The new year has begun, but I wanted to take just a moment...or five, to close out the old year. It has been an amazing year, and it has been a difficult year all rolled into one. We started with a 'bang' with Aubrey's birthday, all of us sick, and only days away before baby Merida joined the family. I am ever, EVER, so very grateful for the wonderful birth that I had. Had it not been on the spectrum of miraculous (though all births are miraculous!), I think that what had happened just a couple of weeks after would have done me in. God made His presence known. I will say that recently I have "felt" alone, in the wild, out in the ocean without a rescue boat kinda thing. So it was a good thing to have that 'God tank' filled up in the beginning of the year.
I have come to realize that whether it is spiritual, hormonal, or dietary related (most probably a combination of the three), I have been depressed for most of this year. As in 'real' depression. Not the kind of, 'yeah, today was a bad day, it was so depressing'. The kind where you feel hopeless. Utterly and completely hopeless. Where you realize, months later, that you haven't partaken in the things that you would normaly do and enjoy. When you realize that the thoughts you had about how horrible the day was, how horrible you are feeling, how useless my life must be, etc had become an every day blanket that I felt wrapped up in, but unable to take off. Where was the corner of this blanket? The more I struggled, the tighter it had become.
We ended this year with some sickness, though not as horrid as last year. BUT, that being said, although the sickness wasn't bad, we had some sort of lice on top of it all! I believe it must be from our animals. I have spent the past 3 weeks doing laundry, vacuuming, applying oils/herbs/essential oils multiple times a day, laundry, applying diatomaceous earth to everything, more laundry, more oils, more, more, more. My every waking moment has been spent on battling the bugs. I am exhausted by it all. We haven't done school this whole time, we've eaten noodles for multiple meals a day, we've missed out on church and get togethers. It has been a very isolating time.
Needless to say, I found myself contemplating about this past year and the new year before me. I realized that for far to long, much, much longer than just this year, I have let a certain situation dominate my life, steal my joy, and pretty much held me in 'survival' mode. With my oldest bound and determined to move out on her 18th birthday, reality that I spent her whole life living in this state brought me to my knees. I was grieved. Just tonight Isabella was sitting off to my left, hanging out on the computer eating her dinner. I had Merida, almost 1 years old, in front of me standing, holding onto my knees, as I fed her her dinner. I could see my oldest and youngest at the same time. It was sort of like a time warp. Merida very much has a large portion of Isabella's personality. With Isabella we messed up big time in the parenting department. Big. Time.
I sat there with tears in my eyes begging God to give us a second chance with our first, and asking for Him to lead our youngest in the right direction. If I had only known then what I know now. But as much as I wish I could start over, turn back the hands of time, I can't. I can't change my daughters determination to move out. I can't heal her wounded heart. I can't make her see that I love her so much that it tears me up inside with a physical pain. But. BUT.
But, God can. He CAN heal her heart. He can draw her to Him. He can help her to see that she is cherished and loved for who she is. He can help her avoid the possible pitfalls that may be awaiting her.
This is why I started searching for some books I had. Books that are filled with God working. I felt like I couldn't face life with two failed relationships. I couldn't open my eyes to another day of hopelessness. I was being consumed by the darkness. It has come to the point of either giving up and falling into that darkness, or to grab hold to God with all of my might. Because it is going to take God to get me out of this. If there is any change, any restoration, it will ONLY be because God.
Usually I write up these wonderfully long lists of things I want to do or accomplish for the new year. I am really good at making lists, but very bad at actually accomplishing anything! So this time I made a short list. My book list has 6 books on it for the year. Gardening comprises of pruning the fruit trees and tending to the 4 garden beds that we threw together at the end of this gardening season. Photography, I decided to do Project 365 to keep up my learning. One picture a day. That's pretty much it. Short.
In the meantime I need to completely rid our house of these bugs (I believe they are gone, but I want to put down all the protection that I can for my sanity). The house is really chaotic, having lived in a fog for the past year. So I am doing a 'spring' cleaning of sorts. If I have to I will just stuff things in the attic so we can get back to living. I want to be enjoying life with my children. I want to do crafts with them, play games, learn with them, explore, make memories, make some new traditions. I want to enjoy my children. I want them to know how much I love them with my words, actions, my time. I don't want to waste any more time in this darkness. I know I will still have bad days to come, but I want my focus to be on LIVING. I want it to be on THE LIVING God. I want so badly to be living in the light, His light.
Here is to a new year. A year filled with love and light.
The following pictures are just some of the pictures I had from the last few weeks of the year.