2009 – New Beginnings

Happy New Years!  I know it February 1st but our January was spent moving, unpacking, settling in and getting back into a “family groove” of sorts. 

Christmas was spent in Louisiana with our families.   My dad continues to fight a courageous battle with cancer.  It’s hard not to be inspired when I read his updates as he honestly shares his journey  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jamesbienvenu  It seems that with each forward step he encounters an unexpected set back. Currently his pain is so intense it’s causing him to resort to stronger pain meds.  My mom has been an amazing and dedicated care giver.  It’s during times like these I wish we lived closer so I could drop in for a few hours to help carry the load.  I am so grateful for the wonderful support system they have as I know it lightens the load and mood. Jon’s mom has been caring for her sister Loretta for the last few months so I know it was good for her to have us with them for a few days during the holiday.  I have such an awe and appreciation for our parents and I probably don’t tell them enough how much they bless our lives. 

These past few weeks I have been somewhat introspective.  As a parent I’ve made mistakes along the way. Hopefully I have made amends and reconciled with those I have hurt.  We did the best we could with the knowledge and wisdom gathered along our journey.  We live in an ever changing world and continue to change ourselves as we grow in wisdom, knowledge, & experience.  Our dependence needs to be on the Lord for direction.  Along the way we have had critics about our parenting methods (as well as a boat load of other things) but our allegiances has been to be to King Jesus (Luke 19-21 & Matthew 12:48).  You can’t please all people all the time but you do have a choice as to who your audience will be. Sadly at my age I still find myself caught up in the opinions of others.  I know this to be true as when I am criticized or disappoint others I plummet into negative thoughts about myself.  It is in this area of my life I hope to grow more dependent on that which is true. Moving on.

The company that was suppose to buy us has been like thick molasses. We found out 12/16 that they were putting all deals on hold until mid-January.  Needless to say this caused us some disappointment but in the grand scheme of things it’s not so bad.  We are taking things in stride and trying to keep a good sense of humor.  Jon’s  ring tone  is “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty.  Whenever we are given a date of any sorts I add two weeks to it.   Luckily things continue to move forward but much slower than we would like or ever anticipated.  How will it turn out? Honestly, we have no idea.  Given the world-wide downturn in the economy along with a raising unemployment rate, Jon reminds me how grateful we should be for any sort of deal.  I am reminded of  the wonderful hymn Count Your Blessings by Johnson Oatman, Jr.:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Refrain

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Refrain

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Refrain

On December 17th we decided that we needed to get out of the corporate lease and find a more family friendly place to call home while we continue to wait for God’s best.  So began our search for another lease home which God graciously provided as we had the opportunity to lease a home in the Mueller area where we were building a house that we let go of when the deal did not close last year.  We get to test drive the neighborhood and location for 6 months or longer if need be.  We were all excited to get our things, especially winter clothes, out of storage on December 29th.    A month into our new place I must say it is different living off I-35 as I am still learning to navigate the traffic and city.  The neighborhood amenities have been a blessing especially given the many glorious days we had in January as Cayley and I spent a lot of time outdoors once I got the house unpacked and settled in by January 7th.  I must admit I was a slave driver and worked 12+ hours daily to getter done  The upside is that there is peace, joy, harmony, and we are again settled in our home.

Courtney turned 18 on the 9th of January and we promised her that we would have a Courtney day.  So as a family we celebrated the precious gift she is to us.  As we headed to bed that evening we learned that Jon’s aunt lost her courageous fight to pancreatic cancer.  Jon was able to leave Saturday the 10th to fly home and celebrate Aunt Loretta’s life with the family.  Please keep his other Aunt Joann in your prayers as on the 12th she was told she had breast cancer and will have surgery on 2/2/09. Jon’s mom is very close to her sibilings and with the recent loss of her sister Loretta and now her younger sister Joann having breast cancer I can only imagine the stress on her so please keep her in your prayers too.

January 20th marked a new beginning for the Werner family as Caryn began classes at UT thus a new loyalty.  Needless to say we are thrilled that she was accepted into the university.  Having two daughters in college truly validates the choices we made in their education through high school and gives glory to God who has been with them every step of the way. Caryn plans to study photo journalism.   She continues to work part time building her photography business http://www.c2wphotography.com/ and is able to talk me into helping her from time to time as her back up shooter :-)

Cayley and I are beginning to settle into our home school routine much later than I would have liked but with determination we persevere to catch up.  When I get anxious about being behind I simply look at Caryn and Courtney and remind myself that they turned out ok.  That is not to say I am giving myself permission to do nothing but rather remember that so much character development takes place into the context of living day to day.  Cayley has such a sensitive heart and is learning so much these days. She also has much to teach me.  Currently she is fighting off a nasty virus which gives her an excuse to watch lots of her favorite movies when she is not sleeping.
 
Blessings to you and your family.  Hopefully I will become more regular with blogging and keeping family and friends updated with our happenings as well as recent photos.  As always I enjoy hearing from you.