What an unexpected year we’ve had! Life just keeps bringing the unexpected and blessed moments amongst the hard and confusing ones. How else could we balance life on earth with total reliance on God for every good and perfect thing?
Last year at this time, we were just breaking ground on our home and beginning to watch it be built board by board, nail by nail, stone by stone. Coming from a construction family, it was so exciting for me to watch the whole process, not just the wallboard, from foundation to landscaping. Court got used to my crazy texts and phone calls “IT’S CEMENT TRUCK DAY!” or “WE HAVE A ROOF!!!” We were so strategically placed that I could watch the whole thing from the balcony of our apartment and go daily to watch the progress. It is an amazing gift to finally be living here, writing this from my very own office (complete with door and closet jam-packed with toys confiscated from the kids).
We lost our sweet, Kai this spring. She had a day when she really didn’t want to do anything, wasn’t eating, just off and we took her to the vet to find out what was what, expecting that she’d eaten a toy or something “not food”, only to find that our girl had been sick and we didn’t know it and she had cancer on her liver. So we decided she didn’t need to keep being strong for us and let her go. It was horrible. We were wrecked. I felt and still feel guilty. She loved us so and was the best dog…and now we have Chloe.
Chloe is adorable and fun and energetic. She is a monster. She is a puppy…but she is a monster. She chews Christopher’s shoes, while they are on his feet. No toy or glasses case is safe. There is not a dog bed that can withstand her constant puppy chewing and no zipper has a chance. She needs constant supervision. She is afraid of the washer and the dryer and the dark. She has chewed the trim at the bottom of the stairs, scraped up our back door, started in on the trim in our bedroom, eaten miscellaneous throw pillows and blankets and ate a corner off the cushion of my brand new couch…and yet we love her. We are certifiably insane.
Ava is now in 2nd grade and loving her teacher Mrs. Peters and reads like a champ. Does anyone else have to ground their kids from reading and having books in their room? It makes my mama heart sing to know that she loves reading as much as I did as a little girl. Chapter books are a new thing and she joined me in binge watching a girly show on Netflix recently. She loves a good, romantic, story…now if only I could get her to shush while we’re watching so I don’t miss any dialogue!
Christopher turned 5 just before Christmas. He’s a great big ball of energy that one. He literally does not stop moving until he’s sleeping. I do catch him napping in the car when we run errands and he’s totally still my baby boy. Still sweet, still a cuddle bug, but has discovered that licking me is gross and finds every opportunity to stick out his tongue when near my face and make me run away screaming while he giggles. I’ve been very happy to have him home one more year before starting Kindergarten in the fall. Thank goodness for those birthday cut off dates. We (I) chose to keep him home instead of PreK since he already has a good handle on the basics and is great with other kids and teachers at the gym and church…no need to rush…you can’t take back this year with mama if you give it away, so I’m gobbling it up.
Court has been doing well. He started the year at Exxon in an 8-month contract, which extended for 6 months. Shortly after the extension corporate announced a move to their new location in The Woodlands (45 min north). That was too far away from family in Katy, so moving wasn’t an option. As we closed on the house, Court started another contract close to home with a 15 min commute! His contract ran out November 21, and he was scheduled to start another position. Despite all our best efforts the job that was turned into the job that wasn’t. Prayer, questioning, forced rest, and an odd bout with double vision, have resulted in a 6 week sabbatical and some much needed down time. In the midst, God has provided! All is well. Bills are paid, food to eat, Christmas paid with cash, and we are healthy. The Wednesday before Christmas, Court got a call to interview for a full time position through a different agency. While there, Court was introduced to an agent that handles contract positions and had one available right away…at a company that Court interviewed with in September! Since they’d loved him in September, he was offered the position on the spot! He starts Monday. We had spent 5 weeks struggling with trying to make job #1 work all the while it was becoming less and less appealing (changing rates, changing start dates, shifting priorities all around). Once we realized that it was not the best choice, what was supposed to be fell into our laps in a matter of hours. God’s grace and his plans are so good, so timely and we are so thankful that He said “no”…”No”…”NO”…until we finally heard Him.
We are so grateful for where we are and yet, not humble enough, or walk in gratitude enough in our actions. It is so lovely and wonderful that God loves us where we are, that He sees the present for what it really is, instead of our focus on the confusing moments. At the end of 2015, I have been reminded that my God is a Father who cares about the small and insignificant and “first world problems” that I battle with in my heart. If and when those small things turn me back to Him, then they have served their purpose.
Oh, and as for me…I’ve started to do the things that feed me and my soul. I have started serving at the Café in our new church, attending a Moms Group on Thursday mornings and meeting new friends with other kids for Christopher to play with. I’ve been “babysitting” (I mean really they’re 9 and 11) two neighborhood girls before and after school for some extra money (that was the cash for Christmas) and have started hand addressing envelopes again for some pocket money. With all the wife and mommy jobs I do, it’s nice to get paid for jobs that have a beginning, middle, and end in sight! The letter job is ongoing throughout the year. And then there’s that little thing we do with helping people get healthy…that’s been pretty lucrative too…all those conversations throughout the year really helped get food in our bellies and kept the lights on while we’ve gone 6 weeks without a paycheck. We are so grateful for those seeds sown and the people who trusted our story enough to take a chance with us!
So now, what was once to be a quick little Happy New Year letter has turned into a blog. My best intentions are long winded, what can I say?
May you have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016. May you dream dreams and embrace gratitude and have moments that make your heart sing and remind you that you are loved and treasured.
My heart rejoices when I think of you.
Court, Ava, Christopher and Chloe