Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking Back and Moving Forward

Phew! Anyone else wrung out a bit? 2014 was a crazy year that had really great challenges and really great blessings. I can hardly believe how much has happened this year and yet, I know that we have so much to look forward to in 2015. Here's a bit of a breakdown of 2014:

  • We said a sad goodbye to David's father, Richard in January. God showed us His generous provision as we traveled to Alberta for the unexpected funeral. Hannah was only weeks old. Abby celebrated her fifth birthday among our extended family - a first. I mourned the loss of something in my David that I feared I'd never see again - his jovial nature. We came home to a really long and extremely cold winter.
Richard Gingras

  • February was a month of adjusting and healing, both physically and emotionally. We were blessed to attend a family retreat on Valentine's Day weekend. It was a great weekend that I enjoyed more than I thought I could. 
Family Retreat

  • David returned to work after being on paternity leave just after spring break in the beginning of April. That adjustment went better than I expected, but I do recall thinking that I'd be glad to get out of this season of just surviving. I wanted to thrive. April was still cold and we were all longing for spring.

  • May brought Mother's Day and for the second time, we got to dedicate our baby on that special day. We were so blessed by the support of friends and our Winnipeg "family" at her dedication and in awe of Hannah's big sister, Abigail, whose prayer for her dedication was incredibly special.
Hannah's baby dedication

  • We had a little backyard BBQ in June to celebrate Micah's 2nd birthday and waited for the heat of summer. Micah, our only summer baby, got a swimming pool with birthday money that we enjoyed throughout the summer. 
Micah's 2nd birthday

  • In July we celebrated our one year van-iversary. We are still in awe and wonder as we think of what a blessing our "Cinderella" has been to us!
Cinderella's van-iversary

  • 10 years of marriage brought us to August's party of the year. What a great celebration we had with David's mom and step dad as well as brother and sister, plus my parents were able to come and join the fun. We renewed our vows along with many others (we invited the married couples to join us in the vow renewal). Fresh cotton candy was a party favourite - if you ever get a chance to rent a cotton candy machine, do it!

  • September brought our little Abby to Kindergarten and family adjustments as David returned to work once again. We had our family pictures taken by our favourite photographer and life rolled on.
Abby's first day of kindergarten 
twila mae photography

  • October rocked my world as I received a text from my mom saying that I needed to come if I could - My dad almost died. It seems so unreal as to how he got there and how he's doing now, but it was a scary time. I clung to the promises of Psalm 34 and did, in fact, go visit my dad. Hannah and I travelled over a weekend and Dad was barely aware that we even came. Thankfully, that wasn't the end of the story.

  • In November we celebrated with my Dad as he finally accepted Jesus as Lord, but continued to pray fervently for his healing. Things got dicey for awhile. We hosted 37 people in our home for a superhero party of epic proportions. I've heard stories that the children who attended are already planning for next year's party. Sorry, littles... not sure I'll repeat that one, but I'm so glad you had fun. The party was to celebrate both David and Malachi's birthdays. Malachi still asks about Mrs. G (my heroic alter ego).
some of our 37 party heroes

"Mrs. G - Truth Serum"

  • December had us make the long drive to Alberta again. We weren't originally planning on going for Christmas, but with my dad still in the hospital, I couldn't imagine him there on Christmas without company, so we went. We stayed for a week and a half, travelling back and forth between our families about every day and a half. I got to visit with my dad 3 different days, including on Christmas, and I'm so glad to say that he's doing really well. The long road to recovery is only beginning, but I'm still praying for miraculous healing and an incredible end to that story. Our church family experienced a tragic loss and though I wasn't personally close to their story, I couldn't help but be even more grateful that we were celebrating Christmas with my dad and not attending his funeral.
we celebrated yellow day on our drive to Alberta

Christmas at the hospital

We are home now and it's New Year's Eve. I've been thinking a lot about the past year and looking forward with hope for the next one. I've chosen a word to focus my prayer life around and how I want to live in 2015. I'll share that with you soon. I don't make new year's resolutions, but I do try to make reasonable goals. I hope to find myself thriving in 2015 and not just surviving, but it's something I plan to FIGHT for. Through our trials my character is being refined and strengthened. I hope to put that to good use next year.

Thank you all for sticking with me through this year and I hope to share many triumphs and joys with you in the next. May you be blessed! 

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