Near the close of the year I begin to recall all of the good and hard things from that year. All of the laughter, lessons, tears, prayers, group dinners, inside jokes, travels, and whatnot swirl 'round in my thoughts.
What a hard year 2012 has been for my friends and my community... Several of my close friends lost very dear loved ones this year (mothers, boyfriends, and children). One good friend moved out of the roommate house (and we have gained another dear roommate, but there is still a hole there). There were mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut. There were many natural disasters, from devastating hurricanes to wildfires that rolled dangerously close to my front door.
Yet what joy and growth have come this year, as well! This has come from many corners this year, but by far I have shared the most life-stuff with my roommates across town. My year began with a surprise visit from my best friend and a sensational birthday party with the roommates. A welcoming haven these roommates have been all year... I especially remember our conversation (and delicious crêpes!!) on Palm Sunday/Easter. I remain eternally grateful to these dear friends taking me in when I was evacuated during the wildfire, and crying and praying with me as our city was threatened with conflagration. I cherish our Christmas celebration, reading parts of Luke 1 and 2 and discussing what things must have been like for Joseph and Mary, and Zacharias and Elizabeth. So much thought went into the gifts given, and work into the delicious brunch, and the day was full of chilling and talking about the things on our hearts.
Those events merely mark the flow of the year; in between were many other mixed happenings: Stacia losing her mom this summer, Lyndi's hip surgery, Lauren's new job celebration (ha, and driver's license debacle), Nicole's going away party, Karen's arrival, birthday parties, coffee house band listening, tea parties and kleenex, dinners on the patio, family members visiting, and more.
Considering how much joy and pain, new friends and old friends coming and going, and deepening in life and in the LORD has taken place with these women, I would be utterly remiss if I did not say how deeply grateful I am for the LORD placing me with 'The Awesome Ladies' community.
And I am filled with joy.