2011 was a full year of beginnings for this little family. It was Weston’s first full year of life outside of the womb, the true start of Aaron’s Air Force career, the first semester of my seminary/graduate school studies, and the beginning of our journey together as a military family.
As I look forward in 2012, at our life in a new country on a new continent, my travails through online courses “at” my new seminary, and our first full year in this military life, I see an entirely new set of beginnings. I cannot help but wonder: Is not all of life full of fresh beginnings? How many of us truly maintain the same everything year after year? Sure, after all of the changes in my life since I became pregnant with Weston, I’ve longed for some of the mundane, a little less “excitement,” and time to just stop and enjoy the moment. I am not certain that is strictly possible and considering that children change every single day, it is almost certain that life will never be the same again. This ensures a lifetime of fresh beginnings, if not one that is completely unpredictable and even a bit chaotic.
This chaos in the life of a parent, military wife, and seminary student is something to which I will certainly adjust… right? I do not know. In fact, I am not so sure it is something to which I can adjust. Ultimately, whether I adjust or fail to adjust is not the important question. The only issue of any true value is my attitude toward the trials, uncertainty, and chaos.
At each point in my life, I have found myself looking back at a previous period and thinking, “Wow, that was such a simpler time.” Yet I am not sure that is ever a true statement. I think it only seems the past was a simpler time because I am able to look back on it from a vantage point in which I “know now” what I did not at that time. And a year from now, I will look back from a vantage point of knowing at that time what I do not know now. That ridiculous cliché, “Hindsight is always 20/20” is true. You can never see clearly when you are in the moment. You try, using the resources at your existing arsenal, and when you make mistakes, you hope to learn from them so that you can look back and think on how much simpler life really was.
And so, as I look forward to a new semester at a new seminary in a new country on a new continent in an entirely new life with my growing, changing toddler and my newly military husband, I will approach it with as much grace and dignity as I can muster (yes, I said muster). I will seek to learn what I can to assist me in the future chaos, so that I can look back with a smile and think, “If only I had known then what I know now,” it would have seemed a much simpler time.
Later this week I will reflect on my first impressions of my new courses. Thus far, it appears I will have a semester rich in theological study and thought. Blessings to all.