2013- A Year in Review

Tracy / December 30, 2013

It’s hard to quantify this year, exactly.

Last December, I sat and pondered 2012, much like I’m doing now with 2013.

I wondered what 2013 would bring- NOTHING could have prepared me for my mother’s illness and death. Nothing could have readied me enough for what I would face in the months following her death. (I do realize the Lord gave me all I needed for these times….)

Yesterday afternoon, after church, and after a rather long afternoon, I laid on my bed and looked out at the woods behind our home. They are dead right now- or so it seems.  My husband reminded me that though they look like death has taken it’s mighty toll, life still resides within- that outer shell, just temporal.

How many times this last year have I looked out that same window, at those same trees, at the beautiful sky, and the lake flowing in the breeze.

The Lord has provided me relief and peace in times of trial. He has shown himself in more ways than I can count- in more ways really, than I will ever know.

None of this year was a surprise to Him. Every single moment…every single breath… meant to bring glory to His name and meant to draw me ever closer to Him.

There were many good things this year….

Jacob has almost worked a year at a job he really likes!

We found out we were expecting a new little blessing (still a miracle to me after having experienced so much stress this year)

Jacob and Matthew both have their braces and seem to be progressing

Courtney and Jacob both had their wisdom teeth removed and have recovered easily

Joshua continues to love his job and is doing well with his school work

Though we have had minor illness here and there, we have been blessed overall, with good health

Our house has remained full of laughter and love!

We have made considerable progress on our home this year

We have traveled as a family, to see some new places- The Creation Museum has been a highlight of this year!

Paul and I took our first vacation, in many years, by ourselves! It was a blessing and made memories that I will treasure forever!

My husband has lost 70 pounds this year (FIVE pants sizes)! It’s incredible to see him. He started WW at the end of July. He’s been so strong. I’m really proud of him!

I’ve watched each of my children grow in their own personal ways- learning to walk, finishing a phonics book, learning a new home skill, taking classes on their own, one has taught himself harmonica, and another pan flute, the two oldest have even traveled some this year. It’s truly been a year of growth and change for all of us.

I guess a lot of people might find it difficult to find joy in a year so full of heartache, but when I look around, though I have hurt, I also have an innumerable about of things for which to be thankful.

The Lord is good.

2013 was just as it was supposed to be for our family. We were just where the Lord wanted us, and at the perfect time.

I am thankful for the 40 years I had with my precious mother. I appreciate her and understand now so many things she told me for years.

I am thankful that she doesn’t suffer- her last months were hard, but I know they could have been so much worse.

I have watched those around us pour themselves out for our family. I know they sacrificed to help us in our hour(s) of need, and I love them. The Lord was so good to plant the exact folks He knew we would need-I’m forever grateful.

The sun comes up each and every day.

My husband smiles at me in the mornings, and reaches for my hand when he prays.

I am blessed with early morning baby snuggles and feel hiccups from a little one who is growing strong, but still hidden inside of me.

Little girls twirl and sing in the halls of my home while little boys bury army men in the branches of house plants and roll hot wheels up the walls.

Older children sing as they help in our home and practice instruments at night. They seek me out to tell me the latest happenings of their lives. They still say good bye, they love me, and kiss my cheek before they leave my home.

Good, precious, wonderful friends write and call. I feel undeserving of them.

I lay in the quiet of my home in the late hours and listen to everything still and resting. It calms my soul and I’m thankful for just one more day.

There is nothing huge, in the world’s eyes, happening in my home…I think I’ve just learned to find the joy in the little things…and after all, that is where true joy is found.

2014, I’m looking forward to seeing what you hold and experiencing all the Lord has for our family.

(Courtney posted yesterday, for the first time, in a number of months. Hop over to her blog, if you have a few minutes!)

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