Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Blessed Year

I was reminiscent this morning. I remember waking up on January 1, 2008 anticipating a hard year. One that would be filled with healing, but also wishing and hoping that it would hold more than we could imagine. Both statements are true. Although these pictures don't "show" you all that happened in our lives in 2008, they do share a story of happiness, opportunity, family and love.

Every spring break we head to the Smokey Mountains for a 4 day backpacking trip. This year we went to Abram's Creek trail head and hiked in for 3 nights and 4 days. The weather was perfect and the scenery beautiful! This picture was taken 3 days into the hike.

In April, Mike ran the Music City Marathon with his cousin, Chris. I took this picture when they had both just crossed the finished line, along with hundreds of other people. The tall guy in the middle of the picture with the black t-shirt on is Chris, Mike is behind him.

In mid-May we said goodbye to condo living and bought our first home. We have had a blast working on the "fixer-upper" that just needed a little TLC to bring the character and spirit back to a house that sat empty for over a year.

We went to Chicago for our summer vacation this year. We went in late May, so the weather was still a little chilly, but we both enjoyed the city, took in some Cubs baseball, ate some Chicago style pizza and decided it would be on our "to do again" list.

Jessica, our niece, came for a visit during the Country Music Festival. We surprised her with concert tickets to see Taylor Swift. To all our surprise, the special guests for the night were Rascall Flatts and Jessica Simpson.

Ben and Sam, our nephews, came for a weekend visit a few weeks later. Boys will be boys...they worked in the yard with Mike and then we took them to play miniature golf and go-carts.

Fall came and so did the anticipated anniversary of Allison and Emily's birth and death. September 4th was a huge milestone for both of us. This is the tree that is planted at the top of the row where their grave is.

In the midst of honoring our daughters, we found out we were expecting again!

Another girl!!! This was our Christmas card picture this year.

Christmas was so special this year. As we gathered together as family, we recognized all that the Lord has given us. The grace and mercy that He has shown us and the love that we share for Him and each other.

For me personally, I have been stretched and tested this past year. I was stripped bare of what I thought I needed and wanted in my life and I was forced, in a good way, to lay down my plans, my hopes and my needs and focus on what the Lord wanted for me. It has been hard, but oh so good. The sanctifying work of Christ in my life is just that...a work. It's daily and hourly, as I have readjusted my thinking and my priorities. Instead of "what do I want?" it's "what does the Lord want of me?"
Even though the majority of the time, I post about the day to day things going on in my life, "Nesting in Pleasant View" has provided the opportunity for me to read and be encouraged by so many amazing and godly women who share their wisdom so beautifully through words. I have learned from you and am privileged to know each of you, to know your stories and to share mine with you. We share a bond that is so unique. Although for most of us, we won't meet face to face until we are in heaven, I count you as friends.
I pray that each of you experiences the wonder of Jesus as we begin a new year together!


Rick said...

Hello. Forgive me for being so bold, but I am having a little giveaway on my blog. I am offering a chance to win a free caricature created by me. There are no gimmicks. It's just my way of celebrating two years of blogging. Please do me the honor of signing up for a chance to win.

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

What a sweet...sweet...heartfelt post. You've truly touched my heart today.

Isn't God's FAITHFULNESS so precious!!?!

Praying that 2009 continues to lead your heart where the grace of God keeps you.


Shannon said...

What a great post. I am praying for many blessing on you and your family this year. I am enjoyed your blog so much and look forward to many more posts in 09. We all cannot wait to see that baby girl! :)

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this post. I am so happy for you and your family with this wonderful blessing! I also left you something on my blog this morning! Happy New Year!

Smelling Coffee said...

Sarah, You expressed God's work in and through your life in such a beautiful way. I just know that He is so pleased with you and with your surrendered heart and life right now. Thank you for giving us a peek into God's great work as you "Nest" in Pleasant View.

May the Lord bless you and keep you all as you continue to seek and walk with Him!


Every Day Blessings said...

I loved this post. I ejoyed the part about your year.You are a daring women to go back packing for 3-4 days, my husband would marry you! I also can't wait to see this beautiful little girl that God has blessed you with. My heart aches for you as I read about the loss of your other two. I don't know about loosing a baby but I know about wanting one. Our first came through adoption after three years of waiting and many tears! It is hard to understand God's plan but be assured He has one and in time it will all unfoil!
Many blessings for an awesome year to come!

Beck said...

Sarah, I've thought of you often over the last year or so. I've prayed for you and wondered how you were doing. I'm so glad to find your blog and hear of the provision of God in your life and the exciting things he's doing!

Kristen said...

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
~Romans 8:28

That is the verse that came into my mind as I read your sweet post. As we face a new year ahead... we know that God goes before us, paving the way. He walks along side us to help us on our way, and He walks behind us catching us when we fall and encouraging us as we live out this life He has given us on this earth!
God Bless and Happy New Year friend!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Found you via "French Country" but am happy to discover we have the Lord in common too! So happy you are going to be blessed again this March! Happy New Year!

Sandy Toes said...

What wonderful pictures! I love the "baby" picture. Wishing you a year of happiness and joy with your family!

-sandy toes

the voice of melody said...

What a touching post. I'm new here but as a mom, I felt a tug at my heart reading about your daughters.

I pray this new year will bring you and your family many more sweet blessings that you can count! {hugs}

Carolina Mama said...

This is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing the whole year. I am thankful I have gotten to know you this year and we can't wait until Baby Girl gets here. :)

Lana said...

Beautiful post! I really enjoy reading your blog!

I loved going to the Country Music Festival when I lived in Tennessee! It's so much fun!

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful post!!! Thanks for sharing your year.