When I published my last post, I hadn’t taken the time yet to ponder 2017. Usually I reflect on each closing year and try to summarize it as a whole. I went back and refreshed my memory on the closing of 2015 & 2016. One of the best parts of writing a blog is I can go back in time and re-read where I’ve been and how I felt about things. I’ve noticed that I feel very differently about the close of 2017 then I did about the close of 2015 & 2016. I remember 2015 & 2016 as being hard years. Years that I said I didn’t want to repeat. However, I also feel like I grew a lot in those years as I pushed through challenges and unexpected ups and downs of life. I feel like I ended those years with strength and resolve. I had learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of. I felt confident in who God was growing me to be. While not fun, I clearly saw the results of hard work and determination.
2017 ends with very different emotions for me. Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” This verse came to mind as I was reflecting on the close of 2017. This last year has been one of waiting. We started the year off still waiting for our house to sell. Once it sold it in March, the waiting period for our new house to be built began. It’s been a whole year of waiting. Hoping for a home that is yet to be. I don’t diminish the progress that has been made, but I am feeling the toll on my heart from a year of deep longing. This year doesn’t feel as easy to button up as years past. I’m still waiting. And while I am waiting for something very worthwhile, I think this year has been characterized by sadness. I’ve been heart sick. No one wants to hang out with person who is constantly sad so I’ve tried to stay positive in most of my conversations while still being honest about where I am at. It’s a hard line. I want to be truthful with how I feel, but I also don’t want to dwell on the sadness and let it take me to a dark place. This is the tension that I’ve faced this last year. 2017 has been a year of hope deferred. And it does make you heart sick. Not much I can do to change that, but I can keep hoping and believing that this season of waiting will come to end.
While 2017 hasn’t been a cheery year, there are some highlights that I wanted to mentioned. The first would be starting my business with Usborne Books & More. It has been fun to work for a company that I love. My kids have benefited from their home library growing and I have enjoyed making some extra income. I’m not making millions, but I’m making enough to make it worth it. Some of the ladies I work with use this business to support their families and it’s a great opportunity for that. I have been honest from the beginning that I’m saving for things like throw pillows and decorating my new house. I don’t know how long I’ll work this business, but it’s been a Godsend. It’s given me something to do. It’s filled days of waiting with purpose and direction. I’m so grateful for my UBAM business. I’m not sure what I would have done without it this year. I started it at just the right time even though I was unsure. God knew what I needed.
In that same thread, I am thankful for the opportunity to lead our MOPS & MOMSnext group this year. I never wanted to lead this group. It was not my intention to become the coordinator. I figured someday it would happen, but I didn’t seek it out. It came to me and I said yes because I knew the group would most likely end if I didn’t. I was reluctant and scared. I knew it was going to be work. This was no easy task to say yes to, but I felt like God was telling me to try. I’m so glad that I did. Again, MOPS & MOMSnext has given me purpose and direction. I am blessed by the team that has come together and serving alongside them as been an honor. It’s been a joy to serve the moms of our community. I love that our group is one of encouragement and support. It’s been a big thing to step up and lead this group, but I am so glad that I said yes. God is good!
2017 was year of transition for our family schedule. Owen started preschool in the fall. I am glad we decided to put him in this year even if that does mean he’ll have two years of preschool before kindergarten. He is doing well at school. He is a social kid and he enjoys playing with his friends. He also really enjoys crafts so all the hands-on learning is good for him. I was worried about sending him away and missing him. It was the beginning of the “school years” and I wasn’t sure I was ready for him to be there quite yet. But the mornings he is at school are quiet for Graham and I. There is no fighting and that is good for all of our sanity. Owen & Graham love the same things and Graham, of course, wants to do everything his brother does. This leads to constant battles when they are together and it can almost break me sometimes. I hate being a referee in endless fights. The space that preschool provides is good for all of us and it’s wonderful to see Owen growing, learning, and enjoying it as well.
While the season of waiting has been hard, much has happened over the course of the year. I am grateful for the progress and each step along the way, even if it has gone slowly. 2017 started with snowy days and me getting to spend my birthday in Canada. In March, we sold our house and that was a huge blessing and a weight off of our shoulders. At the end of April, I started my UBAM business. We spent the spring and early summer getting our home site ready before officially passing things off to Adair at the end of July. We took a family vacation to Bend, OR in August with the Scott clan. In September, Owen started school. MOPS & MOMSnext kicked off with all of our planning and praying coming to life. October was birthday month for the boys and the house really started pick up speed. November was the start of my great eye illness battle. And December was festive with holiday celebrations and a whole lot of work on the house – in the form of painting the exterior and the drying out process. Jeremy’s vacation days were mostly spent working on our home. We missed doing family things together, but we are grateful for the time to focus on the house and move things forward.
And now we are here at 2018. The second half of Proverbs 13:12 says “a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” and I’m looking forward to living that part of the verse in 2018. To take the tree metaphor, we’ve been watching the tree grow – from a seed to a sapling to hopefully a full grown tree soon. Trees provide shelter. They bear fruit. A tree of life sounds like a great blessing. This is how I see our house, not only for my own family, but the people I look forward to welcoming into our home. I’m praying we see our hopes and dreams become a reality this year. After a year like 2017, I am positive that 2018 will be a different story and I am ready to tell a different story. Seasons of waiting aren’t glamorous, but I do believe the rewards of waiting are worth it.