Wednesday, December 28, 2011

it's almost here...

can you believe it?

The end of 2011 is this week... I can't ever believe it when we have Christmas and the New Year holiday week- I can't believe how quickly the year flew by.

It has been a good year.  A good year with a difficult ending, for sure, but God is ever good and faithful.  He continues to work miracles in my sight and in the lives of people I love.

This year I have experienced so many ups and downs.  I struggle, still, to make the right changes and the right decisions for myself and my children. God's timing is always right, though, I must admit that the timing of many events seems peculiar to my human self.  I know that everything has purpose, though.  Including everything that is happening now.

I found out after the Thanksgiving Holiday that I had been mislead by people I trusted.  I've lost a friendship, and we left the dance studio we loved to dance at... 

And, for now, I am separated from my husband.  We remain friends, and in fact, he still lives at our house, but in the basement.

It is a difficult and confusing time on so many levels.  Again, though, God is at work here.  Every day! Change is a hard thing... I know I keep saying it...   Faith is an interesting thing, though...  I am OK.

It hasn't been all doom and gloom around here, though!  We have returned to school from home school.  Danielle was Clara in the Nutcracker.  Katie is so close to an ariel, and in fact, has done one with just her fingertips grazing the floor. Tommy is in high school! I have one in high school, one in middle, and one in elementary.  The kids have fantastic teachers.  The girls and I got to go to NYC to see Taylor Swift (WOW).  We had a family reunion in Minnesota, and the girls and I got to visit our Pacific Northwest besties, and fall in love with Bainbridge Island.  Tommy got to visit his beloved Amish community: Shipshewannna.  All-in-all: a good year!

At MSG for Taylor!

See that speck? That's her!!!

discussing methods of entry on Christmas Eve

festive girl!

trick-or-treat! Night, Ninja, and a Fairy...

Fairfax County supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Danielle sees that she is Clara!

Tom forever bonding with not-food cows

A revolutionary look for a revoloutionary boy!

Katie hi-jacked Tom's bed, so he took the floor- such a gentleman

Presenting Germany at Nina's work: Katie is in the dress I wore when I was 12, and Danielle is in Eileen's dress!

After last year's recital

exploring Bainbridge!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

thought so

I'm still hanging in there!!!

One of the most important lessons I think I've learned this year is that I can not be responsible for other people's feelings... I have to live authentically and honestly, and if that offends someone, it isn't my fault.

Yes, I've had a few years of therapy to help me with all this...well... all this guilt about things not being happy and harmonious all the time.

Yes, I need constant reminders that I'm not in charge of making everything happy and harmonious all the time.

And, Yes... I have a hard time remembering this lesson, even though it is so important.

This has to do with the whole:  "Be still and know that I am God"... and the whole: "God is God and I am not" ( thank goodness, and thank you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit) THING!

Which means, my friends, that I (and you) don't need to feel guilty when I (and you) can't make things happy and harmonious all the time!  Whew... that's a relief, don't you think?

I thought so.

Now, remember this, and repeat after me:  God is in charge, and He knows what He is doing!

After all... He sent us a baby, He sent us Himself, so we could be saved.  His love saves us all.

 Have a good day tomorrow! You are loved (and not in charge, so relax a little).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

with grace...

I will admit it:  I have had a really hard three weeks.  I've had some tremendous ups and I've had some pretty impressive downs.  It has been an emotional couple (OK, three) (of) weeks.  There has been a tremendous amount of loss at our house, and within the family each of us is dealing with some pretty major changes.

It's been hard.

Without smearing any one's name or reputation, I've had to learn that not everyone who acts like a friend is one, and I've had the incredible experience of learning that some of my friends are very loving and fiercely loyal.  I can only hope that I would behave with such grace and courage as these ladies have.  And, I thank God for these ladies (you know who you are) every night when I say my prayers:)

See?  With every storm comes a cloud with a silver lining, and some days there are beautiful rainbows.  Even in sad times there is purpose in everything and God is good and faithful and loyal.

I've been praying for purity in my heart, in my language, in my actions, and in my decisions.  Jesus forgives everyone their sins, if they only ask...  So,  I also forgive (every day, usually at the end of the day) people who mean harm.  It's not easy, but it's right.  And, actually, it isn't too bad... I just hand all that over to God and let Him handle it.  I only pray that I behave like He would want me to... hence, the purity...  (c'mon, we can all use it!)

So... I've been saying this all along... change isn't easy.

But, sometimes, it's time.