I started this post about a week ago and it has taken me a long time to figure out just what I wanted to write. I started out with wanting to reflect on the year and the ways the Lord showed me his faithfulness. I do like that idea. But then I found this post at The Toy Box Years and reflecting on what goals I'd like to see fulfilled in the New Year really spoke to me too. So below, I hope you enjoy what I decided to write for both.
How did I see the Lord's faithfulness this year?
I saw this question on a blog I follow called Growing in Godliness. This question has been on my heart for the last couple months now as we've been heading toward the end of the year. Now that the New Year is here, I have taken some time to gather together the ways the Lord has shown his faithfulness to me and my family this year.
Restoring health and well being and having a wonderful year enjoying our family:
It was only October 2009 that I was in the hospital for a 2nd time during my long season of postpartum depression. It was after this and some outpatient therapy that I finally began feeling "normal" again. You don't know what relief this was and how many tears of joy I cried when I knew I had moved through what was the most difficult time of my entire life. During that season, I had lost precious time (physically and emotionally) with my new son, yet the Lord was so generous in helping me to make up for the lost time and then some!
I started this blog in January which has been such a blessing. I started off doing a journal-type blog and then as I met more bloggers and found various blog hops the format changed a bit. I became active in many different parent/child activities (Pal Zone, Titus mom's group, library story time) and began doing Tot School. We had our first trips away from home other than to visit family (February to LaCrosse, our first camping trip with J to Devil's Lake in July and September to St. Germaine/NorthWoods WI).
Answering prayer in creating relationships with other moms:
When I started 2010, it was after coming out of an 18-month postpartum breakdown period. I was dealing with such severe anxiety and depression that I was almost completely isolated. I could count on one hand the number of times I tried to go out and do an activity group with other moms. It wasn't until I had really good care at a hospital near my extended family that I began to come out of the depression. I also set concrete goals for myself and began achieving them, one building on another. One constant prayer was that I would be able to connect and form friendships with other moms. I joined a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group, started attending a play group in my community called Pal Zone, joined my church's Titus group for moms and began attending library story times. It was at the Titus group that several relationships began to blossom and have grown into true friendships over the past year. This has filled me with such joy to have the encouragement, care and fellowship of other moms.
Leading me to the Lord's Table and helping me to grow in godly eating habits.
After I overcame my depression and was able to enjoy food again, the pounds came back on. I had lost all my baby weight plus another 25 pounds during the depression. I was actually at an unhealthy weight, but then I got to be the heaviest I have ever been. Weight gain and weight loss (like a yo-yo) has been a battle in my life for probably 15 years. Never had I truly sought to give this area to the Lord let alone get at the heart of my eating struggles. Until I found a website this past October with a study called The Lord's Table. That journey is still unfolding but in the most powerful way, beyond anything I've discovered before. Again, the Lord is reassuring me as in 1Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God . I am so thankful for all that is being revealed to me through this ongoing study.
Restoration of my relationship with the Lord and many ways he spoke to my heart to guide and direct me this year.
There were so many ways the Lord spoke to me through his word and in devotional time this year. During my depression, I was so wounded that a main struggle was whether I had lost my faith or had ever been a Christian at all. I had heard about spiritual attacks before, but had never experienced it on this level myself. As my healing progressed, it was like a rebirth in my relationship with my heavenly Father.
I went through some wonderful bible studies from Beth Moore and so many different insights and things I was convicted of that it's too much to list them all. One very huge one, though, is something he's been dealing with me especially recently. Unforgiveness. There was a rift in our extended family that happened during a time when I was not very able to care for my little J. During that time some very hurtful things happened, and as I got better one of the first things the Lord was doing was slowly helping me to revisit those things and begin a process of forgiveness in my heart. It is amazing all that he did. Yet over the last few months, the Lord has opened my eyes to unforgiveness that has crept back in. I am learning that it is so hard to maintain forgiveness when reconciliation isn't happening, regardless of your efforts. The Lord is speaking to my heart that there is more hurt and woundedness there that he wants to uncover and heal. I find myself rehashing some major events in my mind and holding onto bitterness. I am so thankful he is revealing this, because I am really wanting to let that go.
- Get into the YMCA 3 times a week for cardio with 2 outside walks during the week.
- Manage portion control in eating and sweets only rarely.
- Join mom’s nights out and other on-my-own times for personal rejuvenation.
- Have an activity day/night at least once a month where we do something fun together.
- Return to having date night once a month with hubby.
- Have daddy time where J and daddy go and spend quality time alone together.
- Devotional time as a family; having worship with J as well as word time.
Faith in Action:
- Become leaders at a life group (small group) at our church.
- Continue in mom’s group at church.
- Continue volunteering with children’s ministry.
- Mommy on a mission: Engage J in mission activity doing a serving activity once a month preferably with another mom.
- Go through the home and purge what we don’t need that someone else could benefit from.
- Engaging J in new activities for Tot School, like using printables and doing craft projects.
- Writing more personal posts on the blog. I am doing many blog hops and I don't want that to crowd out adding the personal aspects of what the Lord is doing in my life.
Homemaking:Turn off the computer and get into some of these projects:
*Declutter kitchen counters removing all unnecessary stuff
*Find a better toy organization system so living area doesn't look so messy
Thank you to my lovely blog readers for your encouragement and support!!! I wish you and your family many blessings and a truly wonderful 2011.