Monday, December 21, 2015

This year



I am not in the habit of creating and distributing Christmas Cards each year.
I'm a huge fan of the practice; I love getting them from friends... however, I can never seem to think about such things in a timely manner...

Although, if I were to send out a yearly Christmas greeting, I think I would lean toward the Christmas news letter... letting all know what we have been up to and how we have been fairing.

Then it occurred to me... I may not have been punctual enough to print and mail-out such news, but I can certainly write it all out here.

So, for all who would delight in receiving a Christmas shout-out from my family to yours, please consider this post to fill that gap. 

...............................................................................................

This year has been hard.

I do not say that so you are pained for us... hard is just that... hard.

Some things are hard and painful... others are hard with great reward in their wake... hard does not in and of itself indicate bad... just... not easy.

This year has not been easy.



It has been hard to learn to live in a world without the Captain. There are so many wonderful and different things in our lives today then there were the last time I saw him. I wish very much to share those things with him. It has been hard to celebrate and push on without him by our side.
His absence some days is profound...and some days I feel as though I've been doing things solo for much longer than a year. Each and every thing that has occurred this past year (and most of it has been good, truly good) has had a tinge of sadness because Andy is not with us. And although that is sad... we are still in the process of learning. Learning how to deal, how to live, how to adjust in this: our new normal. 
Hard things are not solely bad things... they just take effort, time, and work. This year has taken all of those things... and it has been filled with joy, laughter and amazing things...but each of those amazing things have been wrapped in a layer of wistful longing; an ache because of our loss. 
And that is hard



Here are a few of the things we did this year.

Our little house got some TLC in February when I updated my kitchen.
This was a big deal...as we lived in a construction zone for awhile. But In the end it turned out beautifully.




The boys and I were able to visit my sister and her family in May. It was the boys' first plane ride and my first time taking them on a long trip... in order to save my own sanity... I made my parents come with me. We enjoyed some family time together... went out to eat.. went to the beach.
And since our whole family was going to be together in Anaheim... we went to Disney Land.
And it was awesome.


Rigg rode his first grown-up roller coaster... and loved it. Ryder cried for an hour because he was 3 inches too short to go. I tried to buy him off with ice cream... because that's real life.



Ring mentioned, as we were standing in line for The Pirates of the Caribbean ride for the 3rd time, that he wished daddy could have come with us. I told him I bet daddy would have loved to be there... but Heaven was even better than Disney Land, and one day we get to go to Heaven too. These are truths I am trying to set deeply in my boys hearts.
Most days we try to balance the tension between hopeful joy and grief... and most days it's a little hard. But I have seen God's grace and faithfulness to me in each day.




Rigg and Ryder may not know... but they have been the biggest help to me this past year. Together the three of us are learning how to press on without Andy. Both of the boys are so young that they do not fully recognize the struggle... but I do. And having them to keep my hands and my mind busy has been a wonderful gift. They bring joy, laughter and so much purpose into my days.  My boys are a gift and blessing to my soul.




I (officially) started my own business this year.
I have been working in the interior design industry for awhile now... but this year my business exploded. God has graciously plopped amazing projects in my lap...and I could not be more delighted... even if I do seem frazzled at times because of the newness a work schedule brings.
This has been a source of great joy and frustration for me. The work itself is amazing... the learning to run operate a business makes me ::shudder::.
Studio 6.2.6 is the result of God blessing me in a way that I could never dreamed up myself.
I really love the work, but am still figuring out the balance of being a single, working mom. Again... hard. (but really, soooo fun)


{from Instagram: From where does the name Studio 6.2.6 derive? It's numbers represent Matthew 6:26 'look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?' This was Andy's favorite verse. He loved talking about how he saw God care for us in our hardest and darkest times. This business I see as God's provision for me; for income, for purpose, for a fun creative outlet. God has given this to me because He cares for me and is taking care of me. That's where 6.2.6 comes from. 
Combining it with Studio just sounded super rad. 😉.... Now you know!}


I have also been figuring out how to be a mom, well a better, more present mom. It is something I think about daily. Learning to balance work and parenthood has been a struggle for me. God has blessed me with more help then I could have asked for. My sister-in-law, my mother, my mother-in-law all are weekly go-to's for me. I could not do it all without them. But there is still a tug on my heart to be more present in my boy's days. Which is difficult when you work. 
Being a single parent is hard.


