Obviously I didn’t get our traditional Christmas greetings out on time this year but in order to maintain peace, my sanity, and keep a Christ focus, I decided to not add the extra pressure. One of my daughters was awaiting the results of a breast biopsy; my husband was scheduled for surgery 12/20 to repair a separated shoulder, and that same week I was suppose to have a bilateral nerve block for chronic lower back pain. As the week leading up to Christmas progressed however, I began experiencing the most excruciating tooth and jaw pain. I went in for an emergency root canal but was sent home on antibiotics as there was an infection which needed to heal. It was hard to consider it all joy as I was going through these trials while trying to maintain the Christmas spirit.
Thankfully both biopsies came back nonmalignant, Jon’s surgery was a breeze and I was eventually able to eat pain free right before Christmas, and I ended the year having my back procedure done. Our older daughters and in-laws arrived safely for Christmas adding joy to my heart as I am blessed to be with those I love. My plans which I had carefully crafted on paper had to be surrendered. My daughter Courtney said, “you might not always be able to choose your circumstance but you can choose your response,” such wisdom from the mouths of babes.
2012 was a year filled with many opportunities plus great blessings stretching us in new ways while allowing us to experience God’s grace and mercy anew.
My year began with a challenge by Courtney to blog on a more consistent bases on a family blog I began back in 2007 called Missional Living. Honestly, I feared committing to blogging on a regular bases as I struggle with many insecurities due to my lack of confidence. Interestingly, once I said yes another door opened for me to blog with MomHeart.org which has really stretched and grown me because of monthly posting deadlines. I attended a blogging conference in October to glean wisdom from those who blog professionally. I laugh looking back on the year as writing is not my strength thus I began 2013 by enrolling in a writing class to continue to grow and develop more skills.
Amazingly I attended all three Mom Heart Conferences (CO, CA, and TX) as well as the Leadership Intensive training. It’s been incredibly fun to be part of the movement encouraging mothers to restore their hearts to God’s heart for motherhood. My passion is rooted in having been myself given a heart’s desire to become a purposeful and engaged mother through the various Mom Heart conferences, books, and audio products by Whole Hearted Ministries.
The one word that would sum up my year is LOVE as I feel like God has taken me on a love journey to understand how to love others more authentically as well as receive love.
Jon started the year off with one of those bucket list checkboxes in mind before he turned 50. Not that turning 50 was the end of the line for him but he figured he was nearing his peak in athleticism so straping on a snowboard should be a walk in the park. While he can’t pinpoint the exact cause for his accident on the slopes, he knows it was not entirely his fault. Let’s just say he got a free ride down to the ER to verify his shoulder was separated.
Yep he turned the BIG 50 on February 14th aboard the “Love Like You Mean It Cruise,” which is sponsored by Family Life Ministries. We spent several days in Miami prior to the cruise at our friends home. I am blessed to have a husband who is intentional about our marriage. Every 2-3 years we will attend a marriage conference or some sort of enrichment. Our motto is, “It’s best to be proactive instead of reactive.”
We spent another summer in Portland with Jon’s work and seriously considering moving there. We began the process of looking at houses and neighborhoods only to realize that moving was not meant to be for various reasons. The simple process of surrendering has lead me to a place of peace and contentment in regards to Jon’s travel as I get to stay in Austin and see my circumstances with a new appreciation. While living is Portland during the summer is cool in many regards it’s also disruptive for our family.
The funnest event that Jon and I attended was “Patrick’s Legendary Birthday Bash” the first week of November in Miami.
Caryn moved to Detroit, Michigan in August. The response I usually get when I tell people this is WHY? Actually she had many dreams about moving to Detroit and felt God wanted her there for this season of life. Thankfully she moved with several friends. During the holidays I was greatly blessed to hear her share many of her God adventure stories. Her high point of the year was traveling to Thailand in January for the month to visit her friend Joan. She has continued her photography business which brings her back to Austin keeping her cliental happy but I think we are the ones who are the happiest 🙂 She travels to many other interesting places capturing beauty through her camera. Visit her at carynnoel.
Courtney has been in La Jolla, CA for sixteen months. She finished her internship with Origins this summer and now is on staff loving students on the UCSD campus. Her high point of the year was traveling to Kenya this summer to help with the building of a home for young girls who had been rescued from the sex slave industry. Mosey over to her blog to see her creative art work and ponderings at courtneywerner. You’ll also find her at Paint & Parcel.
Cayley is now in sixth grade. She is home educated and takes two online classes through Veritas Press Scholar Academy which she greatly enjoys. Other interests include playing acoustic guitar and singing. Listening to her is such a treat as she is becoming more confident in front of others. Cayley went skiing for the first time in January and thankfully was able to encourage her dad as he drove two hours back to Castle Rock with his separated shoulder. This summer she attended her 4th Adidas soccer camp which is always a highlight for her. Her high point for the year includes any sister time so she has been super excited about Christmas and having the two weeks together as a family.
I trust your holidays were wonderful and there is a certain excitement over the possibilities that a new year provides. Happy 2013!