I've always known that time is precious. Of course, after the events of this year that fact about time has been beaten into my head. (Being blunt today, no time for flowery statements! :-) ) I bought a Gingerbread house kit at wal-mart knowing that it would be fun for Caroline and I. Didn't it turn out great?
Ha! That was the picture from the box. Here's ours:
To be really deep, this is kind of like my life--you think it's going to turn out one way, and it turns out completely different. (By the way, do NOT use the red sprinkles that come with the kit-it took two days for the color to fade from my hands! Use your own red sprinkles!)
My life is not turning out at all how I had "planned" or even hoped, but I can say that I am making the best of what life and God has given me. Look at that sweet smile on Caroline's face. How can I say life is awful or that God is so mean etc. He is keeping His promises from the bible--we will have heartaches, but He is here for us to get through them. The ultimate goal is not to make sure everything goes our way here on Earth--it is to persevere, even thrive if possible, through the hard times and let everyone know that the way you spend eternity is way more important than the "comfortable" life we strive for here on Earth.
"For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!" 2 Corinthians 4:17
There have been some really dark days, or moments since January. But I can say that God sure has taken care of me as much as possible. He has sent so many "new" friends to help me. Nellie (above with Caroline and her hot "toe-toe") has the most empathetic heart of anyone I know. She has cleared her schedule many a-times to make sure I have help on those days where I can't juggle everything alone. Here's another sweet friend who takes time whenever possible to help me with my kiddos. Leigh (or Ro-Ro, as we affectionately call her) is helping Jacob (Tara N's son) and Caroline make brownies. Leigh has endless energy--Thank you, God for friends and family!
There are so many friends and family who have helped at multiple times this year. I hesitate in mentioning anyone because there is no way to include everyone! I can always count on Meagan C. to cook and take pictures for us whenever I feel it's time, Tara H is my reliable babysitter and the one who understands what I need, Meagan and Matt T. are always willing to spend the night if I feel I am too tired for those 2:00am feedings. Julie and Adam always seem to know what I need before I do, Tara S. always finds ways to help me all the way from Texas. A few people email or text me every few days all year long just to let me know they're thinking of me: You know who you are! My sweet momma spent almost this entire past week caring for my kiddos. Becky: There are no words. The list goes on and on.
My advice to everyone: Don't get too down about your situation, there is always something you can smile about and usually God doesn't make you look too hard.
Before I forget:
Caroline trying to repeat "Humpty Dumpty": "Hokey, Dunkey sat on a wall..."
She says "actually." Example, "Actually, I think you need to take my band-aid off for me."
About a month ago she said, "Thomas, you're so ham!" (Instead of "handsome.")
My favorite: "Snuggle with me, Momma."
Prayers: Crumby family. They need constant prayers.
Praise: I've heard specifically about three people who have turned to Jesus through sweet Hannah's story. How many of us can say the same thing about our lives? (Also, don't think you have to wait to get your life in "order" before calling on Jesus, He wants us the way we are, mess and all! If all you can do is pray, "Help me!" that is enough. Sometimes, that is still the only prayer I can pray!)