The Year of Grace 2013

This time last year, I was living in a bubble.  I call it a bubble because I had no idea just how far God would stretch me and lead me down unfamiliar roads.  The experiences, change and loss impacted me in a way I wasn't expecting.  Who knew what was ahead when I chose my WORD OF THE YEAR — G R A C E ?

Thankfully, God knew.

My Year of GRACE 2013

January –  My hubby and I took a fun trip to Chicago with our girls.  We shopped, ate at great restaurants and stayed high up in The Felix Hotel.  After spending time having fun it was off to Florida to be with my mom.  I didn't expect to spend 2 weeks driving an hour & a half one-way to be with her every day.  What was supposed to be a routine lung surgery turned ugly with a massive heart attack that reminded us just how fragile life is.

February – This was a giant month for change.  I thought I was ready to let my kids go but when my son moved out to live with roommates….I took it pretty hard.  It was time, so I celebrated with him (for his sake, not mine).  The news that one of my childhood best friends lost her battle with a brain tumor set me back as well.  It was also a rough month as my hubby navigated a "new" boss and job (not of his choosing).  Change can make you or break you.

March – My middle baby turned 20, my brother went to jail (for a probation violation), my bankcard was stolen, my small group got serious and I read BigMama's awesome book — Sparkly Green Earrings.  What a crazy month!

April – Most of April was spent doctoring up a wounded dog (Gracie).  No one knows how she ripped her front leg open but all of us took part in helping her to heal.  She turned out okay and the weather joined in by letting us do some much needed yardwork.  Hubby finished up the outside staircase that had been on his to-do list for months.

May – I spent most of May in denial that graduation was fast approaching.  It's not easy letting your youngest grow up!  My family got together for the Republican Lincoln Day dinner and had a chance to meet the Indiana Governor Mike Pence.  We are total cornballs when it comes to politics.  Hubby and I went to the prom, again (I've lost count on how many). And I went back & forth with kids to the doctor.  It was a busy month.

June – My oldest celebrated turning 23, my youngest graduated high school, I took a trip to North Carolina with my hubby & girls and got the call to "come quick" to see my mom on her deathbed.  Thankfully, I didn't have to do any of that by myself.  What I thought was a month of letting my kids grow up turned into the month that I had to grow up.  Death has a way of doing that to you.  In our case, it was near death and all that accompanies that process.  God made a way for our family to settle some serious business for my mom while she was still able to talk and manage her affairs.  I'm forever grateful for the way God blessed us all.

July – July was by far the hardest month of my entire life.  It was long.  It was sad.  It was exhausting and it held the power of change.  My mother declined rapidly, my youngest and I drove to be with her and my hubby would find himself being offered a fantastic new job.  Life as we knew it….was about to change!  Forever.  God knew that I would need to be by her side when she died and He orchestrated that my baby be there as well.  The weeks following….my hubby and I disassembled her life & house the best way we could and walked away from all that was my mother.  It was hard!  But God had blessings to give, even through that.

August – Back to work.  For me, a new place in Special Ed and for hubby, a new job all together.  This is the month he started the two hour commute ONE-WAY!  We realized that time was of the essence and started getting our old house ready to sell.  It was project after project and dollar after dollar spent making our home sellable.  Little did we know that we would lose most of that money in the final sale.  What can you do about it?  It was part of the learning process.  The best part of August was how awesome work was for hubby & me.  Both of us landed in new places with great people to love and be loved by! 

September – I wrote a post that shocked a few people about my hubby as we celebrated 24 years of marriage.  Both of my girls moved out and into their first apartment.  We painted, built a bar and house shopped like mad.  The whole month was a blur filled with exciting moments and more growing up on my part.  I even squeezed in a trip to Chattanooga with my bestie for a conference where I would get to meet BIGMAMA y'all!!

October – My hubby & I turned 47 and  I admitted to myself, that I'm getting old!  I fretted over house inspections when OUR HOUSE SOLD!  Hubby and I took a trip during fall break to Michigan with our little dog Ms Lizzy.  I finally took the plunge and spent some money on a pair of real boots and a big girl computer (thanks Mom).  It was a great month in many ways especially because of the gorgeous fall weather.

November – Good news. Bad news. New house. New car.  New, new, new!  Life changed bigtime for us in November.  We found the perfect house for our needs, hubby finally recieved his new company car and we took a major hit on the appraisal of our old house.  In spite of all the crazy, we celebrated Thanksgiving with our kids.  The last one in the house we'd all shared for the last 12 years.  Did I mention that the baby in my family had a birthday?  Yes, 19! 

December – I'm forever referring to this month as the month of stress & IT'S HAPPENING!!  We started collecting boxes, packing boxes, repairing all the wishes for the buyers of our old house and planning our exit strategy ALL WHILE MY HUBBY GOT HIS WOODWORKING DREAMS ON!  He built a bench for our daughter, a table for our living room and added many new tools to his collection.  This month we would rent 2 moving trucks, load & move in a snow/ice storm the first weekend and a torrential rainstorm the next.  No Christmas shopping for us this year thanks to a huge mess of moving into our new house the week of Christmas.  I have never felt so out of it in my whole life.  God used the experience to remind me of what is REALLY IMPORTANT when celebrating HIS birth.  It has nothing to do with blowing all your money on useless presents!

I can't look over all that's happened this year and not recognize how God's grace blanketed my every move.  Life is unpredictable, it's tough and harsh to everyone at some point or another.  This year just happened to be my year.  As I look back, I thank God for all the ways He taught me big lessons that will forever change who I am for the better.  I love my life and I love the family that He gave me.  I wouldn't change a single thing.

Here's to a great NEW YEAR in 2014! 


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