Reflecting on 2013, Looking Forward to 2014

I was reluctant to do a post reflecting on 2013 or talking about my OneWord for 2014. Last year was a very rough year for us, and it doesn't look to be any better yet.
 

But… there is value in looking back. God even instructed His poeple to tell the stories of their past to their children, to put up stones as markers of where they had been and what God had done in their lives, and He still wants us to remember all that He has done for us. We so easily forget.

 

Reflecting on 2013, Looking Forward to 2014

 

So I must not forget. I must take time to reflect on 2013… I will warn you, it's not all roses and honey. So if you're prone to tears, you may want to click away.
 

My hope is that our story will encourage you in difficult times. {And I wouldn't turn away any prayers you would offer for us either.}

 

 

Reflecting on 2013

 

Last year was a rough year. It started off well enough and full of hope, but that was quickly challenged. The first week of April we found out that Hubby would no longer be pastoring. We had been at this church for about ten and a half years. He had been an assistant pastor for over 9 years. Most of that time he had been running a ministry training program, which he loved and fell right in his giftings. The church had been without a senior pastor for abut a year, and the new elder board has just been put in place. Their first major decision was to discontinue the ministry training program… and that there was no longer a fit for Hubby there.
 

The decision was like a blow to the gut. This not only meant the loss of a job and a ministry but the loss of a church home. They insisted that they wanted us to still attend church there, but we have been in ministry long enough to know how unhealthy that could be for a church body, especially one in the midst of searching for a new senior pastor. We were grieving. Grieving the loss of a church… the loss of a purpose… the loss of our community…
 

We still had about 8 weeks before Hubby's official last day, two of which we couldn't tell anyone that we would be leaving since it had not been announced to the church yet. Of course, God is a loving Father who always seems to surprise us. By the time a month had passed, we could see His Graciousness to us in moving us when He did. The church would be going in a new direction with a different philosophy/ style of ministry, and we think we would have felt frustrated pretty quickly. But God knew it all along. We were very thankful for His care for us, but we were still grieving at the same time.
 

The rest of the year was full of looking for our new path… a new job, a new church. I can't say we have figured it out yet. We still feel as if we are in limbo in many ways. The hardest has been the loss of our community of friends, at least most of them.
 

There have been bright spots along the way. God took me to Allume (Christian blogging conference) just when I needed refreshment the most. We still feel that God is taking us to a new and better place and are looking expectantly for the steps God would have us take.
 

Of course, that promise doesn't mean that the hard times are over. Somehow, we are still in that place. Hubby's pastor role was as a bi-vocational pastor. He has a business setting up companies with their credit card processing, and he also had a part time position administering the GED at a local community college. Well, the GED job was phased into a testing center that no longer requires administrators as before, so that job is now gone as well.
 

You know what happens during the first month with no outside jobs at all, right?
 

Yep. An expensive, unexpected emergency. A broken tooth has led to a root canal, plus crown… you know, because we can afford it right now.
 

So we are still in the waiting and expecting position. Hubby is still looking for work, we are waiting on God to provide for our living expenses, we are searching for His next step for us, and still looking for a church that feels like home.

It's not easy at all, but we are waiting expectantly for his provision. He is never late. And we know it will be good!

 

 

Looking forward to 2014

 

In the meantime, we have been dreaming…
 

dreaming of our next steps…
 

dreaming of what we should put our hands to next…

 

So for the last 6 weeks or so, I have been a little quieter online. I have been assessing. I have looked back at 2013 on the daisyhead, both at what I have been doing and what I have heard from you. And I have been asking God what He would have occupy this space here at the daisyhead. I'm excited about the plans I feel He has laid out before me!
 

I realized that I haven't written about my greatest passions as much this year, so I'll be making sure that those make it back onto the blog a little more often. So you should see more on mothering and some more on prayer.
 

You'll also see a return to Our Sick Babies Story. I got to a hard part in the story – when Sean was in Intensive Care- and it hit me harder than I thought it would. I was writing about events from years before {more than a decade!} that I thought I had totally grieved through… until I found myself trying not to sob over the story I was writing in Panera one afternoon. That's not too coll, huh? So I let myself get side tracked. Now Our Sick Babies Story will be back every Sunday afternoon. You won't want to miss the rest of Sean's story. God does some really amazing things for that boy of mine!
 

And I'll be adding a new series as a tag-along to Our Sick Babies Story. My sole purpose in sharing our Hirschsprung's Story with Colleen and Sean is to help and encourage other parents who have just gotten a diagnosis of Hirschprung's Disease or Neuronal Intestinal Dysplasia (sometimes called Intestinal Neuronal Dysplasia). When the story is completely written, it will become a book with additional information and helps for parents of HD children. But I have been pondering how to do more. The new series will hopefully fill that hole for parents searching for information. Every fourth Sunday, Our Sick Babies Story will pause for this series…
 

Dear Hirschsprung's Mom… encouragement from the other end of the road.
 

I'll be answering questions like, "Can my baby still crawl with a colostomy?" and "I have Hirschsprungs Disease. Will my daughter have it?" If you know someone who has a child with Hirschprung's Disease, would you consider sending them over?
 

 

I also have some other new things brewing! Look for some homeschool high school chats, some more encouragement for homeschool moms in the thick of it, and some encouragement and ideas for taking care of yourself. {You know, the MOM who ignores herself to care for her family…}

 

 

God's yoke is not heavy, friends. Let Him bear your burdens.

 

I'm excited to be on this journey with you, friends!
 

This song has been my theme song since Spring 2013. (If you're reading by email, be sure to click over for the video.) This version brings my heart right to the foot of the Father every time and helps me get myself back up and keep going. I hope it encourages you, too.

 

 

 

 

 

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