Sometimes approaching a new year, I have a hard time remembering what all happened. Sometimes I think it's because these 3 children have sucked all the brain cells out of me, and then I also have to remember I'm only getting older:) I mean, I completely forgot I told my mom I'd bring mashed potatoes to Christmas this year...seriously, who forgets stuff like that? Anyway, as I took time to look back over the life of our family in 2013, the most common word that could be used is growth...I mean that, physically, spiritually, personally...
I took my very first girls weekend in February. A few of my very closest friends and I holed up in a condo in northern Indiana for 48 straight hours. Our families have grown up enough that we all felt good about leaving them behind with very capable daddy's, and so we went for it.
With a very spacious condo, we didn't leave the living area at all other than to sleep for a few hours each night. We talked into the wee hours of each morning, laughed a lot, ate some good food, and have set out to make this an annual thing.
The spring brought about Adelynne (6 years old then) playing softball for the first time, a trip to Chicago, Nolan (4 then) finishing up developmental preschool, the girls and I wrapping up a very successful, blessed, 1st year of homeschooling (Aubrey finished 2nd grade and Adelynne kindergarten), numerous IEP meetings for Nolan, seeing Narnia on stage for the girls, daddy and I, and Brandon's 31st birthday. All these events signal our children are growing up...not only in size, but, in interests and capabilities. (And mom and dad aging a little ;) Sometimes this realization makes me sad, but, it sure is a fun ride to be on.
In June, our Nolan turned 5 years old, and shortly thereafter, I left for our youth's Send Me Missions trip to Boonville, Indiana. To say something like this is way out of my comfort zone, is an understatement. For me personally, it's one thing to leave my kids behind while I get some time with Brandon for a few days, than it is to leave my ENTIRE family behind for 8 days.
That being said, I LOVED it. I was able to help our students throw a VBS for a small church there in Boonville, and at the end of the week we threw a Family Night for the families of our VBS'ers. I stayed up way past my bedtime, had many interesting discussions, and loved my time with our teenagers. My girls have grown enough to be independent, self-sufficient helpers which allows me to be able to minister in other areas. For this I am grateful.
July brought about my 34th birthday however I still feel 21 in my head:)
August brought about new school schedules. Brandon headed back for his 7th year of teaching, Nolan headed off to a mainstreamed pre K program, and the girls and I began 1st grade and 3rd grade together.
September brought some big changes, unexpected, unwanted, and heartbreaking, but, in the long run brought some growth. Nolan was asked not to come back to preschool after 8 school days. His high energy and distractibility were viewed as not suitable for this environment. We spent days agonizing over this event. Nolan ended up heading to kindergarten several weeks into the semester...the change has been very rough on ALL of us...especially him. He's had a hard time, yet, week to week we continue to see growth.
October brought Aubrey's 9th birthday...wow! It also brought the girls heading to public school for the year, and me learning to grow in other areas...not just motherhood.
December brought Adelynne's 7th birthday and Brandon and I's 11th anniversary. 2013, overall, was a good year. Each season of life brings it's own challenges...yet we know these surprises to us are never a surprise to our God.
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
Knowing the Lord is control of our family each year, the good ones, and the bad ones give me great hope for the future. I may struggle (a lot!), I might kick and scream, but, when given moments like this to reflect, I'm extremely thankful for each and every year the Lord gives us together.
Visit Steph (http://solidjoysandlastingtreasures.com/2014/01/01/from-where-i-stand-2013-in-review/) to find out what she's saying about 2013.