the sunshine in the shadows and make the best of things.
But I had let the shadows grow so dark over this year, that I had stopped seeing any sunshine at all.

It reminded me of another Psalm I have read much this year, waiting for it to be true in my life.
Psalm 30.
I especially liked verse 5, "weeping may tarry for a night, but joy comes in the morning."
Oh how I longed for that to happen.
It had.
I had to look for it.  I had to be reminded.
But it was there all along.

I hope I remember.  For I am sure there will be more dark days.
Dark years even.
But I know that even in darkness there is still light.
And for that I am grateful.

So here are some of those pictures I found, the sweet memories of good times, smiles, and the people I love most in the world.

(In no particular order)
There were adventures.

There was pure joy.

There were breakfasts out.

And breakfasts in.

There were dreams realized, both small,

and big.

There was skateboarding.

And camping trips.

One was just for the boys.

There were cupcakes.

And many trips to the beach.

There was fun in the backyard.

And Mother's Day on the beach.

There were trips to our favorite places.

And hikes to our favorite peaks.

There was home improvement.

There was a walk in the redwoods.

There was laughter.

There were flowers.

And and stay at our favorite log cabin.

There were smiles.  (both real and fake)

 And new uniforms.

There were celebrations.

 And much time spent in underwear.

There were many stops just to take pictures of signs.

There were trips to the Tiki Room.

And traditions continued.

 There were amazing birthday parties.

There is a baby on the way!

There were weekends away.

And the day we watched the hawk.

There was love.

I can look back and smile.
Because joy comes in the morning.

There is much to look forward to in 2011.
That too, is part of the joy.
Happy New Year!
Love from,


katie said...

I love everything about this post: The honesty, the scriptures, the photos, and that adorable baby bump. Such a beautiful post, Greta.

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful! Thanks for sharing your heartful life with us.
All the best in 2011!

mygirl said...

greta, thank you for always sharing your heart. i love reading your blogs, i leave feeling inspired. hope you and your family have a very happy new year! love,christina

Mimi said...

Very inspiring; to keep strengthening that spiritual muscle of searching for Gods light when it feels so darn dark down here. Sad to see u felt lonely because I consistently yearn to be close with u again. I'm always available and eager should u want to talk in whispers at a book stores coffee shop or survive a noisy chaotic playdate together. Happy New Year!

Betsi* said...

Oh, sweet friend, I feel every sentence and image of this post. This has been such a year. A year that I have to thank for growth and for beauty and a year that I was more than willing to pack up and put away.
One thing I am thankful for is that God provided me with a friend, who travelled such similar paths along with me this year. Thank you, Greta, for you. You have been one of the best things about 2010 for me.
Love, Betsi*

Pam said...

God bless you for being honest and real, and for admitting you can't do it all, but God can.
He will be your strength when you feel weak, and your joy when you feel down. I too have been in those places you named.
I pray for you: beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, . God bless

Emily said...

Greta, so many thoughts, memories, and feelings filled me as I read your post. Thank you for sharing with such deep honesty. May the Light of Christ fill every nook and cranny of 2011! Emily

Erin McDonald said...

How did I miss this one?? oh well I am here now! I also was feeling that 2010 was one of the hardest but I too found a peace and even strength from our Heavenly Father who blesses us with all good gifts! I continue to pray for you and your growing family and I know God will continue to bless you as you chose this day whom you will serve, obey and focus on! I love you friend and so glad that 2010 brought us much closer than I could have ever imagined! Happy 2011!

Jennifer said...

Yes, joy comes in the morning, and joy comes in the mourning too.

Blessings on you & your beautiful family!