The Year Of...

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Last year was a crazy year. The past two years have stretched us more than ever before. My parents have started this thing where they come up with a theme for their year. For instance, early on in 2011, my mom deemed it the Year of Adventure. Her year started with a top-secret evacuation from their home in Egypt due to the revolution in February, and went on to include her being in a tornado, a flood and an earthquake. (You can read more on my mom's blog... its super cool!) Adventure, indeed! They've deemed this next year the Year of the Game... they're hoping to go on a Safari, play games with friends and have a neat game table made for them.

So I was trying to think what the theme would be for our past couple of years. 2010 was definitely the Year of Loss... we lost Whitney in early February, Sean lost his job just a few months later, and we lost our sense of direction in life. With 2011, a new breath of life came. The theme of loss carried over a bit... we had to move, lost friends, etc. But a restoration began in our lives. With our move to Cincinnati, Sean and I had nothing but time to build our relationship. Though there was the stress of not knowing when/if/how we would find another job and awaiting Gia's birth, it was one of the greatest times in our relationship. We were literally together 24/7 for 3 months straight, and we seriously only had maybe one argument. I know- I was amazed! The church in Fresno took a huge toll on both Sean and I personally. They were so hateful and hurtful, it had us questioning our own self-worth. (Something I know is not from God!) So the time we had to just retreat from all of the ugliness that happened at the church there was good. I pretty much cut ties with all but a few people, which was what I really needed at the time. I know that Sean was even more hurt by the leaders there, and it is still taking time for him to build up his confidence again. But God is beginning to restore that, too.

With the birth of Gia, a new kind of restoration took place. Though we will always feel the loss of Whitney, having Gianna in our lives is such a joy! God continued to restore our broken lives in the next few months as he brought us to an amazing church family and great job for Sean. I appreciate the leadership and team vision of the church, the outward/upward focus of the preaching and the family-like atmosphere with which they've welcomed us. God has brought me some amazing women with whom I am building friendships, and I am so grateful for that. I can be real with them- no need to fake it. We still have lots to learn about each other, which is part of the fun of developing new relationships. Again, a restoration I have prayed so hard for.

Our house in Fresno still has not sold, but we're hoping by the end of this month, a sale will go through. Losing that house makes me so sad- we worked so hard on making it our home. I loved it. But, at the end of the day, it was just a house. And where we are now feels more like home in just 6 months than 3 years in Fresno did. I know I've said before, but I am a huge home-body. "Home" is a big thing to me. I am thankful for the place we are living now, and know that building up that sense of home will just take time.

Another great restoration that has taken place this year is our proximity to family. I know that no where in the Bible does God promise we'll be close to family... in fact, much of Jesus' preaching talks about leaving your Father and Mother. But for right now, this season of life, we are close to Sean's family. And it is wonderful. 20 minutes from his brother and less than 2 hours from his dad. We don't know what the future holds, so for now, we are soaking it up as much as we can and not taking a single second for granted.

Every day with Gia feels like a restoration. Every day with her is a day that we didn't get with Whitney... every milestone is new. Of course, this is bittersweet, but sweet nonetheless. So if 2010 was the Year of Loss, and 2011 the Year of Restoration, I'm not yet sure what 2012 will be. The Year of Growth? There are so many areas I'd like to grow in, spiritually, personally and relationally. I don't know... but I'm excited to find out what the year holds!

What about you? What are you hoping to make 2012 the Year of?

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  1. Shey, you continue to write & share your emotions so beautifully. Year of Growth sounds good for your title for 2012.

    2011 was the Year of Loss for me..the death of my father in March..& all those "firsts" that come & go without that missed loved one. Though wonderful things did happen during the year, missing Dad seemed to be a shadow over everything.

    I think I'm going to call 2012 the Year of Downsizing...making a huge effort to downsize the amount of "stuff" collecting in the attic, each closet, each drawer, etc. And the Year of Downsizing seems good for me as I try to downsize my own body, continuing to lose weight and adhere to more healthy eating, as a result of a diabetic diagnosis in 2011 (guess that falls into the Year of Loss, too...the loss of SUGAR!

    May you have a healthy, happy 2012. I do so enjoy your blog. Love, Linda


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