Our life has been quite eventful in 2012 and there are times when I wonder if life will ever slow down. But, if you know me, you know that I actually like change. Most people I know are not fans of change but that's just not the case with me, it must be the gypsy in me (thanks, Mom). We always seem to be changing. Some of those changes this year have been coupled with excruciating pain, some with jaw-dropping awe, and some with unspeakable joy. But, in all these changes, we have grown as individuals and as a family.
As most of you know, 2012 didn't start with such a great beginning. Our 12 year old adopted daughter went to respite care and eventually placed with a wonderful family in another state. She is doing good and our family is thriving as well. We have received quite a bit of opposition from family and friends but in the end, we are here to please only one person and that's our Heavenly Father. Some felt as though we were not doing the "godly" thing by placing her with another family but in the end, it was God who led us to them and God who had it planned from the beginning of time. Not very many people know the pain of a disruption and I would not wish that on anyone, so I can't expect people to understand our situation that have never walked in our shoes. I have let go of that chapter in my life and can't worry about what people think or how they feel about us and the decisions we have made in our life and our family. I trust that God will and I've seen glimpses that He already has turned something evil into good. For, He is ALWAYS faithful!
In May of this year, Craig lost his job with the bank. The bank was struggling and sold the investment division of its operation. This left Craig jobless and with an internal struggle of whether or not to walk away from financial planning. He even got his US Coast Guard Captain's License and started to pursue life on the water - full time. When things weren't happening and he needed to provide for our family, he chose to pursue what he knows best and took a job with Charles Schwab. However, that job would not be in our beloved Florida Keys but on the West Coast of Florida. Once again, we would pick up and move. This was much harder on the adults in the family than our precious kids. They were so excited to be going to a "big city" with lots of things to do, homeschooling adventures, museums, art, horseback riding, gymnastics and much more. I don't think any of them shed tears but believe me, I cried enough for my entire family x 100. Leaving the Keys was extremely hard for me and there are days when I wish I were back on my island.
But, that brings me to the good news of this post! I am blessed beyond I can even imagine. I quickly have connected with some wonderful homeschool moms! I am overwhelmed at the like mindedness of many other homeschool families and I am learning so much about myself, my children, their learning styles, my teaching style and so on. There is so much to do and so many resources up here that there's not possibly enough time in the day to do all of it. The girls have met some incredible friends and things are going a lot better than I would have ever anticipated. I wake up some mornings and want to pinch myself. God has blessed us more than we deserve and it amazes me that the blessings are new every day!
I am amazed at the tapestry that God continues to weave in my family and in my own personal life. I don't know why I find myself amazed because after all, we are talking about the Creator of the Universe. He is so Creative and His ways are perfect. I am doing things I said I'd never do and I'm content! I'm finally at a place in my life (and its been a painful process) where I can honestly be thankful in the good and the bad. 10 months ago my life was unraveling and I felt like I was in a downward spiral. There was no joy, no contentment, and definitely NO thankfulness. I was at a place where I was questioning God and was so angry at Him that I couldn't see any of the good He was doing in my life. All I could do was complain, throw my fist in the air and scream "NOT FAIR!" Little did I know that He had never stepped away from my tapestry. He continued to weave. He heard my cries, saw my fists, watched me stomp my feet in defiance but He never left my tapestry, He never left my side. I'm sure He stood there saying, "Child, I will work all of this out for good. You are mine and I've got this all in the palm of MY hand." I am thankful for the rough year we've had because it makes this time of blessing so much sweeter. I can't type those words without tears streaming down my face. For now, its a time of sweetness, a time of new beginnings, almost as if Spring is just around the corner.
I don't know what God has for us in the year to come but I do know that He holds the future just as He has held me this year. I'm sure we will still face pain and even as I type this, I mourn the passing of a dear friend who took her last breath this evening. There will be hardships, there will be questions, there will be tears but I will count it all as joy and be thankful for it all. I've been reading "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp and I am learning to be thankful in the hard as well as the easy. And, that's impossible without the mighty work of the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that I will wake up each morning and recognize things throughout my day that God has given that I may see a glimpse of His Glory.
I'm thankful for each of you. I'm not sure how many of you still read my blog. I hope that it can offer some encouragement and hopefully some laughter!