I love the beginning of the New Year! I love reflecting over the previous year...patting myself on the back for goals achieved or where progress was made....cheering myself on for goals that were not achieved or didn't even get off the ground....contemplating what really is important to me & my family... and figuring out how our lives will fit into God's Plan.
This past year was unlike anything we have ever, EVER experienced before or even imagined we would ever experience! In May, the day after Mother's Day, a tornado damaged about 1/2 of our home! To read more about it & to see some pictures, just click HERE . To find out what we've been up to since then, just click HERE . These two links will take you to two posts on my Stampin' & Scrappin' Blog.
As I was going to bed the other night, a song from my youth popped into my head, it was called "Jehovah-Jireh"...It goes something like this (song with a hint of an old Jewish melody & hand clapping)...
"Jehovah-Jireh, My Provider. His grace is sufficient for me, for me, for me. Jehovah-Jireh, My Provider. His grace is sufficient for me.
My God shall supply all my needs, according to His riches and glory. He will give His angels charge over me. Jehovah-Jireh cares for me, for me, for me. Jehovah-Jireh cares for me."
I knew it when the tornado was tearing up our house and I know it now, that God truly is our Jehovah-Jireh....The Lord who Provides, The Lord who Sees, The Lord who Will See to It! Since it has now been almost 8 months since the tornado, we can now see a little more clearly how God was providing for us then and how He is providing for us now! Here's a little list of just some of the ways God provided for us last year.
1. SNOW, SNOW BEAUTIFUL SNOW! This was to be our last winter in Oklahoma, and we were blessed with lots of beautiful snow! In April we found out we were going to be moving to Hawaii, so we were extra thankful for the snow we had, since we knew we wouldn't be building any snowmen for at least the next three winters!
2. FAMILY TIME! Both my parents & Steven's parents came out to visit us in April (Before the tornado!). Looking back, I am so glad that we had the chance to visit with them & that they were able to get in one more visit with us at our house before the tornado & before we had to move.
3. SORTING THROUGH THE ATTIC. I had a friend who was going to have a garage sale later in the week & said I could set up a table at her sale, and although it doesn't really sound like a fun thing to do on Mother's Day, I was up in the attic sorting through "stuff". Thankfully a vast majority of our attic belongings were just fine because the part of the roof that was ripped off was not where we stored stuff! (Yet another way God provided!) So, at least I won't have to sort through that stuff again when we get to unpack our stuff here!
4. BACKING STUFF UP ON OUR HARD-DRIVE! I am not kidding, on May 6th, I had backed up all my files on an external hard-drive!! My laptop was in the kitchen & I didn't have the presence of mind to grab it or my purse before we went to our hiding spot! The kitchen was completely destroyed...thankfully we did find my purse & all it's contents! I am not that good at backing my stuff up on an external hard-drive...maybe 2-3 times per year, so I was ever so thankful that I had just done that! Thanks God!
5. KEEPING US SAFE THROUGH THE STORM!! Enough said!
6. THE LEE FAMILY. The evening after the tornado, we knew we couldn't stay at our house, but we didn't know where to go. Thankfully, some family friends who lived a couple of miles away, "just happened" to have an available upstairs with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a living area with a TV and wanted us to come stay with them for however long we needed to...ended up being about 30 days! God bless them!
7. HAWAII! Just knowing that we were moving to Hawaii was a definite bright spot & something to keep us going. God knew we were going to need that bright spot!!
8. HOMESCHOOLING. We were just starting our last week of homeschooling. Although the tornado destroyed a vast majority of last year's school stuff, we were essentially done! WHEW!
9. MORE FAMILY & FRIEND TIME!! In May, a previously planned trip to my BFF Julianne's house in Texas ended up being a mini reunion with both of my brothers & their families AND one of our other BFFs, Melissa and her family, showed up, too! Good thing Julianne has a nice, big Texas house! I so appreciated her family's flexibility in accomodating all of us for the weekend!
Also, we had been wanting to go visit both sets of grandparents, cousins, & friends in Washington State for quite a long time, but it just never seemed to work out. Well, here we were, quite literally out of house & home, with nothing to do! Although, Steven needed to stay and finish up stuff at work, have what was left of our stuff packed to be moved, and ship out our van, the kiddos and I were itching to get a move on. Thankfully, we were allowed to go ahead & leave with an extended layover in Washington...as it was "on the way" to Hawaii! We were able to spend some quality time (about 30 days) with both sets of grandparents & experienced some nice cool weather!
10. USAA RENTER'S INSURANCE. What a blessing to have had insurance! We haven't really been able to re-purchase a lot of our belongings because we are still in temporary, furnished townhouse. We should hopefully be living on base within a month! Since we don't have our "stuff", it has been nice to have the insurance money available to purchase the things we have needed to purchase...homeschool stuff, clothes, some toys & books, etc. We would have been in this temporary housing with our without the tornado, so it's nice that we have the extra $$$ to purchase some of the things we have needed.
11. OUR TEMPORARY HOME. Although we are aching to get into a house on base (we thought we'd be here 2-3 months, we are going on 6 months), get our stuff, and start re-purchasing items, we have been very blessed with a cozy (aka...small), furnished townhouse that is a short walk away from a nice pool & a quick drive down the road from some very nice lagoons! So beautiful!!
Okay, so maybe this ended up being a really long list, but I can see so clearly how God has been watching out & providing for us even through the difficulties we have faced. I hope you will take some time to think about how God has provided for you, not only in the past year, but throughout your life! Sometimes it takes a little distance from a situation to see how God was really there all along, just like He promised He would be!
I am looking forward to 2011 and all that God has for me and for my family. I hope you will join me on this journey by leaving comments or linking me to your blog, so I can see how God is working in your life, too!