As I sit here on New Year's Eve... surrounded by my family who is barely hanging on for the mid-night hour, I am contemplating the past year and reflecting on the lessons learned and the blessings had.
I started the year learning how important it is to live outside of oneself... I am not the center of the universe... and a little Toyota Prius taught that to me one day as I was completely annoyed with the population around me... I learned the Jesus Creed: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and all your mind... and love your neighbor as yourself." That was a hard thing to learn in this society. I am not perfect by any means, but I am a far cry from where I was then... for sure.
I learned how exciting and riveting the Bible can be through a study of Romans I was doing with a wonderful group of ladies I had been studying with for almost 4 years. As the studies were getting ready to pick up once again in the beginning of the school year, I made a difficult decision to move on to BSF, a very intense study of Acts and the Epistles, which coincidentally enough was the same message that was in the Leadership Summit and also in our Sunday services... all echoing the Jesus Creed... I definitely was feeling that the Lord was preparing me for some sort of ministry with a particular group of people that live in my city... I have developed relationships with a new group of women in my BSF small group, learning that God really puts you where you really need to be.
I learned this spring that my daughter has distinctive tastes, to say the least... We started Occupational Therapy trying to expand her food and taste horizons. It was slightly effective. We got Kassie to eat noodles, and eggs and pudding... and to start brushing her teeth with toothpaste, training toothpaste, but toothpaste none the less... it is the small victories.
The girls both started school in the 1st and 3rd grade, full time school... I was a little uneasy at first about my baby growing up, but I guess that is life... just have to cherish all moments little and big with them. Time is fleeting.
Last January, I started another journey, that of Weight Watchers... I lost 30 pounds so far....
Chip's travel has settled a bit more this year than that of last year, although he was gone for a while, just not as much time consecutively. BUT, we did have our first overnight date together... EVER! So much fun! So nice to reconnect with my husband:-)
And of course our big change... WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE. It is really crazy knowing that no one can tell us we need to move... it is ours. In fact, a sad but crazy moment was when our beloved cat Peaches passed away at home, and I asked Chip what do we do with her remains? He just simply said I will go get the shovel... how simple an answer, but it is something we can do now... we now have her in her own special spot to one day be in the shade of a peach tree.
In the shadows of buying a house, this December, we needed to get a new transmission in our van. This was a crazy emotional roller coaster. We just didn't have that much left in our emergency savings account. Chip was on travel during this time. I thought I was putting all this in God's hands, but you know... I wasn't completely giving it over to Him... I was still planning... I emptied all savings and had a plan to put the remainder of the balance on a credit card... this card was evil, I tell you... after an incredibly humiliating moment, I took a leap of faith and just paid the remainder out of our checking account, thinking my family just would not be able to eat for the next few weeks. You know, I think it was God... He wanted me to completely put my faith in Him. After a couple of days in a complete daze, I have never been put in this position before, I was able to sit down and figure out our finances and pull together more cash that I had around the house... I found that we were going to be ok... tight but ok... then the miracles happened... We received a blank envelope with only our address typed on it... when I opened this envelope, there was 1 sheet of paper with Merry Christmas typed on it and out fell 2 $100 bills... I was in tears, and Chip was in disbelief... speechless was what we were... what a lesson for our kids as well... I realized, for myself (I have heard and believed but didn't live like it) that our money is not ours... it is Gods... and God is incredibly good...
As for this year, I am not making resolutions, but want to take what I have learned and build on them... I am committing to live my life learning more about our incredible God, learning to fully lean on God for everything, be prayerful in all things... I am committing to get even more healthy and loose more weight, eat healthy and be active. (I am training for a 10k run through the Hollywood Walk of Fame) I am committing to get down to the nitty-gritty and get our family our of debt... we are making cuts, and I am looking at working part-time on a temporary basis until we are debt free... the only way to live... I am committing to cherishing more of husband and my baby girls who will not be babies for much longer...