"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013- year of freedom

2013 ended with a bang for me.  Jimmy and I took a little getaway trip to Corpus Christi.  We walked the Texas prairies, coastal beaches, and got engaged!  I don't think it could have ended better.  Minus the fact I have had strep since Sunday and today is the first day I feel alive.  Overall, it ended well.

As this morning was the first I could form functional thoughts, I was pondering where I was a year ago.  Last year, I chose to focus on "flying free" for 2013.  Last year, I was having a hard time opening myself up to Jimmy.  I was holding so much back.  Last year at this time, I was battling monstrous panic attacks, extreme anxiety.  I started counseling right after the first of the year in hopes that I could be free of the fear that crippled me for so long.

God provided.  I haven't had panic attacks since January of last year.  I went to counseling through the spring and was able to lay to rest so many hurts I had held close for years.  I learned how to set boundaries for myself.  I learned how to use self care effectively, but not selfishly.  I learned how to open up.  I learned how to articulate the things I worried about before they ate me alive.  In a lot of ways, there is great freedom from anxiety.  That being said, I am not free from the need of medication.  Sometimes thats 'a hard pill to swallow' because that isn't what I want.  But at the same time, it certainly keeps me humble, and it certainly keeps me at the feet of God.  I can never wander too far from knowing how desperately I need him.  Although, it's a difficult reality, there is some blessing in those thorns.

In 2013, I made thankfulness a habit.  It was so hard and still is.  Yet, I recognize in the moments that I need to find things to be thankful for.  The good moments never fail to wash over me- this sea of peace and beauty.  The difficult moments- though they are hard and I struggle- I am fully conscious of my need to be thankful and I force the thanks out.  That's such a thought process change for me.  A sign of being free from the circumstances and free to look up.

This last part of the year I've found myself in a new job, learning so much new new new new.  There are certainly growing pains, but those are good.  Overall, I feel so blessed to be where I am.  I love being able to teach such kind, engaged kids.  I cannot stop thanking God for my 22 kids!

I ended the year deeply involved in the relationships in my little family to be.  As I learned to open up, Jimmy and I built deeper foundations.  He is the very definition of shepherd leader, and I am continually amazed by his goodness.  Words do not express the way I learn from his example.  Or the way he helps me breathe and let go.  I just feel like I'm ending 2013 with so many things having gently blown away like dandelions in the wind.  I don't know when I let them go, but I did, and I think it is largely due in part to Jimmy's steadiness day in and day out.

And of course Jude- the light of my life.  He remains hilarious and joyous and affectionate.  He calls me to account with his tears.  He makes me laugh when I'm upset.  He will always be the 'praised' one for me.  He has been my sole source of joy for so many years, and I am thankful for him beyond words.  God knew how much I would need that.  He has been the light leading me forward and helping me get up day after day.