Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year In Review

A few days ago, I was telling my husband that I wanted to sit and think about this past year before New Year's came, and he absently said, "Why? This year wasn't particularly exciting."

It only took one swift, bewildered look from me for the light bulbs to come on.  "Oh yeah," he said sheepishly. "I guess that's not true at all."

I've always marveled at how fast I, and all humans, forget where we've been.  It's partial amnesia for the tough times that helps us press on to the future, and partial lack of discipline at marking the memorable events in our lives.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, I'd say 2012 was one of the best years of my life so far.

I will start with the list of the actual history:  February took me to Nicaragua on my first-ever out-of-the-country mission trip; Spring saw us put our home of 9 years on the market; Summer came and we moved to an amazing new house that has been such a blessing; in July, our baby spent 6 days in the hospital with a seriously scary stomach issue (gastroparesis with bacterial overgrowth- more on that later); August took my husband & I to Florida to celebrate our 10-year anniversary; later in August I went to Nashville for my sister's bachelorette party; September sent my oldest son to full-day kindergarten (lots of tears over this, but it has been amazing); October brought the wedding of the same sister and her long-time boyfriend; November gave me the opportunity to be the featured speaker at a women's retreat;  and we finished up in December with another sister giving birth and bringing the first cousin on that side to my boys.

I've also been in the process, with 2 amazing friends, of getting a non-profit off the ground (you'll hear more on that later, too).  We've made progress and hope to launch in the next month.

My husband also changed jobs- a big deal since he'd been at his last job for 9 years, and now he commutes about an hour and a half a day.  This job change has been a huge blessing to both of us, despite the fact that he's gone a little more.

So, as you can see, we've been busy.  All of these fun, exciting events, combined with some scary and stressful times make up the historical aspect of our lives.  But I don't know if that's why I'd say this was one of the best years.

I think it's been one of the best years because I now wake up every day so excited and thankful for what God is doing, and ready to embrace life's event more than ever before.

You will hear more about our history as I continue to blog, but beginning with pregnancy in early 2009, our family has been in something of survival mode for much of the last 3 years.  It wasn't until we could get some distance from it that we've been able to process it.  It was the kind of survival mode that actually prompted my pastor at one point to say, "I can't believe you guys are still believers."

It was lots of stuff- lots of little things that added up to major chaos for us- and if you know me, you know I don't do chaos.

A huge factor was that my baby has (among other health issues) a sleep disorder- and he did not sleep through the night (or even sleep for significant chunks) until this past May, when he was 2 1/2.  Sleep deprivation is a serious issue.  I have read extensively on the subject, because I feared the long-term brain-damaging effects.  And while I am not sure I've fully recovered, lucidity has returned to me.  And I can reflect, analyze, and see a little more clearly.

So here's the thing: I am excited and thrilled that we survived.  We have two (relatively) healthy children, a great life, and we love the Lord more than ever. We've gained wisdom, some maturity, insight, and determination.  Through our weakness, He showed his strength, and we are grateful for that reminder and the dependence on Him we've been led into.

So I don't want the amnesia.  I want to take an honest look back and continue to process my own mistakes, shortcomings, and failings.  And also celebrate the victories, the mountains we climbed, and where we've ended up- blessed, more committed to God and each other than ever, and excited for the future.

Welcome, 2013! I can't wait for what you will bring.