I don't know where to start with summing up this year. It's been full of surprises for sure! Some were not good but some were really really fabulous! I will say there was a lot of leaning on Jesus, and a lot of Bible verses that helped me through the tough parts and helped me celebrate the great parts.
In the early spring I bought a ring with Jeremiah 29:11 on it, "For I know the plans I have for you,"declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." I've heard that verse sooo many times but this year was the first year it spoke to me. Also, the best advice I received all year was to take each day at a time and sometimes minute by minute if you need to. Then I found this verse over the summer, "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about things that may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." (Matt 6:34 MSG) It's so true God gave me the strength for each day as it happened. Then I also loved...Isaiah 40:11 "The Lord takes care of his people like a shepherd. He gathers the people like lambs in his arms. He carries them close to him. He gently leads the mothers of lambs." ...Luke 1:37 "Nothing is impossible for God." ...and Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Okay so really fast a recap of the big things that happened this year- we were in Knoxville for spring break when Michael was approached about a job (still with Clayton) in Athens, TN, a week or so later he got the job, and on our anniversary (May 11th) he left for TN. I stayed with the kids until school ended, and attempted to pack up the house. We went a month without seeing Michael, and I have NO idea how military wives go as long as they do- not easy! Then we all moved into my parents house (bless them) until we found a house here in Knoxville. We closed on our new house on a Friday, and we welcomed our newest family member just a few days later (Tuesday)!! We named her Hallie (meaning praise the Lord) and Caroline because she is our Carolina baby. That was the big stuff. The smaller exciting things that happened were a trip to Hawaii for me and M (with Clayton). We stayed at the Hilton Waikaloa Village (I may have spelled that wrong) on the big island and I recommend it! We got to see my aunt Kim and her husband David and my uncle Kurt (he was visiting also) while we were there. Kim and David were great hosts and showed us some great local spots and a few more touristy ones that were off the beaten path. Also, the kids and I went to Hilton Head with my parents at the end of June. That trip was so much fun and brought some much needed relaxation in the midst of all the life changes. And also that the last time I remember sleeping well. :)
As I'm looking back over the year I'm seeing the God sent so many angels in the form of friends and family to help us. I don't even know how to express how thankful I am to each person that helped out. We had friends and family that came to Burlington to pack us up, then friends and family that helped unpack when it all arrived in TN (how did we get so much stuff?), friends that brought gifts, planned baby showers, took the kids to a movie or out to play so I could get some sleep, M's parents (bless them) for helping an enormous amount with house stuff and moving, I could go on and on. So THANK YOU THANK YOU everyone you know who you are!! I have not always been the most patient person this year, so also thanks to those who have had to bear with me and to those who have given me some great advice or kind words. Also sorry to everyone who is trying to have a conversation with me on the phone while I'm distracted and it sounds like I'm running a circus at my house. :) Christmas was my goal line this year.I thought if I can just make it to Christmas I'll have myself pulled back together. Well, I'm not all the way there but things are definately really great right now! I'm so excited to be celebrating Christmas with friends and family again this year right here in Knoxville!! Sometimes back where you started from is right where you belong! Merry Christmas everyone!!!!