December 25, 2014

This year in review and a bloggy-Christmas Card.

Twenty fourteen was the year of surprises, joys, and sorrow.

January found us celebrating Isabel's eighth birthday. She has officially entered the "tween" years and she knows it. She is a joyful, kind, loving, creative, moody, passionate, stubborn, and determined child and we are enjoying discovering the wonderful girl God has created her to be.

February was Matt's birthday. As Matt's year as a Clinical Pastoral Education resident at Self Hospital in Greenwood was nearing to its end, we began considering our options. One option was to pastor a church again. Another one was to seek a second year of CPE residency to gain more experience. The third option was to apply for a position as a student in a supervisory program (SES), to eventually train those entering their own CPE residency.

We prayed, searched, and talked and we decided that Matt should apply to the SES program at Palmetto Health Baptist Hospital in Columbia, SC. He interviewed closed to his 41st birthday and received a call in early March that he had been the one candidate accepted from among many applicants. I was so very proud.

In April I had a birthday. We'll try to forget about that as I'm nearer to forty than to thirty now.

In May Matt graduated from his residency at Self and we began to make preparations to move to Columbia, about an hour and a half away. We put the house on sale and started making weekend trips to find a place to live in our new town.  We also traveled to Kansas to visit my mom and step-dad. Turns out it would be our last visit as my mom moved to Pensacola, FL a few months later and Gene is soon to follow.

In June we loaded a truck with one third of our belongings and crammed them into a two bedroom, one bath apartment in Forest Acres, Columbia. Bruno, our 12 year old dog, had the hardest time adjusting to all the changes but he rallied up and eventually learned to tolerate living in a tiny apartment with no yard.

July in Columbia is hotter than in Greenwood but we fought valiantly with snow cones and pool-side, the best feature of our new abode. The kids and I worked on making friends, getting to know the city and preparing for a new school year.

In August our Noah turned seven and started second grade. He is my little engineer, hilariously funny, affectionate and thoughtful. We joined a new Classical Conversations, Swim and Gym at a new Y, found a ballet studio for Isabel, and started the school year in a new setting, while Matt worked on finding his place at the new hospital.

September brought the most difficult Monday of our married life. A phone call sent us rushing to the hospital where we met the rest of Matt's family to say good bye to his dad who passed away suddenly that morning. The rest of the week was a blur of funeral arrangements and tearful conversations we did not expect to have.

In October we celebrated Halloween with our new church, Columbia First Church of the Nazarene, by participating in a huge Trunk-Or-Treat they do for the community surrounded the church. We also buried my sweet father-in-law in his final resting place in Oconee, GA, next to his beloved father and mother-in-law.

November saw us back in Oconee, for our traditional Thanksgiving with Matt's mom's side of the family, still trying to adjust to holidays without Grandaddy, which will never be the same.

And here we are in December. We celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary and today we are celebrating Christmas with Abu and Abu Gene in our tiny home in Columbia. 

This year brought us the surprise of a move we didn't know we would make, the joy of a new career for Matt and of discovering a new town for our family, and the sorrow of losing someone we loved beyond words. Through it all, though, our Jesus' presence was clear and strong around us, before us, and behind us. His hand guided us, encouraged us, soothed us, and comforted us.

We pray 2015 is filled with His love in your lives. Thank you for walking this journey with us, for your prayers, your good wishes, and your love. And, as the song says, "may Christ find a dwelling place of faith in our hearts" next year (Dwelling Place by John Foley).

Merry Christmas, dear friends and family all over the world!  


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas! Yes, some of us read your blog...and we love it!

Kathleen T. Jaeger said...

I love this!