Early 2013 found us settling into our new rent house with a new baby and a house full of crazy!
January was also when my hubby went back to work after 6 blissful weeks of paternity leave. January was rough y’all. I was totally tired and very overwhelmed. I threw myself back into school and tried to find a routine. It just wasn’t pretty.
February found us slowly getting into the swing of life with a fifth little person. I was getting things done again and my hubby was finally feeling caught up at work. And this is when our landlord’s called us and said they wanted the house back. They wanted us out so they could move in. They gave us a couple of months warning but I was certainly not prepared for that! They told us they were not sure of the timeline or of the details but they were thinking about moving in or possibly selling the house. And could I please get it ready to put on the market just in case???
March found me trying to cut through the clutter and think about putting the house on the market. We were left wondering where we should move. Our evenings were spent online looking at rent houses and questioning our timeframe.
April was filled with my husband working on his PhD and with house hunting. It was mostly filled with worry. I stressed over where we would move and what we would do. Our landlords let us know that they would like us out in July or August but would let us move out early without penalty if we found something before that time. I was determined to find something as soon as possible so we did not have to live in a house that was on the market and keep it ready for showings. I can’t remember how many houses we toured and we knew immediately that they were not the right houses for us. It was so discouraging!
May was the month of church hunting for us. Our former church fired their pastor and dissolved into an angry, bitter, hateful mess. Oh my! We did not want to be part of a children’s ministry that did not minister or a church family that treated others like enemies. Church visiting with food allergic kids is always an adventure – not in a fun way though. We did find a church home that was closer and smaller and more welcoming.
June was full of us moving and unpacking and organizing and arranging. I unpacked and directed the movers with one arm while little Punkin snuggled in my other arm. I have never felt so tired and disorganized! In June my sweet cousin’s little baby boy passed away. It was such a painful time for them and as I sat among our new house piled with boxes I prayed for her family.
July was spent keeping myself and the kids busy and out of the miserable heat. We spent all our time at the pool and my goal was to wear them out! I tried to think ahead toward our next school year and I did manage to make sure all our curricula was ordered. I never quite got to any real planning though. This was also the month that my hubby was preparing to start his research for his dissertation. He had lots of homeschool families to interview for his project and he had to get approval and finalize paperwork.
August was not a fun month. I was dreading the start of a new year after how difficult our last school year was. To make things more difficult my aunt passed away and one of my other cousin’s lost her precious 7 year old son. I can’t imagine that there’s anything quite as heartbreaking as losing a child. I went through my school days while thinking of a little empty school desk in another state. It wasn’t a good start to our year.
September could be best described as “do the next thing.” I never had a chance to plan for our school year so each morning I grabbed our books, opened to the next page, and simply began. This month was also filled with working on my hubby’s dissertation project. I transcribed interviews and he analyzed and wrote his findings. It was beginning to feel like a never ending project. He spent every night working as late as possible on his project and I typed for hours at a time until my fingers were swollen.
October found us finishing up the main part of my hubby’s dissertation interviews while trying to balance his very busy travel schedule. He was asked to work on a new graduate program at a university in Indiana so he made a trip there to get them started. Each week was filled with cooking all the meals over the weekend and holding down the fort while he worked late or traveled during the week. Because they were shorthanded at work this meant that he was even more busy than usual. I focused on homeschool things and we spent every spare minute trying to catch up on sleep.
November was filled with visits from family which was a welcome change! We had a nice and very quiet Thanksgiving and focused on enjoying some time off from our outside activities. Bee had her big appointment with our immunologist for her food allergies and we received very discouraging news. She has not outgrown any allergens and her allergies have not improved. She still has life threatening allergies to many foods. I was not quite ready to hear the news that we’ve made no improvement.
December found us trying to survive until Christmas. I didn’t plan it that way and I didn’t want it to feel that way. But yes, we just hoped we would all be in one piece by the end of the month. Bee had a severe allergic reaction in the middle of the month and had to be rushed to the ER. Thankfully she recovered well but it reminded us to stay vigilant and always watch what she ate and did. It was a depressing reminder that life at our house is not remotely normal.
My word I had chosen for the year was “delight.” Oh, I had no idea how difficult I would find it to delight in our circumstances over the past year. Sure, I am still exceedingly blessed and I have so much to be thankful for; however, I found that 2013 was full of pain and mourning for those who are close to me. 2013 was not delightful – it was painful and emotionally draining.
Not to leave you depressed. I did learn some things this year. I learned that God is still faithful; He is still sovereign; He is still present even when I don’t feel Him, see Him, or discern any evidence of Him. The past year was not what I expected or what I had planned but God knew right where I would be and He knew how to bring me through. I think my word for 2013 is sovereign. I don’t always understand my circumstances and I don’t always find joy but I have faith. He who is sovereign is also faithful. And when my lack of faith starts to overwhelm me I simply cling to the fact that God able and He is sovereign.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.