My 2012 was such a mix, I would not have been able to invent it. "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't" - Mark Twain.
My almost-vacation over Christmas was because a fire burned the house from inside out ... a fitting end to a year of surprises. In 2012 I experienced deaths, losses, stresses, fights, frustration, missed opportunities, houses lost, hospitals visited, and more figurative punches than I ever expected. But I also experienced the serious joys of marriages, pregnancies, gifts and pleasures, rare moments, successes, friendships and deep satisfactions ... blessings.
These are the fires of life ... they are unexpected, bring dramatic change, cleansing and renewing, and interrupt the moments of reflective calm. The calm of life is there to help us grow into the changes. Sadly, too often we instead seek those moments of stillness as refuge from change.
2013 already has a heavy foot on the accelerator, and my limited ability to anticipate the experiences of 2012 is likely to be no different for 2013. So I know there will be surprises ... I just don't know what they will be. It's my choice whether I'll work with change knowing that "... for those who love God all things work together for good" (Rom 8:28) -- not my good necessarily, but for good.