Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Blessings of 2010

The end of 2010 was a little bit of a rough one, health-wise. We're still all battling the last bit of it, but I think we're on the mend. Hopefully this means I can finally get my house under know, get the Christmas decorations put away and 6+ loads of clean laundry folded, ha ha ha! The good news is that I'm now on a new schedule working four 10 hour shifts, which means I get a 3 day weekend, every weekend, ON the weekend! WOOHOO!

But the main drive behind this post is to reflect on the many many blessings we've experienced in the past year. Looking back, I can clearly see God's hand on our lives in our move to McMinnville and I will be forever grateful to Him for bringing us here. Some of these things I'll be writing about happened in the last half of 2009, but it all is part of the journey.

When I first found out I was losing my job in Baker, I was so very angry. We had just finished remodeling our house, we had two newborns, and we had expected to be in Baker for a very long time. The last thing I wanted to do was move back to the Valley, but this is where the jobs were. God took all choices but one completely out of our hands; the only choice we had was to trust that He would take care of us. We had no control over whether our house would sell, whether one of us would get a job before running out of income and insurance. It was a scary place to be in, but also very liberating because, as I said before, we had no choice but to trust that God had a better plan than anything we could dream of.

Each time I began to lose hope, God would provide in the nick of time. It was like He was knocking on my heart and asking, "Do you trust me yet?" Somehow, He provided a buyer for our house only two days after it went on the market. He provided a job offer only two weeks before my job in Baker ended. It wasn't my first choice, but there wasn't likely to be another offer for at least 4 more months as the hiring process for dispatchers usually takes 6-12 months (no lie). McMinnville we went.

I know for sure that God had a hand in the rental we chose. Not so much for the rental itself, but for the people who became our neighbors and then our family. As we were moving our things inside, my ever-friendly father introduced himself to the young family across the street. This family later invited us to their church, Creekside, which is now our home church. They also invited us to join the small group that meets at their house.

Ever since I became a Christian, I've been searching for a church that lives out the love that Jesus personified. Too many times, I've gone to a church only to be disappointed by the lack of spirit, the lack of love for each other. This church is so alive, so loving, so...unpretentious. The other up side is that there are SO many young families, something which we were lacking in Baker. I can't even tell you how at home we feel in this church. And the pastor is such a wonderful teacher, willing to tackle the hard or uncomfortable issues as we move through each book of the bible verse by verse, rather than skipping around and pulling out verses to serve his purposes each week. It's a breath of fresh air.

Then there's our small group. What a bunch of crazies! No, really, if you saw the video I posted on Facebook from our Christmas party, you'll know I'm not lying. But they're our family. I know that if Nathan and I ever have a need, these people will be here to hold us up. I went from being an only child to having a dozen brothers and sisters, and even a couple extra parents, ha ha. I can only pray that others will find this sort of a group to walk with each day.

After we had been here a while, I tried getting involved in the Young Life club here in Mac. I had missed being involved in YL, and felt a hole where that ministry had been. Yet nothing seemed to fit. Let's face it, when you come from a group of leaders like the ones in Baker, it's hard act to follow...and I felt anything but welcomed by the group here. On top of that, my schedule always seemed to conflict with any meeting times, club times, etc. And then the other day I came to a realization.

The hole left in my life (emotionally, mentally, and time-wise) by Young Life has allowed other holes to be filled. Since graduating from college, I've felt a very keen lack of female companionship. Part of this I attribute to the fact that there just weren't many women my age in Baker, another part to the fact that I was unsure of where I mom, recent college grad, wife, etc. I never felt like I had found a place I belonged with the women of our church in Baker. Now, however, I am surrounded by women I love very much, am involved in the planning of our Women's Retreat coming up in February, and while I have yet to find anything coming close to the friendship I have with my high school best friend...I am content.

I guess that's the theme of this entire last year; finding contentment. Not complacency, not a lack of excitement for what the future may hold, but rather a joy and happiness in where I am right this moment.

I have a wonderful, amazing husband who stays home to raise our two boys, allowing them to grow up in a loving and stable home rather than being brought up at day care by someone we barely know. He then willingly lets me take time for myself after I get home, rarely complaining or demanding the same for himself.

I have two beautiful sons who give meaning to my life and light up my day with a simple smile. They show me Christ's love for me, because I now know what it means to be completely willing to give up my life for someone. It's a powerful thing.

My parents live only 20 minutes away (at least, for 8 months out of the year), and Nathan and I enjoy a close relationship with them. I get to watch my boys grow up knowing their grandparents and I'm enjoying having them constantly around for the first time since I graduated from high school. They go to the same church we do, and I can't even express how much that means to me.

Nathan's parents, grandparents, and sister's family all live within two hours of us. After two and a half years of living clear across the state from everyone, having them all so close is a huge blessing. Hopefully that continues, so please be praying that our brother in law, Eliot, is able to find a job with a university in the area!

Nathan asked me once, during a particularly difficult time last year, what I would do if it never got any better than this? What if I never get my 'dream job' or my 'dream house'. Would I be able to find happiness in the life we have now? Sometimes that man is more wise than he knows.

And thanks to God's hand on our life, I can finally answer yes.

No comments: