" Not all who wander are lost."


Goodbye 2010!

I won't lie or try to find a positive spin on this one, a lot of 2010 sucked! I am thankful God used it to teach us so many lessons, and I am grateful that it is now almost over. I know a new year will not fix all my woes, but it feels like a fresh start. I feel like I may be able to let go of 2010 and possibly some of the stress it created. I am taking the time to recap for myself, so read if you'd like:

We were jobless (cashless) for most of it. We struggled not to slip into debt to stay a float. We cashed out every savings account we had and somehow we made it. I still feel like I am holding my breath, waiting for the worst to happen. We had so many amazing encouragers (not sure if this is a real word, but I'm keeping it). We could not have survived without the help and prayers from our families and friends.

Jason did a short tour of night shift in 2010. We were so grateful for the income that provided, but the hours turned our household upside down. Jason will agree that the low pay, mindless work, and late crazy hours left him feeling hollow and depressed, especially after being laid off from a job he loved and was so good at. Hannah is SUCH a Daddy's girl. She missed him tucking her in bed each night. Her little world was so confused and her sleep patterns are still crazy. We would have adapted, but the job was gone almost a quickly as it came it seems.

I love my job deeply. I love being the 4th generation in my family to hold it. I love working side by side with Dad and seeing my Aunt each week. I was so heartbroken when I had to be laid off. I cried as I searched for other work. I felt like I was letting down 4 generations! It hurts to see my Dad, my superman and fixer of all things, struggle and worry about the future of this business he has worked at his whole life.

We are blessed with Hannah and any time we can spend with her. She has always been such a grown up, well behaved child. 2010 was her 3rd year, the year she discovered her emotions, how to throw a tantrum, and that she could in fact reach the kitchen counter tops. As a parent, 2010 was a bit of a struggle! I do not regret it at all and cherish every minute I get with her, but some of those precious times can be tiring and frustrating. I think we have honed our skills and come up with a plan to reinforce good behaviors, but for about a month there I feel like I lost control. With so much going on, I forgot that Hannah could sense our fears. We tried so hard to not discuss adult things in front of her, but she's so smart. She was stressed right along with us.

Jason's sweet mother fell and broke her hip last Christmas, and had to spend the first few months of 2010 in a rehab facility trying to heal and recover. Bobby and Diane watch Hannah 2 days a week and are her 2 favorite playmates. I am happy to report Diane is doing better now and had a great Christmas at home with our family!

So, all this was making what we felt was the worst year of our lives, then came the FLOOD! I know for so many families, this was the most awful experience of their lives, but for us I feel it was a turning point. We were trapped in our neighborhood with no electricity for days. Sounds awful, right? Well, we made some amazing friends that week. I discovered that the nicest people I have ever known live right in my neighborhood!The flood also brought new life to our business. Suddenly there was work to do again! I was never so happy to be busy and be able to help flood victims move back home. 

We spent the end of 2010 cultivating some great new friendships, relaxing around a fire pit, and finding fun free things to do in Pegram. We began laughing a bit more and letting loose to play more with Hannah. Then, BMI came along, hired Jason, and so much of our financial stress suddenly dissolved.

As the year closes, I can see how God was trying to teach me about HIS timing. I desperately needed some patience and a reality check. He showed me (I thought) how bad things could get, then the flood came and I learned I still had way more than I needed or deserved! I have met some amazing new people (clients too) this year, real people with stories and struggles too. We learned how to lean on each other a bit harder and ask for help from family when we needed it. God answered each of my prayers. We still live in our warm cozy house, have plenty of food in the fridge, managed to keep the bills paid, and everyone is healthy! We were blessed beyond measure.

This year I will actually celebrate the close of 2010. It was a tough year and I won't miss it. We enjoyed some sweet times with the struggle, but I am praying 2011 is a sweeter, more lighthearted year for us all!


Wendi said...

We all grew in 2010. We are stronger and better. Sure, life is tough and unpredictable, but it teaches us lessons and reminds us what is really important when we lose sight. 2011 is not ready for the fierce Tanglewood gals. Hook your arm in mine...let's go!

Becky said...

Abby -- inviting you back because I like to read you. Easy pitch: three books for the Earth Day Reading Project, a blog event organized by garden blogger "The Sage Butterfly." I know Earth Day is tomorrow, but don't believe in deadlines on book-sharing, and would really love to hear your thoughts about books that have inspired you.