I was thinking back over this past year. I'm not really a very sentimental person, but I do like to remember. Here are some of the things I was thinking about:
New big purchases in '06: a new garbage disposal in January, and a new refrigerator in March. It was the winter of failing kitchen appliances! We also got a new photo printer sometime in the summer. We bought it from good friends of ours, and I thought it seemed like quite an unnecessary luxury. It's turned out to be very handy to have, and we are actually printing out some of our digital pictures. Also, we bought our nice, full, tall new Christmas tree this December. I love looking at it! And our last big purchase, snuck in right before the deadline, was our new minivan. Hopefully that will last for many years to come. It's nice to drive, although it still feels so unfamiliar, like I'm cheating on the old Odyssey, LOL.
New children: Anna was born on March 28, and it has been a lot of fun having a little girl around. I was putting those crazy white tight things on her this morning before church, and she was not liking it, and I thought about how she will be doing this for years to come (or not, if she is a stay-at-home mom like me who hates such things, LOL). Anyhow, I was reflecting on how clothes for boys are much more comfortable, and I guess she might as well learn this fact sooner rather than later!
Of course, we also had the surprise realization that another child, um, happened this year, and would be born next year. That has certainly caused a lot of reflection on God's perfect timing and things of that nature. It's also made me really tired. And not very motivated. To do really anything. It's always hard to deal with your own limitations! I foresee next year to be another year of "stretching", especially in how I view my time. I realized this morning during our sermon how selfishly I regard my time, always wanting to keep back some for myself, and often resenting many demands made on what I consider "my time". I think with the birth of this next baby, God will be giving me more opportunity to learn to sacrifice my time with a good attitude!
New church: Speaking of this morning's sermon, we have started going to a new church this past month. After going to our old church for 2 years, and feeling like we were fitting in, all of a sudden the pastor started moving the church in a real different direction this past August as far as spiritual gifts are concerned. It was startling, but we thought at first we could maybe be a moderating influence. Then he preached a sermon in October where he said basically, that we couldn't question the "values" of the church. It would be like going to your neighbor's house and telling them to rearrange their furniture. No, if it bothered us so much, then we shouldn't go to their house. So we pretty much felt like he was talking to us, and people like us, who had been questioning this new emphasis, and that he was telling us to find another church. That was difficult to hear, but there is nothing like clear direction! My brother found a church for us online that we hadn't even considered, and we have really, really been enjoying it. The pastor is young, but he is well-read and preaches the Word with authority. His sermons are very thought-provoking and dig to a deeper level of application. I was just telling Bob this morning that I used to look forward to going to church to hopefully get to know people better, but I had a hard time keeping my mind from wandering off during the sermons. With this church, I look forward to going to hear what the pastor is going to say about the topic, and I haven't had any trouble with my mind wandering! He is a very engaging speaker. In fact, I think that if my brother were a preacher, this is how he would come across (does that make you want to come visit, Dan and Melinda? LOL!) So we are looking forward to the new year in this church.
New routine: Usually one might make a New Year's resolution to start exercising, but for me, I started exercing pretty faithfully as soon as I could after Anna was born because I was horrified at the loose amount of doughy flesh remaining around my middle. Well, that never really went anywhere, although I lost all my pregnancy weight this summer. Sigh. But then my waist started expanding again, so I kicked up the exercising another notch. Then I took the pregnancy test and realized it would continue expanding, but my new fear is gestational diabetes. So since September, I have been faithfully exercising at least 5 times a week. "Wow!" you might think. "You must look great!" Well, no. I still look like I am in my third trimester, and people do tell me this, so I know it is true. And I realistically hold out no hope that the weight and especially inches will magically fall off after this birth either. But hopefully I will ward off gestational diabetes for another pregnancy, LOL. I will say that I am not sure exactly how I will fit in exercise after the new baby is born, though. We'll have to see how that all shakes out.
Hmmm. I'm sure there are more things, but right now I need to go make a 7-layer dip for our New Year's Eve party tonight. The L's always have a party at their house, and it is the highlight of the year for the boys! Confetti! Noisemakers! Tons of food! Sparkling apple cider! Well, actually only some of the boys like that, but still . . . it's a night to anticipate! We actually count down at 9:00, so the kids can be in bed at a fairly decent hour. Believe me, starting the new year with crabby kids is not a real fun thing, nor a real good omen! I'm looking forward to see where God leads us this next year, and where He leads you as well! Thanks for reading my blog! Happy New Year!