***For the last 3 days of 2011 I want to recap our year...
Here is #3: Last week of July - December
This morning while I was working on these final picture collages, Micah came up behind me and together we began to look at pictures and talk about this past year. It has been a year like none other! We have seen God work in HUGE ways in our lives. He has rescued us, humbled us, and is currently rebuilding us! This last season of the year has been a period of hope and healing.
A day after I returned from Moldova, my dad and I began painting a mobile home that Micah and I had purchased. We repainted all the walls and the ceiling and moved in all in a weeks time.
It was C R A Z Y!
Our new little home was (probably) the last place I had ever imagined that I would live, but it is PERFECT! The first few weeks were complete chaos as we worked through boxes and piles... downsizing from a 4 bedroom house to a 3 bedroom trailer.
The kids went through so much transition with the two moves and their parents going on three different mission trips; all things considered they did amazingly well! I am so proud of them and how they have adjusted to their new home and our new life.
It has taken us awhile to get used to our new life... as well. We get weekends off... we have family time... we don't feel guilty for going hiking, taking a picnic lunch to the park, or going on vacation. It is nice being able to leave work... at work!
This fall we have done soooo many things! I love looking at the pictures and remembering all the adventures we have been. We often took a picnic dinner to the beach and played until late, or we would spend the morning at the water park or at the playground...
We went raspberry and huckleberry picking. We rolled down hills, listened to records, explored rivers, played, slept and ate... and played some more!
In September the big guy celebrated his 4th birthday. Can't believe he is 4 years old!
Time has slowed down. Life is simple... I remind myself to enjoy those simple things and simple times. To not rush to something else or to do things to prove I am worth something, but to just worship our Creator and appreciate His creativity. It has taken time to slow down...
He is creating beauty out of the ashes of our life. He has used the devastation to expose unbelief, idols, and incorrect theology (more in my life than Micah's... it seems God has been teaching Micah different things). He is using His community to build up, encourage, admonish, and love us. I am so thankful for the wisdom of my counselor and how she is speaking truth into my heart and mind. I am no longer trapped in confusion... and I praise God for this!
It has been a challenge for me to parent during a crisis. To be consistent and honest... while pointing them to God and continually reminding them that God is good! This morning at breakfast Micah read the story of Saul/Paul's conversion. We asked Ethan if He thought it was mean for God to blind Saul and Ethan exclaimed, "NO! Because God is always GOOD!" That answer was precious to me. He has been watching and observing us during this season of wrestling, tears, and questions... and it is encouraging to see he is "grasping" this truth... at least we pray he does!
When Naomi returned home to Israel after years away she asked her friends to call her "Bitter" because the Lord had dealt with her. I felt a lot like this at the beginning of the summer. Everything had come undone, everything was in pieces... but I see (now) how God was using a "hard" life situation to humble, tear down what was not of Him, and to begin something new.
It has been a process to think through this year. There are still so many questions, but I echo Ethan's words, "God is always good!" He has been faithful to us!!! He has brought us to this new place, for a new season and we trust Him for what He has ahead of us.
I am glad to say goodbye to this year... to know we are one year closer to being HOME with the Lord! I am thankful for all the memories, laughs, smiles and blessings He's lavished on us. I am thankful that He heard every prayer, caught every tear that fell, and has begun to bring life out of devastation.
Hope each of you has a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!