Thursday, January 2, 2014

Closing the door to 2013

As I am reflecting back on 2013, I would have to say it was filled with many hills and many valleys.  The hills far outweighed the valleys, thankfully!  

Our year started with Ernie dealing with kidney stones, again.  He has had many experiences with them.  He was discharged from the hospital after a kidney infection from stones and found out that he had 8-9 stones right around Christmas.  So, in January, he was almost constant pain.  

February came around and I was noticing that I was a lot more anxious than normal, very irritable and just on edge almost all of the time.  I finally gave in and went to the doctor and begged for a prescription for Xanax.  I was complaining that my cycle was pretty late, but a midwife had told me I was premenopausal, so I didn't think anything of it.  I hadn't had regular cycles since my 2 year old, at the time, was born.  Well, surprise, surprise, my cycle was late and I was crazy hormonal & anxious because I was pregnant!  We thought our family was complete at 4, but God had a better plan.  

During the spring, we put our older two kids in counseling and I went back to counseling, trying to find healing after my brother's suicide.  One of my biggest lessons is that you cannot find healing after a tragedy like that.  God is the only way to healing after dealing with that kind of loss.  

I think almost 2 years later, I am finally coming to grips with the horrific loss I have felt over losing my brother.  There has been so much anger and bitterness for many reasons with him.  But the bottom line is that he was mentally ill.  He made many bad choices in his adult life and would not take responsibility and/or ask for help.  The control freak in me still wishes I could have forced him to get help, but the bottom line is that he made the choice that life was no longer worth living.  

I learned in counseling that I was dealing with a lot of self-hatred.  There are many reasons for that, but it's time to take responsibility for those thoughts and feelings and learn ways to turn that around loving myself, so that I can see and love others, the way Jesus sees and loved others.  

In August, our oldest returned to public school as a high school freshman.  It still hurts to say he is a freshman.  That has been quite an adjustment after 5 years of homeschooling.  My girls are still at home.  

The morning of 9/26, Annalee's birthday, one month before our newest blessing was due, my water broke.  After a long day of labor, she finally joined the world. She was a little peanut at only 18 1/4 inches and 4lbs 14oz.  She spent a week in the nicu.  She had no serious problems, but they kept hef for a week. Thankfully I was able to keep my hospital room and stay while the baby was in the nicu.  Baby girl turned 3 months old the day after Christmas and I cannot imagine our lives without her. She is such a gift.  

One of my biggest lessons of 2013, was that you cannot control anything.  God has his plan and his plan is always better than we could ask for or imagine. 

He has brought some wonderful ladies into my life that I love doing life with.  Ladies that allow me to be fully transparent and that love me just the same.  That has been a tremendous blessing for me.  

Just when I think that I have things figured out, God gives us a huge surprise.  I am so grateful for his surprises!  

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