"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"
Charles Dickens, opening line A Tale of Two Cities
and that sums up 2010 in a nutshell!
the long version might be a tad more interesting to read though LOL
The year started off mid health crisis, my MS was causing lack of confidence in doing my part of the family business and this had 'not so good' financial repercussions and so Pete was looking for work. He quickly found a job and by the end of January we felt relief even though still waiting on that first pay check.
After a couple of months we could see light at the end of the tunnel and were making strong plans to get back into a better financial position.
That all went out the window a couple of days after Mother's Day - Mother's Day itself was made rather AWFUL by the landlords visiting unannounced and YELLING at us because.... well, um, for no good reason... that in itself is another long saga and lessons were learned and trusts broken.
We were given notice to vacate and so the search was on... turning up nothing. We ended up moving out, keeping things in storage and staying with friends for about 10 days and the same at my BIL & SIL's in the city. It was a CRAZY time of too much driving, too little sleep, loads of stress, no bookwork happening and I soooo don't want to go there again.
God blessed us with the house He wanted us to have - He will provide when we allow Him to choose what He wants to provide. The house leaves a LOT to be desired and yet I've not felt so peaceful about living ANYWHERE in years. Knowing you are walking the steps He wants you to walk, provides that promised peace that passes all understanding.
So after what felt like an eternity but was only a few weeks we moved into the 'crooked little house' (anyone know that song/poem? I vaguely remember it from my childhood)
The move cost us thousands we didn't want to spend this year and we've only just gotten over that financial hurdle.
We've now been here 6 months, in the house that is about 1/2 the size... the one with the laundry in the back yard... yes, my laundry needs mowing on a regular basis. And we've only just finished the major unpacking and decluttering that is required when one makes such a seemingly backwards move - when most others are moving bigger and better LOL
The main reason the unpacking etc has taken so long is all the other hurdles that we've had to deal with in the last 6 months.... the flu, right when we needed to be in Geelong for a funeral - a friend from years ago lost his brief battle with cancer and I so wanted to be at the funeral to support his wife, also a friend from long ago. Within a week, a close friend lost her 5yo son to a drowning accident and again we were unable to attend the funeral. Such sadness in the middle of our moving.
Election day #1 saw me sprain my ankle and I wasn't on it much at all for a couple of weeks and didn't drive for 4. This was only about 5 weeks after we moved in and about 1 week after the final gathering of our boxes from storage. Needless to say, that did set things backwards.
October saw us with the chicken pox in the family - all 3 children - for about... well yes, about a month... it was November before we were all clear... only 'just' in time for Timothy's dedication and Pete's baptism at church. We'd made many attempts to gather the family for Timothy's dedication over the last 2+years and when it came down to it, still no one from my side of the family was able to come and only Pete's parents.
One of our close family friends came, the other was tied up with sport on the Lord's day.
Still, it was a great day of celebration.
Just after that, gastro went through the family and we had to cancel the BIG BBQ we had been planning for months... it will happen, but not until March 2011.
We were able to get to the funeral of my step-grandfather which I was so pleased to be able to do though it was a mad mad drive to Sydney and back while the chicken pox were still lurking.... the boys came out in spots the night of the day we left *sigh* and so on the road, we needed to make other arrangements for where they were to stay while we were gone.
So this last year we've missed funerals, birthday parties (one special one in particular of some precious precious twins that I was so sad to miss), our BBQ celebration, girl's nights at church, too many home ed meetings that I love so much, much much bookwork (still working on catch up), we missed out on camping at Christmas time and oh so many other things. I feel like each time I turned around there was something else we were having to ditch - oh that's right, Christmas in July at a dear friend's home in Geelong, Pete and Nathaniel attending Boys Brigade Father/Son weekend even though it had already been paid for, many many play dates with a friend... and yes, more.
Amongst all this though, there has been joy. There have been blessings.
The effort our friends went to, to come to the dedication & baptism was such an encouragement in the midst of disappointment.
A friend driving Melinda to Girl's Brigade for a few weeks while I was unable to.
The blessing of this new baby, due only about 16 weeks from now.
Practical help with moving house - some unexpected help too which is always extra special
A delightful BBQ afternoon with a much loved family
Pete's job being made more secure as his contract was about to run out. Many many others didn't keep theirs' with the industry changes.
2 Fellowship lunches through church have helped us to get to know more people there, we've settled in and are about to become members.
An awesome vegie patch.
The discovery of fruit trees at this house - including a kiwi fruit vine now laden with hundreds of kiwi fruit... just need to find out when to expect them to be ripe.
A LOVELY day this last week, raspberry picking and a picnic with friends.
I DID get to the funeral of a friend's father who passed away.
We've met some lovely new neighbours.
We were blessed with free accommodation for a week's holiday on Phillip Island, which we managed to do - the chicken pox arrived as we were packing up to come home. Am going to have to be looking at house swapping for some more time away I think!!
and again - probably many more blessings than this. They sure have been hard to see at times, but I am so thankful they have dotted this year of trials.
Last but not least - the two most important in fact. This year we have been keeping much more on the narrow path that God requires us to walk. We have ditched more of the worldly things that creep in and are so much closer to God because of this. Considering what is at stake, I'd not give that up for ANYTHING.
Also, it has been our best year of marriage thus far (almost 11), by a LONG shot!! And for this I am so grateful.
2011 is now here. Whatever trials come our way, God will see us through. Whatever joy we have, is a gift from Him and will be treasured.