- January: My final spring semester at the seminary began; I becames an AUNT--my little Ella Bella was born on the 20th in the midst of a massive snow storm; I turned 25; I got engaged; we set the date for our wedding and people thought we were nuts for waiting "that" long :o)
- February: My brother Jim turned 28; the groundhog saw his shadow; we bought a roomful of furniture with no place to put it!
- March: I came down with a really weird throat infection that took on the form of strep and then mono was suspect (it wasn't very fun and I got way behind in school); I started house-hunting through GRAR
- April: Finally feeling better, I think; school work, I remember, was starting to get on my nerves; we crossed into the 1 year mark as far as countdowns go.... Hehehehe!
- May: Finished up with most of my classes, 'cept one; still house-hunting -- the prospect of building a house comes into play
- June: John & Brooke turn 25, and Tom makes it to 22; Amy & I plan a "wild" trip to South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia for the end of the month; I'm sure I spent lots of time swimming....
- July: Amy & Dan turn 25; Amy & I miss the 4th of July at home and both come down with NASTY colds; mine turns again toward the strep/mono route -- mom suspects Zambia somehow plays into this (I miss a week solid of work and still feel cruddy after that!)
- August: Gearing up for school again; still wondering how to finish up Meadors' class and frustrated with my dumb school schedule (this was supposed to be my final semester but things were shaping up to look like spring school would have to be a must); planned the menu for the Labor Day retreat; school began
- September: Labor Day retreat up to Mackinaw; bittersweet 'cause it's my last summer getaway with the Therefores; school underway and the work is piling on! Dan & I make a trip out to Kansas City and Wichita to visit family and friends; we stopped to see the St. Louis arch on the way home; good times....interesting times; things fell through as far as building our house is concerned
- October: Spoke with Dr. Meadors & Dean VerBerkmoes -- things are worked out so I can be done with classes this fall and have the spring open; DJ died following a pretty bad auto accident -- lots of questions, lots of tears; in the midst of this we were still house-hunting and still making plans for the wedding
- November: Things were going along pretty much normal until the 12th, when my folks and Jim were involved in a fatal auto accident; Dad wound up in the hospital with almost every bone in his lower body crushed, mom was hospitalized, and we were wondering about Jim; life was pretty much a blur -- surgeries, uncertainties, lots of hospital food, days upon days spent down at Spectrum; Thanksgiving was at Jim & Maureen's house, sans Dad & Mom this year; we closed on the house on the 30th
- December: Celebrated Mom's birthday at First Wok -- not really a very happy occasion without Dad; Dad was moved to Mary Free Bed; released the week before Christmas for home with his hospital entourage; he ended up back in the hospital less than 5 days later for more surgery; Dad was released on Christmas Eve and able to come home to celebrate his 55th birthday AND Christmas; we went to First Wok again for Christmas dinner; finishing up school work (still finishing it up....); Dad's test results came back positive for infection, as well as MRI results that show definite and significant damage to his left shoulder that will require surgery; Dad's vision is starting to realign itself; retreat over New Year's up at Wynalda's cabin -- our last winter retreat as Therefores
As I consider 2006, I have to admit that there were times when I was angry -- angry at the circumstances of my life, frustrated with my inability to change what was going on, and just plain mad that I'd been chosen to go through the various trials. On the other hand, my faith grew, my heart was softened, and I saw God working in the midst. I developed new friendships, renewed old ones, and lost a few along the way too. My life changed dramatically in many respects this last year: becoming an aunt, turning a quarter of a century, getting engaged, buying a house, losing a friend, watching my folks suffer, and facing the uncertainties that come with ending one chapter of life and beginning another. I can honestly say that I'm not the same person I was a year ago and I'm grateful for that. I look at what I've come through to get to where I'm at today and I'm glad I didn't stay the same. God has led me and others through deep waters, yet He has proven faithful. And in some cases, the deep waters continue and I know there's more wading to come. Yet, my joy comes in knowing Him, in belonging to Him -- in being His.
I haven't any idea (beyond a few of my plans) what 2007 holds for me, but I rest in the knowledge that my life lies in the safety of God's hands and nothing catches Him off-guard. My prayer is that as I go, Lord willing, through '07 I will be reminded all over again of the goodness, greatness, and grace of my Heavenly Father.