9:25 p.m., December 31, 2011.
I just arrived home after 5 days in North Carolina visiting my friend Bev. My bed is wonderful, and I am thankful for my laptop that allows me to blog from amongst my pillows and flannel sheets. Fireworks are exploding outside as the greater Orlando area gears up for ringing in a new year. For the first time in a long time, I plan to be asleep when the ball falls in NYC. I'm too wiped out from the trip to stay up.
2011 was a year of high highs and low lows. I posted on Facebook tonight how glad I am that God is always faithful. As I look ahead to a year of unknowns, I can rest in the knowledge that God sees what I can't see, and He is faithful. 2012 seems less scary when I look at it from that perspective. Now is a good time for me to reflect on the last year. Tomorrow, maybe I'll post on what I'm looking forward to in the coming year, because there's already a lot to anticipate!
High: Ringing in the year with new friends who have become some of our dearest friends this year. We love you, Ron, Christina, and kiddos!
Low: Difficulties with the kids' old school, including an uncooperative principal, a class switch for Snapper, and a run-in with a bully that ended up going all the way through the district's bullying discipline process. While it was stressful for Snapper in the process and hard for her to be a bully's target, justice was done and Snapper learned valuable lessons on courage, forgiveness, loving your enemies, and standing up for what is right.
High: Getting connected with Tracie, Laura, and Brandee through church small group and ladies' Bible study. These three amazing women have become my best friends here in Orlando, and I adore them.
High: Getting to go to a NASCAR race at the Daytona Speedway. Sure, it wasn't the Daytona 500, but it was the Budweiser Shootout, which was AWESOME!
Low: Experiencing problem after problem after problem with our house, only to have the landlord refuse to fix the problems. It was made even worse when he blamed the problems on us, and tried to make us pay for them.
Low: Having both of our cars die in the same week, and being without a vehicle for a month. Ugh!
High: Receiving the gift of our Cadillac from a ministry partner. Really? Someone gave us a beautiful car!
High: Finally getting to start working with Bright Media/DG4Kids after 10 months of raising support. We love it, love it, love it!
High: Having a week with our friends Brian, Carol, and their 3 girls. They came down from Tennessee for Easter and spent 8 days with us.
Low: Experiencing more problems with our house, being told we would be let out of our lease early, and then having our landlord change his mind.
High: Finding the perfect house in the town we wanted to live in, near swim team, in a great school district, at the right price...and the new landlord being willing to hold it 3 months for us until we could get out of our other lease!
High: Celebrating our 10th anniversary! Oh, how I love my man. He is the best!
High: Road trip across 12 states, including 10 days at Cru's U.S. Staff Conference in Colorado.
Low: Unforeseen road trip issues that ended up costing us $2000 more than budgeted.
Low: A sudden drop in our support that landed us in short paycheck land from August 1-December 15.
Low: A miscarriage.
Low: Discovering that Snapper and I are gluten intolerant.
Low: Our van breaking down. The repairs will be extensive. We're saving up, and hope to have the money to fix it this month.
High: This year's school is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Snapper's two teachers and Pepper's teachers all share our faith, which gives us great common ground with them. They are wonderful teachers, and the kids are doing so well in school. It makes up for our awful year last year.
High: Watching Snapper excel in swimming. She is fast, strong, and has won the hearts of her coaches. She has also made the sweetest friends at swim team.
High: Graduating from foster/adoption training, having our case moved to top priority, and preparing to adopt one or two children in 2012!
High: Giving the kids Sea World passes for Christmas.
High: Having our church decide to start supporting us...and we never asked them for support! What an amazing encouragement!
High: Loaded tangelo, lime, and grapefruit trees in our own back yard! YUM!
High: Losing 30 POUNDS since August as a result of going gluten free! Oh, and I feel better than I have since I was a kid.
High: Knowing God better because of all He has done in our lives this year. Seeing what He brought us through, remembering how He provided for us, experiencing His protection and care, and knowing without a doubt how much He loves us--all those things make me eager to move forward into a new year. Happy New Year to you, and may God make Himself known in your life as He has in mine. He loves you so!