Is it just me or did this Christmas season fly by? I really cannot believe it is already January! I also cannot believe we will be adding another person to our family in less than 9 weeks but that is another post for another day….

When the clock changed from 11:59 to 12:00am last Thursday night, I breathed a sigh or relief. It was over. We made it through 2009. There are just some seasons where that is about all I have to say about it… we survived! Hallelujah! 2009 will go down in my books as the hardest year yet. I am young so I know there are more trails to come. But I think I am justified in saying it was tough!!!

This Christmas season we have tried to take a lot of time to reflect on God and what He has done! We started a new tradition with our advent calendar. Instead of opening little candies each night, we decided to reflect on 24 things God has done this year. (We put little things in the box each night instead to symbolize that “thing that God has done”). Our memories are already awful so it meant pulling out journals, blogs and pictures to even know what month was what : ) We are still working on it for ’09 and plan to make it a more regular thing in ’10.

I wrapped up a Bible study recently. There was a question that stated “What are some things you’ve done in the strength of Christ that you knew with all your heart you could not do naturally?” In 2007 I would have had very few things to list… maybe even nothing… 2008 a few more… but 2009…. oh yes! I filled in every blank and wrote down below… then I decided I want to publicly praise God for all He has done last year! He has been so faithful! I must let anyone who is willing to read my lengthy blogs know : )

JAN ’09: We finally made it to Savannah! God provided the financial resources we needed to get here and move in! We moved based on the “agreement” that Mark’s company would let him work 3 1/2 days in Atlanta. We found out the Thursday after we moved in the deal was off! He would be expected to be there Mon-Fri 7-4 as always….

FEB ’09: Canvas launched successfully. Mark headed to work in Atl. Trey and I lived in Savannah. We saw Mark on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons. New house, new city, new mom, 260 miles away from my family (including my husband) for the first time ever…. but God is good! He gave me strength I never knew I had… His strength! He gave me awesome friends too!

MARCH ’09: We both heard God say it was time for Mark to quite and get down to SAV. Problem, although he had been looking for almost a year… no job down here. While still praying about timing and such, some friends stepped up in a huge way financially! I told you God gave us awesome friends. He still had no job but we had “gap money”.

APRIL ’09: We decided the first week of April was when he would put in his two week notice. Still no job. But confident we were doing what God had called us to do. He put in his notice Monday. Tuesday a friend called to tell us she found someone hiring at a local golf club. Wednesday he had the job! God is faithful!

MAY’09: May was full of adjustments. Mark was finally at home with us! We were adjusting to our “new budget” and new schedules. In the middle of all this our little boy was growing and growing… faster than I ever realized! Mark and Trey gave me the best first Mother’s Day! Canvas launched small groups in May as well! Our rental house was put on the market as well. It was a mutual decision. We needed something cheaper and they needed to sell.

JUNE ’09: June was a bittersweet month. A dear friend went home to be with the Lord. I blogged about him earlier. He was a true light for the Lord. Later that month, Mark was ordained at our old church! I am so proud of my husband! That service was so perfect and uplifting! We could feel God’s arms wrapped around us by old friends and family!

JULY ’09: Our sweet baby turned a year old! We had so much fun celebrating his birthday week! Not but three days after all of our “baby’s” festivities had ended we found out we would be having another baby! I won’t lie… I cried… but not quite happy tears. Miss Ella was quite the surprise! But God is so good! I am already starting to see why her arrival in March is such perfect timing! I don’t understand God’s ways most of the time… but I am slowly learning they are so good! God also provided a way for us to go on a vacation with Mark’s family. It was great to get some much needed rest!

AUGUST ’09: This month launched one of the darkest and hardest months of my life. I could never explain the personal internal turmoil or the external stress but it was nothing like I experienced before. I don’t remember much from this month. Mark worked A LOT of overtime. We saw him more when he worked in Atlanta (or it seemed) than these two months. I had a birthday in there too. Doug announced the move to the staff. I believe God was working… thus the enemy turned up the heat…. big time in our family. We were financially sinking and begging God to get us out of that house!

SEP ’09: God came through! The landlord found someone to rent the house and we had to be out on the 15th. We found this out on the 3rd. I was in the hardest phase of my pregnancy (1st trimester), Trey was walking and crazy active, Mark was working 50-60 hours a week + some Saturdays…. and we had a house to pack… and needed to find a place to live! Now I’m sorry but that is stressful! I also remember very little from this month too…. I vaguely remember Trey running around like crazy, me packing, stopping at times to throw up, packing more, and eating dinner alone. Three things, #1 God protected my sweet girl! She is a strong one! #2 We will never take meals together and family time for granted again! It’s a gift! #3 Our friends/church family is awesome! We could have never done this move without them!

OCT ’09: We were out of that house and in our apartment! Mark and I had to pull and “all nighter” get all our junk from a 4 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apartment but we did it. Now you would think I would be a pro at moving since it was my 11th but there has never been more chaotic move than that one! We moved the 15th and it was October before I was not moving boxes around to get dinner on the table! But Praise the Lord we made it! And God showed up in awesome ways financially! Moving is not cheap! We were able to sell a bunch and received unexpected financial blessings! He is so good! Oct. was a slower month. Mark stopped working overtime and we were able to be together! We also found out the last week of this month we were having a girl!

NOV ’09: God is so good. Mark makes now in one month what he did in one paycheck at his old job. Basically we make less than half of what we used to. But God eased us into this transition beautifully. I know we are not alone in our present economy in our financial state. God is such a father and teacher… Mark quit in March and November was the first month we had to completely live on our “new” salary. We were ready by then but it has not been easy. November was a good month though, we literally saw the hand of God provide and learned to trust him more!

DEC ’09: This month flew by as it always does. We really had a great Christmas! Our church is still small. Although I know God is moving and we will grow, I rejoice in the slower pace we have right now. We really only had one Christmas thing on our calendar and it was a blessing to be apart of! Our church raised 101 bikes for deserving kids in the community! Praise God! I have been apart of a lot of Christmas festivities and such but this one topped them all! God also reminded me that when He called us to church planting, He called our whole family… including Trey. Trey loved being apart of Bikes or Bust. He loved talking to the people, saying “Hey” and even being outside all day : ) He does amazing with lots of transition and is tough! I know God has also equipped him for this mission! Christmas with Trey was amazing! He is so much fun! I LOVE this age!!!

Although it has been hard, I would not trade this year for anything! We have walked through some rocky roads, but we have walked together and we have walked with our God! I know him more and I love my family more! God is good!


2 Comments on “2009”

  1. Kerri says:

    Thanks for sharing your whole year. What a blessing to see how God walked with you through it. Most blogs I have read about 2009 have said that it was one of the toughest years in memory, mine included, but they all echoed your sentiment of God’s love and grace seeing them through. Exciting!

  2. Ruthie says:

    That was beautifully put. Love you guys and can’t wait to meet Ella!

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