But God.

God has poured grace and mercy over my days. He has provided all of my needs... and a lot of my wants this past year. His faithfulness not only never waivers, but continues to amaze. Even on my hardest days I am graciously reminded of His constant love and care for me and my boy's. 

I was asked to speak a a couple events this year. I adore being a squeaky wheel about how amazing and real God is; about His faithfulness in every situation.  Being able to speak and share my story, which is really God's story, was such a gift to me. I feel like I have learned a lot over the past 7 years. God has been pouring truth and knowledge about Himself into my heart, to be able to share those things with others is a humbling and awesome thing.


Rigg:
Ring turned 6 this year in June.


He loves school... and I know -I KNOW- every parent says this... but the kid is smart. He is learning to read, write... do math. He loves a good puzzle or maze, builds legos like a champ, and is learning to master Super Mario World on the Wii.
Rigg is grasping onto truths of God and Heaven in ways that are amazing to watch... the trust and complete faith he has in God's word encourages me in my own faith.




Ryder:
Ryder turned 4 this year.


He loves to dress up like super hero's and fight all the bad guys. He loves school and tries with all his might to keep up with his brother. Ryder is active and talks all.the.time. I mean, all the time. The kid is never silent. He is talking or singing or humming... and he has a spectacular imagination. Ryder is ornery and mischievous and gives you all the grey hairs one minute... and the very next he is the sweetest most polite child you've ever seen. Ryder does not live in the in-between... he is an extreamest.



So that's us.
2015 was hard... in both good and painful ways.

It was, as they say in sports, a rebuilding year.



When I look back over this year, the primary thing I see is not the pain, the grief or the hard... it's God's abundant faithfulness and lovingkindness toward me. I have been in need this year. I needed comforted, I needed peace and calmness... I needed help, work, money, wisdom, discernment and understanding.
God, because of His overwhelming love and care for me has provided everything that I needed. He poured out Himself into my life... into my days and into my moments.
He has taken good care of me.
When I look back over 2015 I see how God carried me through and paved a way for us to press on.

This year has been hard.

But this year has also been amazing.
It's always amazing to watch God work.

And because I have witnessed His awesome care for me this, of all years... I know next year will be no different.



I do not know what next year holds... I do not know if it will be easier, or harder, or if these hard days are just our new normal for awhile... but really that doesn't even matter. Because whatever is in my future I know it will be OK... Because I have seen the faithfulness of my loving Savior...

And i know it never fails.

7 comments:

Natalie said...

Love keeping up with you through social media! Hugs to you all in the coming weeks!

Dawn Perry said...

I loved your message at BRCC women's retreat. It was real and raw...as life often is. I will be praying God blesses your business, your family, and your finances, and provides your every need!

Anonymous said...

Your posts always touch my heart! You are an inspiration! God bless you and your precious boys!

Julie : ) said...

best newsletter I got this year. :)

sunneysue said...

I too am a recent widow. I lost my husband in June to Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. He was 50. Life as I knew it is gone. I am still struggling with the knowledge that he is gone, really gone. I have been attending a Church hoping for comfort and guidance. It has helped. I feel God's love for me daily. But, the struggle is there. Daily. Thanks for updating.

zerry ht said...

You really have an adorable family dear and I am happy how you are keeping up with your daily routine. Well, I am looking for some good location for corporate events NYC. Please help me with your suggestion.

Johanna said...

Hey Carrie,

I know you have less time to write now...but just thought I would say I miss reading your posts. I pray this year has been a good one for you and the boys—one with moments of rest and hope mingled in with the life stuff and exhaustion... A year to know more deeply the kindness of God.

Under the Mercy,
~ Jody