Tuesday, January 11, 2011

so this is what it feels like...

"this may not be the road I would choose for me
but it still feels right somehow
cause I have never felt you as close to me as I do right now
So this is what if feels like to be led..."
Wow. 2010, where did you go? As I sit in the midst of January 2011, I wonder, how much faster could this year have flown by? Then I try to slow things down a bit and I am in awe of what the Lord has done throughout this year. I recognize that there were in fact months that dredged on, and seemed to last forever. God pulled us out of them in ways that I could never have thought up on my own, and that just plain knocked my socks off. He fulfilled dreams that had been long forgotten, and helped to bring closure to lingering demons from the past. Oh, and the blessings, WOW was this year full of blessings!!! I really don't even know where to begin to try and recapture the wonder that 2010 turned out to be. (though I'm gonna!)

January. Well, if I'm gonna do this right, let's start at the beginning. January was a good but hard month. Keith and I had been talking (for months!) about when we thought would be the best to try for second child. We compromised and decided that we would give January a try, and see if that was something the Lord had in His plan for us. Extremely blessed, a little baby started growing in my belly! Though there were other things in this month that were haunting me, and bad habits I was creating for myself that would linger throughout the year, the excitement of what to come was overwhelming. In the meantime, Jack grew from eating baby food (the worst thing I remember while dealing with my first trimester nausea), to being a full on toddler. Talking, walking, singing, dancing... In March we celebrated my baby's first birthday, and also Keith's grandmother's 80th! Then, out of the blue, Keith got laid off. Keith's worst nightmare just flat out happened, and yet God provided a start date for a new job the day after his last day. In that moment we knew that any fears we may have would be overcome by God's provision.

In April, our beloved CBS came to an end. We had made some amazing friends, and I never knew then what an impact this event would have on our lives. I was sad also that I wouldn't be leading worship anymore each Monday night. I miss this dearly and hope to find another opportunity soon!

We celebrated 2 years of marriage at the end of May! If you had asked me a few years ago if I had thought I'd be married with two children in under 3 years I would have laughed. We also bid farewell to my brother and his wife as they set off on a new journey to the great state of Idaho. We still miss them TONS!!

June came along, and it was time to prove that we were having ourselves a little girl! Then the ultrasound announced BOY! And exhaling was difficult for a second. Another boy? What if we never have a little girl? God was gracious yet again, and exposed us to our need to "control" our lives. We surrendered to His will, and in reverence chose Will Patrick as the name for our little miracle. Right around this time, Keith got laid off, again, with nothing in the lineup (and immediate cease of all heath insurance). Our challenge was to TRUST this will that we so desired to direct us.

We took a spontaneous trip to Florida at the beginning of July. We felt called to reserve a time of rest, allowing the Lord to work in our lives. We spent an amazing time visiting my grandfather and introduced Jack to his great grandfather and the ocean. In this time of rest, God provided us peace that passes all understanding. We came home with no plans, just faith and hope in our Father's provision yet again.

Throughout the first half of the year I had some emotional struggles, and felt myself living some unhealthy habits for me, my family and my marriage. God continued to provide support through friends (primarily that I made through CBS and church), and the courage to ask for it.

In August, Keith went to catch up with a dear friend and leader of our CBS Core group. Their conversation over coffee ended up turning into a job opportunity, that turned into a complete life changing event. God provided us financial peace, immediate health insurance, and an opening for Keith to fulfill some of the need he had been missing in his life (along with the joy of doing something NEW!). It was an amazing month! Then Will decided he wanted to get some attention, and since we now had insurance he thought it would be perfect timing!

September was filled with hospital visits, family visits, and a whole lot of sitting around. Thank God for amazing doctors, an amazing hospital, and friends (again from CBS) that were able to make recommendations, educate, and answer any questions I could possible have. See here, here, here, here, and here... And if that wasn't enough, when we finally realized that Will was gonna sit tight for a while and planned a date for Will's cesarean birth, he decided to come on his own, 2 days early, in an amazing VBAC delivery.

October was a thrilling month! Birth story still to come... (until then, enjoy this short video) Yes, again, God's will superseded our own. When will we learn? We also took a trip with our new little guy to celebrate my dad's birthday in Atlanta. I got to introduce my new son to my grandparents. What a wonderful visit.

November led us to celebrate my husbands 35th birthday! We went on one of our only dates since Jack (which will NOT be the case in 2011, we're making sure of that!) to see the band NEEDTOBREATHE. What a wonderful time out with my husband, and rest from the craziness of everything this year had been.

And what a wonderful December. This year we chose to donate in honor of our families to our local Giving Tree program. If you click that link, you can read about God's work in action as our church was able to provide a shed to our local police department to store all the gifts for our local children. We always do a grab bag gift exchange with my dad, stepmom, and siblings. Keith and I were honored by my brother and sister-in-law who have selected to sponsor a Filipino child/family in our name. The child is provided education, a uniform and supplies for school. Also, the program they chose urges the families to attend a church program regularly which allows the family to learn about the Gospel together and find spiritual fellowship and support. This was a great gift to us as we have a growing family of our own. I pulled my dad's name. I found it fitting, since he introduced us to CBS in 2008, to donate to their international ministry program.

CBS has been an amazing gift to our family; financially, physically, spiritually, emotionally... the list goes on. They didn't run a CBS study this fall, but we hope to get involved again in the coming years. What an amazing organization, and praise God for placing just the right people in it amongst us. The holiday was great, we spoiled our kids, visited with family, and ate entirely too much! (and we can't forget THE GARTH BROOKS CONCERT!!!)

2011 is going to be an amazing year. We are on the upswing emotionally, financially, spiritually... We have some great biblical studies that we have started, we are deep in educating ourselves on self awareness, and have also taken some steps to deepen our marriage. I've decided that instead of naming a resolution, I'll wait till Dec 31, 2011 and just reflect in hindsight on a year that was led by the will of God. It worked for 2010.


Mandy said...

great job summarizing the year! it was so packed!! love you sis

MamaT said...

that was amazing. now i feel like sharing with you a lot about our year 2010... i just blogged "it sucked" and that was my wrap-up.
i'm really interested in CBS, but there isn't any close to us!!! to, i don't really know what to do about that except pray. so i will.
anyway, thanks so much for sharing and i think about your beautiful family and pray for you guys often. i'll continue. keep up the cute baby-makin'!!! they're so precious!

A & W said...

thanks for posting! It was nice to "hear" your voice again!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Shanna - I've now read this post twice, so it's time to comment! :)

Sheesh, you guys really have had quite a year!

I like the sound of your "upswing". :)

So thankful to "know" you, Girl.