Monday, December 28, 2009

Glancing behind, speeding forward!

And now, it's time for the cliche "looking at the past year" blog... but with a twist. This coming year is a new and exciting challenge for me, and *that* will be my focus!

The beginning of the year 2009 I spent alone in my former sister-in-law's parent's basement curled up on the couch with my three babies, watching the ball drop on television.
That past year I had melted, and still had the enormous responsibility of three tiny boys to raise.I had lived through a year of emotional torture, trying to do what was right, only to end up alone and crying at the beginning of my year. It was a new life, to be sure, and one that I was not yet used to. The learning curve was steep. I had no idea what God had in store for my life, at that point. It was all I could do to keep my head above water, but by the grace of God, I was still able to find reasons to smile.

A month later, I moved into my new home.


It may not look like much, but it was my own personal Taj Mahal. It had everything I had hoped for, and was a gift straight from heaven. Throughout the year, I grew slowly into a functioning single mother of three boys 3 and under thanks to the support of a family-in-Christ that loved and cared about me. 

I moved into a true HOME for my children and myself, began my first semester back at college and completed it with success, I got this blog going and gained a little gold star from, made new friends, hosted a weekly playgroup in my home, attended Bible study, celebrated the birth of two new nieces and a nephew, took my sons to their first day in Disneyland, spent time with my extended family in California, hosted a visit with a dear friend from Fort Campbell for a girl's week with six kiddos in my home, planned and hosted Will's third birthday, read dozens of books, saw William off to his first day of preschool, saw my baby twins grow to adventurous, toddling boys and most importantly, regained my sense of wonder in life.

In the good times and bad, I learned a few select things to help me through the year to come, making it less stressful and more joyful: 


1. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALLLLWAYS drink coffee first thing in the morning, and have another cup at 1pm. If I didn't, my day would begin sluggishly and would get progressively worse in a hurry.

2. Make a list of little things I enjoy. Sitting by the window in my favorite chair, sewing, attempting a photo shoot with my children, eating a jolly rancher, making a wonderful lunch for one, sitting on my deck with a big glass of sweet tea... anything and everything that made me smile. When I would get down, I'd accomplish one of the things on the list, and would be much more hopeful in an instant.

3. Keeping beautifully decorated 3x5 notecards of my favorite Bible verses posted around my house. They would re-direct my attention away from myself and toward the true purpose God has for me, and though it will include hardship, HE will always walk with me. It was the single most effective thing I did to change my heart, which was the only thing I had control over, anyway.

4. Keeping my nose in a book helps me to look past my own life and to put it all into perspective. Whether it be the Bible, or fluffy historical fiction books, mostly.... they would take my mind from the difficulty of my circumstances and allow me to look into another world and another life, temporarily dulling my sense of panic. They also kept my mind sharp, which I was very grateful for after living for a year in an intellectual fog.

5. Never, ever lose HOPE. The hope that someone will love me again (as a few have), the hope that I am not too damaged to make it in the world (as I've been succeeding in so many areas of my life), the hope that time truly DOES heal all wounds (because the scars are fading), and the hope that my sons will have happy, productive, normal lives in spite of what has happened. Next to my faith, their resilience has been my greatest source of hope.


This list has served me well! In spite of the challenge I faced this year in picking up the pieces of what was left of my life, I have accomplished all of what I set out to do and then some.

Although I lost my grandfather this year, saw the children through dozens of flus and colds (which is a LOT harder than you think.... it's the worst part of raising three boys so close together for me!), my ex-husband had his fourth child and celebrated his one year anniversary with the new wife, and watched the country sink into a deep recession affecting everyone around me, among other unmentionable sorrows, it didn't break me. God's love for me and the strength he provided me kept me going in moments I thought I didn't have anything left to give.


Now, to ring in 2010, I'm going to be doing something pretty out of character... going to see the Black Eyed Peas in concert for the New Year's Eve countdown! I felt like this year needed a pretty awesome kick-start with a great memory to keep my spirits up... and some extra savings made this little mini-vacay a reality! I *refuse* to be stuck sitting at home alone this year, and would far rather be having a night to remember throughout the year of hard work to come! This is a three day trip, just for ME, to reflect and celebrate the fact that I have come through this awful experience with the ability to see joy in my everyday life... even in the worst of times.

This year will be full of surprises, I am sure, but I'm going to be speeding forward into my new future... fully enjoying my sons, my independence, and my new life that I have earned through hard work and careful planning due to God's grace and guidance.

1 comment:

  1. What a great year you will have ahead of you! Keep doing what you are doing, and have fun on your trip!