I hear people talk all the time about the importance of a 360 degree job self-assessment, where you assess you own performance in the last year (or any duration of your choosing) and ask those peers or those above (like your boss) and those below you (subordinates) to evaluate how you’re doing.
This blog is two years old this month. So, today, I’ve been doing a variation of the 360 degree assessment. Call it a street-level look at this blog and my life the last two years, where I am today, and what’s up ahead. I hope you’ll be inspired to do the same with your own life.
In the past two years, you and I, dear readers, have been through a lot. I will not share publicly the things you have shared with me privately, but your trust has deeply touched and enriched my heart. I feel so honored that this blog brought us together. I have learned from you and I hope you feel the same.
On a personal level, if someone had told me what the last two years would be like, I would have said, “You must be kidding!” (Can you identify?) My husband and I finally sold our home in Madison, which had been on the market for three years, thanks to the economic downturn and five failed real estate contracts. (I know. Unbelievable.) Then we’ve moved three times into short-term rentals in Milwaukee, where my husband was employed, because the timeline for our move to a new home kept changing.
In the interim, we both had unexpected surgeries. I endured a nasty concussion which caused some hearing loss. We suffered over the deaths of friends and relatives and successfully endured a random IRS audit. No pity parties, please. Others endured better…or worse. Life happens.
But this isn’t meant to be a downer post. This is about God’s faithfulness through it all.
During this same period, my husband was employed by a wonderful, ethical company who valued and respected his contribution (How rare is that?). He grew a wide network of professional friends and served in a strategic capacity on the board of a local non-profit. I continued to write and coach, volunteered to coach Hispanics in English, and deepened my interest in art.
We found a new church home in Milwaukee and were involved in men’s and women’s Bible studies where we could grow spiritually and know the treasure of being known deeply. During the same period, lifelong friends adopted, married, survived cancer, came out of addictions and chaotic lives, and found new careers. We bought a lovely modest home in a warmer climate, near extended family and waaay below market value, and friends from Madison bought a home just a few doors away on the same street. Joy does not begin to describe it. This, too, is life, even though there is still plenty of uncertainty and unfinished business in our lives. There always is.
So…here we all are. A few more battle scars, some losses that cannot be replaced, but still standing.
Spiritually, in the past two years God has branded in me core truths I knew in my head but which now are firmly rooted in my heart.
- God is God. I’m not.
- He knows where He is going…even if I don’t.
- Our lives are safer in his hands than any of the alternatives.
- Peace comes from learning to live with unanswered questions.
- God always takes our calls, but he may not tell us what you want to hear.
- Grace has no expiration date.
What have you learned the past two years? God is not finished with us yet. So even though my future posts may come come with a drawl from another location, we can always catch up here anytime.
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