Yes, joy in the journey.
My cup runneth over; of this I am fully aware. In looking back, we can see the hand of God in our lives and it gives us hope to move forward. . .
- God provided two jobs that allowed me to work from home: In addition to keeping sweet little Colby each day, I started working for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine again as a company researcher.
- Michael and I started a Facebook page for his woodworking & remodeling business and were overwhelmed at the positive response and the amount of work generated from it.
- After misdiagnosing Abbey with a bad virus, we decided almost too late that it was her appendix. She was rushed to surgery but her appendix had already ruptured. The seven days of recovery in the hospital afterwards were one of the biggest challenges we have faced with her and I felt God's hand holding me up that week. She still talks about it and she, too, recognizes His strength and healing in her own life.
- Our fourth foster baby, "Christopher" came to live with us. At 10 days old, his fever spiked to 104 and we rushed him to the ER. Poor little baby had to endure a spinal tap, poking and pushing and prodding. The doctors discovered he had a very serious condition of sepsis in his kidneys. The next seven weeks were dedicated to getting him well. A five-day hospital stay, daily antibiotic shots in his tiny little thighs, horrible tests on his private parts, oh my. We bonded so much. He went to live with his perfect, forever family in early May and is happy and thriving. I still grieve for him, but I am so thankful to have been chosen by God to be that sweet baby's comforter during his first few weeks of life.
- I was asked to be TOS Publisher Gena Suarez' sales assistant, increasing my hours and my income. Blessed to be working for such a strong woman who insists on God getting all the glory through the magazine.
- Michael and I decided to take the job of Youth Directors at our church. We were trepidatious at best, but after spending just one night with these young souls we knew we were right where we are supposed to be for this season. We are still enjoying them each Sunday night. I love our church family. Such sweet souls.
- Connor graduated from Reid State Technical College with his degree in Welding. I am really, really blessed to be his mama.
- My TOS responsibilities increased even more as I was allowed to start selling ads and earning a commission on top of my sales assistant duties. I love, love, love meeting these new curriculum companies and introducing them to the homeschooling world. I love finding new ways to teach the tough subjects.
- After much prayer and consideration, I decided to start another blog--the one you are reading now--after shutting down my other one. If you want to know that back story, click here.
- Our precious grandson Cooper Thomas turned one! I've always heard it said that time goes faster the older you get. I now fully believe that to be true. I can't believe how enriched our lives are with him and I certainly can't remember life without him. I love him beyond measure.
- We bought a new mattress. Okay, material things are not that important to me, I promise, but I can't tell you how happy we both were when we got to finally get this new bed. God cares about the tiny details in our life. Funny (and true) story: Michael decided we would be fine by downsizing to a queen from a king size bed, so we had the queen delivered. Who knew six inches of space would make such a HUGE difference? I mean, every time one of us turned over, it woke the other person. After a week of sleepless nights, I went back to the furniture store with bleary eyes and begged for an exchange. Aaaaahhhhh! I will never complain about my bed again. Ever.
- My son-in-law Adam got hired at Monroe Academy as a history teacher and coach! They got to move to Monroeville and be near us again! Since Cooper's birth, they have lived at least five hours away from us. I love being around Adam and his dry wit and I have loved, loved having my daughter back closer because she is one of my best friends, and I have, of course, loved having my sweet Cooper near me. Hearing him say "Granna" just melts my heart and makes all the tension in my body go away. Thank you, Lord!!!
- Michael's woodworking business has boomed and he has had at least one order per week since we launched the webpage. We look at each other every time we get an order and just say, "Wow! Thank you, Lord!" God really loves to bless his children, doesn't He? I need y'all to hear me: we have lived in a 'feast or famine' lifestyle for years. We have cried out to God and we have learned to listen to what He wants us to do. It has been so rewarding to hear His voice and to know deep down that the trials are something for which to be thankful for as well.
- I started a new homeschooling year with Abbey! I am so thankful to live in a state and a community that allows me to homeschool my child. As our civil liberties are being threatened by so many hidden political agendas more and more each year, I don't take this right to choose my child's education lightly.
- Michael got a REAL job! Like 8 to 5, benefits, polos, khakis, a desk, and a regular paycheck! It took six (!) interviews and a year of waiting, but he finally landed it and he loves it! He is working now full time at the Housing Office at Poarch Creek Indian Reservation. He is a Building Construction Manager and instead of swinging a hammer all day, he gets to tell others how to swing theirs! While we have always had a monthly budget, we have rarely had enough money to carry it out each month. It is so nice to know exactly how much will be coming in each month and be able to plan. Blessed, I tell ya! We are blessed.
- I went to what I thought was traffic court in Evergreen, Alabama, only to discover I was in the middle of city court and was sitting next to handcuffed and shackled inmates who had to stand before the judge as well. What an experience! You can read more about how I ended up in court here, but let me just say, I learned a lot that day about small towns and lenient judges. I was so grateful for the final decision.
- Abbey made it through October without bronchitis. This was the first time in nine years I can say that!
- Abbey got bronchitis (at least we made it to November) and then Michael contracted it. Abbey is better and Michael is finally getting over his as well. I hurt my back lifting Cooper over a baby gate and have been living on Ben-Gay and heating pads for a week, but even those physical challenges allow us to see God's hand of mercy strongly over our lives.
- I am so excited about the upcoming holidays and the chance to enjoy our sweet family. I still pray that one day our prodigal child will come home and will finally realize how much we love her. We will never, ever give up praying for her.
The Christian life is a roller coaster, but it is such a beautiful thing to be able to find joy in the midst of pain. Thankful. I am so thankful for such a blessed year (so far).
What are YOU thankful for?
“And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings that one may offer to the LORD. If he offers it for a thanksgiving." Leviticus 7:11