Here we are in the first week of 2014...most of us are in the middle of crazy winter weather. A chilly start to the year. As I try to stay warm huddled by my woodstove, I decided to take a moment to join with some of my fellow Schoolhouse Review Crew Members in looking back at 2013.
So much happened in 2013. More than I could touch on in one post, so I decided to just revisit some of the big things--things where I can now see God's hand in how they played out.
I attended the big GHC Midwest Homeschool Convention in April. I believe that God was with me in this decision because after attending it and ABSORBING it, I became even more convinced that homeschooling was the path we were supposed to be taking. God helped erase my doubts about what homeschooing in the future is going to look like (the thought of teaching high school level classes freaks me out! LOL!) and just shot me full of encouragement and confidence!
Do you remember this post? It seems like AGES ago I wrote it! Hard to believe it was only back in April. But I remember how relieved I was to find out that my concerns about Baby Britches speech (he was 2 1/2) were valid. Oh how we prayed and prayed. And our prayers were answered! The day of his speaking non-stop finally arrived and now we have to tell him to "HUSH!" fairly regularly. But it's always with a smile. I will never forget the nights where I just poured my heart to God praying that He would "release" Baby Britches tongue...and I will always remember the night I wrote this post. I think was the by far the best night of the year. Every time I hear words flowing from his mouth I thank God.
Something I haven't written about here but is also something I praise God about is another thing in relation to Baby Britches. Since he turned two he'd battled constipation. Severe constipation. His tummy would swell up and swell up. He'd have tummy aches during the night. When it did come out he'd cry and cry. Laxatives didn't work. Our pediatrician finally confirmed that it was most likely food related. So we started a mission to see if we could find out the cause. I prayed so many nights over him as he was suffering. And today I can say that things have changed.
We were able to determine that he had issues specifically with enriched wheat products. Homemade wheat products do not seem to bother him. But anything that is store bought does. He also has a sensitivity to store-bought dairy and does much better with raw milk whether goat (when we can get it) or cow. He needs the extra fats from the good creams and fats. By keeping his dairy and wheat consumption under control and increasing his fiber and greens intake (which I can only do through smoothies) he is doing much better...though he still has moments. But, not since we took the steps to make changes in his diet have I had to spend a night up with him because of his tummy (related to constipation). I believe God was with us every step of the way as we sought out causes. And He answered all the nights of prayer of this mama for her little one. And He made it possible for us to get raw goat milk for next to nothing in cost....which was an incredible blessing indeed.
When I kicked my blog back in high gear in the Spring of 2013, I made the point of asking God to make it possible for me to somehow contribute to our "homeschooling piggy bank" with it. From that point on I suddenly made connections all through the homeschooling blog world that taught me how to network. I learned how to set up associate accounts to receive small commissions from product I helped promote. And then the greatest blessing--I was chosen to be a part of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew! Now I will get homeschooling product itself! That alone contributes to my "homeschooling piggy bank" because it means I don't have to take funds OUT of it! It was such a blessing to be chosen and I'm excited to get started for the 2014 year. I truly believe that God is answering that prayer with this exciting opportunity!
A crazy thing that happened where we received something we didn't even know we needed...we stumbled into a new vehicle when we weren't even looking for one. Somehow it came up that a friend had a Chevy Trailblazer for sale. We weren't that interested. Our vehicle worked great and was 100% paid for. But then my mother-in-laws vehicle broke down. And she had next to nothing to pay for a new one. We had tossed around the thought that we'd like a larger vehicle--mostly because I deliver beef to our clients--but it was more of an aside. We always said we'd consider passing our vehicle to my mother-in-law to replace hers.
Then the Trailblazer shows up. And then things keep happening and the next thing we know it's like God is saying "What more do I have to do to get you to realize I WANT you to have this?" so we accepted it. Now we have a new larger, fancier vehicle with half the miles as our other one...and it's ALSO 100% paid for. And my mother-in-law? She was able to take her small amount she had for a vehicle and buy our perfectly good Equinox. So we ended up with the vehicle we always wanted but had no rush to have and she is blessed with a reliable vehicle larger than she thought she'd ever get.
Isn't it amazing how that works out? We strongly believe that we were blessed with a new (to us) vehicle because God wanted my mother-in-law to be able to have a new car. Sometimes you don't have to be the main one in line to receive blessings...I'm a strong believer in the ripple effect when it comes to God, aren't you!?
So there you have it! There are some of the main things that shaped our 2013 year. It wasn't the year I was expecting...We expected to have a baby born in May but my miscarriage at the end of 2012 didn't allow that to happen. We hoped we'd be pregnant in 2013. But that didn't happen. But so many wonderful things DID happen that still make it a year to remember! And I found Joy (my word for 2013) all year long!
I wonder what 2014 will bring...our greatest hope is the much longed for addition to our family...but we'll just have to see what God has in store for us!