It is good to sit and reflect on the blessings that have been showered on us. It is good....but not always easy. Today I am thinking about and thanking God for the blessings He has showered on me and my family over the past 10 years. We started out the year 2000 in fear that we would lose electricity and water for some amount of time. Well, some people started out the millennium that way. I started it out asleep on the couch in my living room 26 1/2 weeks pregnant with our second child while my 16 month old was playing with his daddy. The electricity never went out, and Y2K was just a scare. On the 3rd day of the year 2000 I was admitted into the hospital in Shreveport where I stayed for 6 weeks. Ben and I began the year only seeing each other on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for 6 weeks, and he was learning what it feels like to be a single parent. The year 2000 was begun with lots of prayer by us and for us. What a good thing to know! God carried us through some very scary times during the birth of Jacob and gave us a wonderful son to add to our family!
In 2001 we felt God calling us to the mission field in WA state, so we packed up our family and moved far, far away. After we had been in WA for only 1 month our country was attacked and we felt alone and scared, but we continued to trust God.
The beginning of 2002 brought about the news that we would have a 3rd child! We were unprepared for this and very excited! It was scary because of all the complications I had with Jacob, so we decided to leave WA and return home to TX for the birth. Annalisa was brought safely into this world in September 2002, and our days have never been dull since then!
The beginning of 2003 had Ben taking photography courses and graphic design classes at the local college. He was getting very good at what he does when we approached his 28th birthday and a very serious accident involving him and our oldest son Cole. Once again we lifted up prayers of our own while others faithfully prayed for us, and God not only healed Ben and Cole, but gave them both a greater love for Him. So many people grew closer to God because of the accident, and so many relationships were forged. God has been faithful to us through every step.
2004 began with me substitute teaching for the 1st time. I got my teaching degree in 1998 while I was pregnant with Cole, but up until 2004 I had not worked outside of the home. I really enjoyed the school where I was substitute teaching, and I was offered a job there within a few months. I taught 5th grade for a year, and in 2005 I was offered a job in Longview. Ben had returned to school for photography and graphic design and he was "stay-at-home" dad to Annalisa. He was also getting better and better at playing the guitar and leading worship.
I taught 3rd grade from 2005-2007 at which time we felt the need to sell our house and move. The 2 years that I taught 3rd grade were very difficult for me emotionally, physically and mentally, and I needed a break. We moved to CO in August 2007 and Ben became the worship leader at our church there in September 2007. In 2008 we had to move out of the house we were renting and we didn't have a place to go so we moved into our pastor's basement. We lived in the basement from June until November when we were able to move into a house we had purchased and totally renovated.
2009 began with us finding out we were going to have a 4th child!!! This was VERY unexpected as it had been 7 years since we had a baby! After we found out about our newest blessing we found out that the pregnancy would also be overshadowed with complications and scary moments. Looking back on it, it doesn't seem so bad because I can see where God carried us through all of those scary times. Benjamin was born in August 2009 and is the delight of the family. I couldn't imagine life without him!!! Throughout that year we continued to lose income in various ways, so we knew we would no longer be able to stay in our home that we loved so much.
2010 began with us putting our house on the market and praying for it to sell quickly. We sold it at the beginning of May and moved back to TX. We have been in Riverside since then and Ben has a job at a bar-b-que restaurant in Huntsville. We also answered a call for Ben to be the worship pastor at Needham Road Baptist Church in Conroe, TX. We are currently looking for a job for Ben in Conroe so we can move closer to the church, but so far we haven't found anything. We had to give up our car at the beginning of this past week, so we are totally trusting God to provide for our family in all ways. We know He will.....the hard part is waiting for the blessing! I know it will come, and I know it won't be what I thought it should be, but I know it will be so much better than anything I could ever have thought of! And the coolest thing is that God knew all about it before I was even born!!!
So, as you can see .....the past 10 years have been quite a journey for us!! We have loved every minute of it and wouldn't change any of it. I love how God is forming my kids hearts and how they are learning to trust Him because of all we have been through and are still going through.
God is good all the time.....and all the time God is good!!!!