Wrapping Up

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Editor’s Note: This post is taken from a recent newsletter to our basic mailing list. Seemed a fitting post for GregsHead.net on this last day of 2011. The email updates are infrequent, but if you’d like to sign up for the list, you can do so from our basic website or Facebook page. Thanks

Another year has come and gone, but I think 2011 will remain in our memory for a while as it has been so full of rather significant ups and downs. Sometimes it’s difficult to know if you can use the word significant while you are still in the midst of life’s events, but somehow it does seem appropriate for the events of this calendar year.

We still get to sing. I (Greg) led worship for a friend a few times in the last half of this year (and brought one of the Campbell kids with me each time, which made it even better!). Our whole family sang Christmas carols for a hundred people or so at a nursing home earlier this month. (That was fantastic!) And of course there is much singing around our home with Mom, Dad, and six junior musicians about. (All have shown a love and talent for things musical, and Alex in particular has written several well-crafted songs!)

Yes, there is still music in our home.

I am still building websites. There have been many interesting and challenging projects through the past year. And even better maybe is that I have joined forces with a couple other designer/programmers. Not only are they able to help me accomplish more work, they are skilled in other areas and allow me as Basic Web Design & Graphics to do more for my clients, AND, I really enjoy working with them.

The work goes on.

And there is certainly still joy. From the recent milestones of our first teenager (Ian) and our second double-digit-er (Alex), to the beautiful thoughts and insights that come the mouths of our youngest three children (Julia, Emma, Cameron), to the graceful growing up of our first daughter, Kirstie. We have moments to treasure from every day, really. It’s an amazing gift from God to be their Dad and Mom. We enjoyed a family vacation for the first time in a few years, and there was also a wonderfully encouraging workshop Jen was invited to attend that inspired her to live fully in the freedom and love of Father.

Add to that a few smaller joys like our kitchen remodeling project (something we’ve wanted to do for years, and managed to do with help from my parents, in synch with God’s bigger-picture timing that became a double blessing to us!) … financial restructuring thanks to some generous friends that should get us to a significantly better place in just five years… a backyard ice rink that should be usable in a week or two… eclipsing 200,000 miles in our trusty minivan… and enjoying seeing our kids enjoy their various activies: soccer, ballet, hockey/ice skating, and more.

There is definitely joy.

There has also been loss. The loss of a friend to a sudden, unexpected passing. Praying and grieving with many friends dealing with similar loss (and worse, if that were possible). Losses of our own. Even the loss of a “dream”.

In late 2010, things were coming together for us to begin a new, exciting venture as a family: opening a restaurant! It was to be a loose partnership with a long-time acquaintance/friend who has been in the food business for a decade or so. Things progressed, God seemed to be leading us through several confirming doors… and then several things completely fell apart. What seemed a “dream” was dashed against many rocks and became an obvious “dead end”. (At least, for the forseeable future.)

Through much pain, loss, hardship… God has always been presnt, loving, life-giving. We are learning to trust him more and more. I think that we are even learning that together as a family. All of 2011 will also help our kids to know and trust and follow their true Father. But that doesn’t make loss easier, or less painful. It just helps you see better.

What will 2012 hold? Not certain. I’m sure we will still sing. (Whether that is with/for other people, or just in our hearts to our King.) I’m sure there will be joy. (How can there not be with him?) And I’m sure there will also be loss, a certainty in this shifting, changing world.

And I am certain there will be Him. With us through all: good, bad, and in between. And in that certainty is our peace, our hope, our joy, our contentedness. We will trust and follow him, through whatever may come!

I hope you will, too. One thing I’ve noticed, even at the toughest times in 2011, is that we are definitely not alone or unique in our suffering. In fact, sometimes in comparison, we have it pretty “easy”. You may have had an equally challenging calendar year.

I hope that you know – without a doubt – that he is with you – and for you – through it all. Keep your eyes fixed on him. Trust him. And your heart will know peace.

There is nothing greater than to know him. Nothing.

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