Buon Anno (Happy New Year)!

It is hard to believe that 2015 is closing and 2016 is beginning! As I am sitting here writing this blog entry, our future home (which is 7 hours ahead of us) is already celebrating and ushering in a brand new year!

Many emotions have been flooding my heart this holiday season.  Most of all today as I was staring at the sparkling lights on our Christmas tree.  It is not a big tree and many of its artificial bristles are now mostly laying on the floor as it continues to shed with time.  The lights seem to get replaced every year and this tree has heard a few choice words from me through the years!  The ornaments are handmade by our kids and the star has chips in the paint because it is my favorite and I use it every year.  It has been the center of tradition in our home for almost 10 years.  It has moved from house to house and living room to living room.

Tomorrow I will begin the process of taking down the tree and packing up one more Williams Christmas.  Many of these items have been with us for many years and they hold deep, sweet memories.  The thought came to me – where will this tree be next year?  Will our tree see Christmas #10 with us or would we have sold it to some stranger who didn’t know all the memories that happened under its bowing branches? On which mantle will I put my favorite statue – the one where Santa is bowing to baby Jesus?  It’s always the first thing that goes up every year.  Will we be ringing in 2017 in an apartment in Italy or a house in Texas?

Living life in limbo is difficult.  If it was up to us and our timing, we would be boarding the plane tomorrow.  But it is not up to us – it is up to God. Where our old tree lives next year is up to His timing.  Only God knows what a year will bring and what it will hold.  This one flew by so fast we almost missed it.  But tomorrow I begin to pack like it’s going on a plane and trust that God’s timing is perfect.  And trust in His calling.

Recently our pastor encouraged our congregation to look back over our last year with reflection.  We listened as he quickly listed things that had happened to his family over 12 months.  His list was long and full of hardships and joys.  A year of life wrapped up in one sermon illustration.  It encouraged us to take the time to do this ourselves and we quickly realized just how FULL this year has been!  It was amazing to see on paper all that God has brought us through in just one year.

What will 2016 bring for you?  A new marriage?  A new home?  A beautiful new baby?  The loss of your best friend or spouse?  A new friendship? A broken relationship?  Joy in the Lord?  Anger with God?  A new calling or direction in life?  Only God knows…and He is in control of it all!

There is beauty in the waiting and the not knowing.  There is power in knowing Who is in control of my life.  There is wonder in anticipating what the next moment will bring.  We pray that 2016 will be a beautiful year for each of you full of all the emotions and joys of life!  And we hope to walk it with you whether we are here or there.

Thank you for making 2015 so special for us!  Looking forward to rounding the next corner with you!   Buon Anno!




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