2010 was a whopper of a year. There were some really amazing moments and events, but mostly my 2010 was hard. As in really hard. As in one of the hardest years of my life. Over the last week, I've been thinking about what I am grateful for and trying to focus on what has been good.
Above all, I can say that without my faith in Jesus, the events of this year would have been all but impossible. I've learned about God's sustaining love, and I have learned the pain of the shadow of the valley. Over the course of the year, I've felt both closer to and further from God as I ever have. I'm grateful that I believe in a God who is present in my daily life and while not always delivering me from my difficult circumstances, is always Love.
I'm grateful for my dear husband, J. He is a wonderful father, provider, husband. But most of all, he is, to me, a steadfast friend. I think what we experienced this summer could have put a wedge between us, but rather we grew closer. I truly believe that there is no one on earth who is more my advocate than he is. I feel incredibly grateful to have him as my partner.
In 2010, I embarked on my journey to become a Holy Yoga Instructor. The time that I was in school was amazing on every level. I learned a ton about the practice of yoga. I learned how to interact with God and embrace my faith in new and unexpected ways. And I met some of the most lovely, fabulous women during my week-long intensive training in Arizona. I am especially grateful to have met and been befriended by Rachel, Belinda, Mary, Dianne, Rose, Christine, Lori, Brooke, Maria, Connie, Misty, and Polly. These women, in unique and delightful ways, reflected the light of Christ to me and they, along with my HY training, were bright spots in 2010.
On May 3rd, I learned that I was pregnant with our 4th child. I was really excited, even as I was scared about what having four kids in six years would mean for my sanity. I spent the next several weeks really sick, as I always am when pregnant. I was so focused on how gross I was feeling that I didn't really bond with my baby that much. I was so focused on getting to the half-way point, which is when I started to feel better with my other three. I was focused on moving past the yucky part and getting on to the fun part of being pregnant. Yet, on July 30th, at my routine ultrasound, I learned that my child was a son, and that he had died.
I've mourned the loss of my Matthew a lot in the last five months. It has been the hardest thing I have dealt with in my adult life. I've mourned his death, but I have also mourned that I wasn't more present during Matthew's brief life. I was wrapped up in me...how I felt, what life was going to be like for me with four babies, just waiting to get back to feeling like myself. And because of that, I missed out on his life. I thought I had all kinds of time to get to know my son--I was wrong. And yet, I am still so grateful for my son's sweet life. I miss you, baby boy, and love you nonetheless.
In August and afterward, I received an outpouring of support from my friends. I'm so incredibly grateful for CB, JT, DD, KA, LS, NC, and the community of Warehouse 242, who helped make this fall survivable. Thanks to each person who showed me love and grace during this impossible season.
Our 5th Annual trip to the beach with our dear friends was also a highlight. Amazing friends, gorgeous scenery, time alone, time with God, time with friends, time with the kids, time with J. It's one week where we slow down and enjoy. I wish it was a month. Or two. But grateful for what it is.
My Second Saturday Book Club is something for which I am also appreciative to have been part of this year. These are smart, engaged women and we read great books together. Our meetings are one of my favorite mornings of the month and it is such a place of camaraderie and refuge.
I've been incredibly blessed to teach a Holy Yoga class myself. And I'm deeply grateful to Memorial UMC for letting me teach there and to my sweet students who continue to show up week after week and let me know that it is meaningful to them.
And, of course, my three sweet monkeys...I'm so grateful for my life as their mama. They are my reason for getting out of bed in the morning. I cherish my job and am so appreciative of the fact that I get to stay home with them. Their smiles, laughter, accomplishments, hugs, kind words and antics make life full and rich.
So, there, 2010. You gave me a rough ride, but there was richness, redemption, and joy in midst. Let that be part of the story.