2006 in retrospect

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What a year. God has been so incredibly gracious to us, much more than we deserve.

I thought I’d write up some of the highlights of the year…but I’ll warn you now…this is rather long.

January began with Stephen unemployed and looking for a job. The school had just announced that they were downscaling and had given Stephen two months’ notice that he would be laid off. As hard as that time was, I can see now that God was using that to grow our faith. January is also when God confirmed to us that He wanted us to move to Indiana to work in a small church plant there. We began packing and started trying to tie up loose ends before we moved.

February was a whole month of waiting. We met with realtors and finally decided to put our house on the renter’s market instead of selling it. We spent most of the month packing and simply waiting for God to show us that we could move.

We finally moved in March. That was a huge leap of faith for us, even though we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that that was what God wanted for us. We left our little home in South Carolina and drove to a home waiting for us in Indiana that we had never seen. I wonder if that is how Abraham must have felt when God told him to go. . .God showed Himself mighty during this time and provided for us in ways that we never would have imagined.

Stephen started working at his new job in April. After three months of unemployment, it was an incredible relief to be able to know Stephen had a job again. Little man also turned two in April, and we began potty training.

May brought our first adventure with little man wandering off while we were at church. A neighbor brought him back, and this somewhat paranoid mama became much more vigilant.

June was busy. Stephen’s parents came to visit us for a week, which was wonderful! While they were here, we got an audit notice from the IRS. While it turned out to be created by a simple misunderstanding, it was scary. It was easily resolved though, and it was a huge relief to find out that we had not messed up our taxes like I originally thought. It was an even bigger relief that we really didn’t owe thousands of dollars in a month’s time. We were very thankful for the way God worked that out.

In July our church held VBS. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. It also marked the beginning of our health insurance through Stephen’s job. After four years without it, we were very thankful to have it when we rushed little man to the emergency room one night for a pretty scary upper respiratory infection. It also began our adventures with his recurrent ear infections.

August began with us moving. The house we were living in was needed by another family, so we moved in with a dear couple from church. We celebrated our fifth anniversary the day we moved. We spent most of the month searching for a house to live in. August was when I saw my new doctor, who decided to redo all my blood work for PCOS. Those results (along with some other testing she sent me for) ended up helping me see another new doctor that finally pinpointed the cause of so many of my health problems. At the end of the month, we were thrilled to have finally found a house for us to live in, though we didn’t move into it for another couple of weeks. Also during August, our pastor announced that he was taking a sabbatical for a few weeks and Stephen was able to step in and fill the pulpit part of the time.

September began with us preparing to move again. Little man was recovering from an ear infection, and experienced his first head wound while visiting my parents’ house. It healed pretty quickly but still was a little scary for Daddy and Mama. Shortly after that, he developed another ear infection.

In October, our low-carb adventures began when I found out just how high my insulin levels really were. I had lost a few pounds, but this started the journey to weight loss and healthy living in earnest. October was also when I discovered the fun of thrift store shopping. Also, by this time, little man had had enough ear infections that our doctor referred us to a specialist. He sent him for a hearing test, and later decided that he needed to have tubes put in his hears.

November flew by. We had to have our van towed to the mechanic, only to discover that somebody had tampered with the engine and had pulled wires out of it. We were thankful that it was an easy fix. I also began preparing to play in our town’s Christmas concert.

December began with the Christmas concert, which went well, but turned out to be a much smaller event than we had imagined. It did fuel my desire to perform again though. As Christmas approached, business in my jewelry store picked up. I had been contemplating shutting down the store, so this was a nice way to make the decision to keep it open. It was also during December that our pastor announced that God is calling him away from our church. There has been some uncertainty in this, but Stephen and I are beginning to wonder if this is one of the reasons that God called us here to Indiana after all. We took another trip to Michigan for Christmas, which was a much-needed break. While we were there, I weighed myself and discovered that I had finally hit a major milestone in my weight loss: 40 pounds gone. I cannot even begin to take the credit for the loss, but I am incredibly thankful that God has allowed it to happen. Stephen has also lost weight himself: almost 20 pounds, if I remember correctly.

Some little man highlights for the year:
His vocabulary has exploded. He started saying “Love you” (yuv oo) for the first time, and now says it unprompted.
He loves to pray by himself, even if it is only, “Jesus, thank you, food.”
He is learning to ride a tricycle and how to catch a ball.
He can go for hours without a potty accident and even wakes up dry after a night’s sleep sometimes.
He loves to bring us things and throw things away for us.
He knows basic colors (red, green, yellow, blue, black, white, brown, pink, orange).
He will talk on the phone any chance he can get.
He loves to go to church.
Memory verses are starting to permeate his life. He is starting to repeat verses to me, without me prompting him for every word.

This has been a rather eventful year for our family, but it has been amazing to watch how God has worked in our lives throughout it all. We’re looking forward to 2007!

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