Joy in trials

We all have periods of life that we just have to get through. When my dad passed away suddenly in 2010, it was the hardest thing I’d ever experienced. It still is. In the same way that I felt like I had to just get through that time in my life in order to be back to myself someday, November 2016-January 2017 ended up being like that, too. I didn’t even realize it was an extremely trying time of my life until we made it through. We all survived. My trials are nothing compared to so many others, and I acknowledge that. I have been blessed with all the good things that this life offers. I only share this to remind myself, and maybe others, that everyone experiences challenging periods of life, but we can all find joy regardless of circumstances.

January is a new start for us all. We moved into our home 3 years ago in January, so it is my favorite time to reflect. Except that those months were sooo crazy. My husband had just begun a very time consuming project at work. That’s the easiest way to describe it, and he was going to be gone from home a significant amount of time and doing very challenging work. He was gone. Just home to sleep, for weeks. And to be the best husband and father as possible while handling his work. He is amazing. Nonetheless, he was hardly ever around for those 12 weeks.

During which, we–

Put our house on the market. Our first home, which we loved and were ready to move closer to town, sold in 12 days. In November.

Our precious girl said goodbye to her beloved school and her precious friends. She was heading to a great school, but this place was her home and she was so sad.

She was sick every day after school for a week once she started her new school. Throwing up, sleeping for hours. Seeing her that way was so hard. After that first week, she settled in and has not looked back. It was a hard time for our 3rd grade girl, too, and she persevered.

We had Thanksgiving, where we made 1.5 or 2 hour drives I think 3 times, to see family. Then Christmas, which meant quite a bit of traveling to see family, and all of the fun activities when you have a 3, 5 and 8 year old.

We drove to and from Atlanta on New Year’s Eve to watch Alabama beat Washington.

We drove to Hamilton to wish my grandfather a happy birthday.

Henry had ear surgery. He did great!

We bought a big ole brick house, as I like to call it. And moved out of the old house and into the new one with a Uhaul and three selfless family members who were amazing. Buying and selling homes are not for the faint of heart. Moving all your own stuff certainly isn’t. But we were so happy to be in our new spot.

I got a flat tire. And subsequently got four new tires. Instead of furniture.

Thomas looked like this. I mean, what cuties!

Another trip to Winfield for a family visit.

It doesn’t seem that wild but it was. It was overwhelming, it was trying, it was expensive, it was lonely, it was hard. But it was also wonderful.

As we mark the door frame, now for the third time, beginning a new year in the home where we are forming lifelong memories together, it is a tangible thing that shows me how quickly time is passing. I walk past that doorframe many, many times a day. And I can imagine how frazzled I probably was when I had our babies line up and mark their heights in January 2017. In the midst of chaos, there was joy. Always. More trying times will be ahead, I know that. And those marks will creep up that doorframe every year. I can’t stop that, nor would I wish to. But I can be certain that every season of life is paired with healthy amounts of joy.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4

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