It’s been a roller coaster kind of year. Our family has experienced many blessings while at the same time, we’ve faced many trials. Through it all, we’ve grown closer together and closer to God.
My year began with turmoil between friends. It was difficult facing the reality that relationships don’t always last forever. I realized that I needed to put my focus on moving forward in my life, building and growing my relationship with Christ and let go of the life I was trying to hold on to. My heart still aches for the losses but I know I am growing and going in the direction God has laid in front of me.
Our boys are doing great in school. They both excel and we are very proud of their accomplishments. Our oldest, Noah, enjoys Math, Spanish and Chess Club. Math, Science and Soccer top the list for our second, Caleb. Miss Olivia has several years before school begins but among her favorite daily activities are anything Dora, lots of dollhouse fun, drawing and writing. She is quite the social butterfly and has most certainly never met a stranger.
In July, we faced our biggest struggle in years. Our home was broken into while Tony was away at work and the kids and I were out with friends for a 4th of July celebration and fireworks. We came home to broken doors, busted walls, shattered lamps, and many of our favorites taken. One of those that I struggled with most was my laptop. Most of you know my life revolves around my computer – both my work life with my photography business as well as my God called life with this blog. I lost so much stuff and worried about the information someone else now had. We got through it with no other explanation than God saw us through it. I leaned on His word, prayed like crazy and found an overwhelming peace through it. I won’t say it isn’t still hard. I still struggle and worry but God has proven to be my Prince of Peace. I don’t think I will ever get back to the stage where I’m not constantly checking doors and windows, hiding my pocket book and laptop in my own home and feeling just a lack of security. It’s not a constant worry, but more of just a change in life.
We also faced mounting auto repair bills and the death of our beloved Minivan. What, at first, seemed like the end of the world and led to one of my little mommy rants, soon turned into such a blessing from the Lord and I was quickly reminded that His plans are far better than my own. We said goodbye to our Oldsmobile Silhouette and introduced an almost brand new Kia Sedona to our family.
And speaking of introducing newness to the family, we also added another family member this year. After our break-in in July and a little convincing to Tony, we visited the local Animal Shelter. While there, we fell in love with this quiet, sweet, beautiful Border Collie mix. She’s been a great addition to the family (shy of all the hair!) and is quite vocal when she wants something! She has made us all feel a little more secure here at home and for that, I am so thankful. If we can survive the hair and daily vacuuming, I believe she will be our “fur”ever friend!
Throughout 2012, I had the opportunity to lead several evening classes at church. I look forward to continuing with that in 2013. It has been such a blessing to me. I have learned so much through teaching and it’s only fueled the desire to continue pursuing writing, speaking and teaching.
A few weeks ago, my mom, Olivia and I, had the opportunity to visit my great aunt Henny. She had been moved to Hospice House. It was a great visit and her mind was as sharp as ever. She loved on Olivia and what a joy it was to see the two of them together. Last week, she earned her wings and we said goodbye to a strong, loving, beautiful woman!
Tony continues to work with the Fire Department. He recently faced his toughest call of the year when a nine year old boy died in a house fire. Please say a prayer for Lareik’s family as well as his school family and the emergency workers that responded.
The boys and I spent an evening packing gifts for local families. It’s part of an annual ministry ran through some folks from our church and a group called Toolin’ in Town. Saturday morning the boys and I loaded up with many other volunteers and we distributed these toys to families in town. I can’t even begin to tell you what a blessing it was to see the smiles on these kids faces. Many of them won’t get anything more than the gifts we gave them. What a joy it is to be a part of this and to know my boys are learning to not only help others, but to reach out to them with love, encouragement and understanding.
My blog is growing and I hope that you have gained something through my year. I know God has done a lot of work in me through this place. I look forward to what God has in store for me in 2013. I pray that I continue to grow closer to Him and seek Him with all my heart. I pray that for you as well!
On top of the kids list wish list this Christmas are…
Olivia – Hello Kitty anything, Baby Alive walking baby, Fisher Price Loving Family Dollhouse
Caleb – Monopoly Millionaire, money & jeans
Noah – Tablet, money, phone
We’ll see tomorrow if they’ve all been good enough for their Christmas wishes. I have a feeling they won’t be disappointed ;)
I’m signing off until 2013 but first…
Some of my personal favorite posts from the blog this year: