Wow. This past year has been full. Full of blessings. Full of challenges. Full.
Glancing back through my calender, I am reminded of all that God brought us through.
Starting in the very first week. I was on a date with my husband when I got a phone call that someone I loved had reached a point of despair where ending their life seemed better than going forward. God graciously spared his life and led him and those who loved him through a very dark time. I'm so thankful that God's arm is long enough to reach us in our lowest point. It has been a blessing to see God pull him through that and continue to draw him to Himself.
This year we took a leap of faith as we star\\ted looking for a house. We met with a mortgage lender on Valentine's Day and found a house in April. We looked at several houses over those few months and invited our family to come and give us counsel. As we brought them to this house which was a foreclosure, I was certain there would be something that would cause alarm. In fact, we almost decided not to show them at all. David walked them through the house and they pretty much told us to Buy. This. House. I was shocked and in tears because they also offered to help us get this house. We made the offer and we were told that it wasn't likely they would accept our terms so we were advised not to get our hopes up. Three days later they responded and they accepted our offer As. Is. We had 10 days to get a home inspection and see what was really going on with this house. The home inspector told us, don't get your hopes up. This is an old house and I feel like we will find some problems. Three hours later, the home inspector was shocked. There were repairs that needed to be made and updates needed, but nothing to cause major concern. He told us that if we didn't get this house to call him.He was interested. We took our paperwork to the bank. Our loan required that the house be appraised and meet certain qualifications. She looked at our home inspection and told us, the appraiser will probably require that these repairs be made by a certified professional before we can approve this loan. This was alarming because we had planned to make some of these simple repairs ourselves. She told us to be prepared for a long list of necessary repairs from the appraiser. The next day, she called us and she was shocked. The house passed his inspection As. Is. The next few months we waited for our closing date. Our Realtor told us that they always run late and we shouldn't get our hopes up to close on time. The bank called and told us that they were ready and we could close on the house a week early. We were thrilled and shocked because we were finally going to be homeowners! We had so much help from friends and family as we had a lot of work to do before we could move in the house. We moved in July and we still have a lot of work to do on this house, but we love it. It was such an awesome thing to see God provide.
We were so thankful to be in our house with a bathroom on the main floor, Praise the Lord! We started potty training Benjamin in August. That first week was rough. Sitting in a bathroom with no air condition at 6 months pregnant all. day. long. was a challenge. We used a sticker chart and it worked for him but it was good motivation for me too. I needed to see how far we had come in those first few days because it. was. hard. We got through it. We prayed a lot that God would help him go potty and God answered our prayers. He has done great. We were still having accidents up until December but he finished the year strong and is Potty. Trained. WOOHOO! Gummy bears for everybody!!! (That's his reward of choice.)
During this year, we also watched our baby Jeremiah turn into a walking, running, talking toddler. He pushes buttons that have never been pushed. He knows no fear and ironically that scares me to death. I'm thankful that this year we had no accidents that required ER visits and no broken bones.
This fall we were blessed with the birth of our third son Joshua. The pregnancy had a bumpy start in March with an SCH that healed up by week 12. The rest of the pregnancy was normal and on November 19, I gave birth to another healthy baby boy. He looks just like his brothers and his overall disposition reminds me of Benjamin. I'm excited to see how he will develop his own personality. I am so thankful for my three boys. They are full of excitement, energy, and mischief and our house is loud and messy. It is a challenge for me every single day. I can't do this. Not in my own strength. And I think that is the point. I'm not supposed to do this on my own. I have to come before the Lord everyday and seek His grace and strength to do what I need to do.
So my goals or resolutions for 2014 are as follows:
1. I'm asking the Lord to help me love others more. My family. My friends. My neighbors. The lost.
2. I want to limit my distractions so I can be more actively involved with my family and spend more time on things that really matter.
Thank the Lord for fresh starts and new years!