This last year has been a continuous flow of difficult circumstances. I spent the first few months of the year learning in the waiting. As soon as I had found peace there I became pregnant and experienced a physically challenging pregnancy. The physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion and pain continued for nine months to varying degrees. There was a brief moment of reprieve with a smooth delivery and recovery which miraculously allowed us to travel to Utah to attend the funeral for my grandma. We came home sick and Andrew and I have been trying to take care of sick children on little sleep and not feeling well ourselves ever since. Add Andrew’s graduate school responsibilities (which were many) underscoring all of this.
Despite the circumstances, I look back over this last year and feel gratitude for the sacred experiences that have come as I have continually been pushed to the very edges of my abilities and limits. As I have come to my end of my ability to cope – whether physically, mentally, emotionally, or all three at once – God has answered my desperate prayers in these ways (I have many instances of each of these this last year, I just choose one to illustrate):
- He sends physical angels to help (morning sickness).
- He teaches me a new way to look at my circumstances or gently corrects me to make my situation easier to handle (at the end of my pregnancy – I have finished the work and can just rest).
- He blesses me with a miracle or tender mercy and says you don’t have to face this right now, I’ll take care of it (I was prepared to muscle through getting to Utah without Andrew so my mom could be on the flight – instead he made room for my entire family and I had loads of help!).
- He envelops me in peace and lets me rest, even if it just for a short moment (Andrew going to Washington DC while I was 39 weeks pregnant and I felt complete joy/peace/rest during those few days). It is a peace that surpasses all understanding.
- He gives me specific things to do or directly answers my questions (Get an epidural!!!).
- He blesses me with an opportunity to serve someone else and feel joy from answering someone else’s prayer (I’ll keep these to myself, but I’m so grateful for them!).
I have learned again that God is aware of me and is involved in even the tiniest details of my life. He wants me to grow and change, but he is there helping me through the (usually uncomfortable) process. Words can’t express the gratitude I feel for the things I’ve been taught. I know that God loves me. There is so much uncertainty in the year ahead, but I’m trying to remember that God will guide our future as he has the past.
Andrew bought me a new lens for my birthday and I finally had a chance to test it out. Some moments from the last few days (as of Saturday I think we are all recovered except for colds!).
I spent Saturday morning organizing the areas downstairs that have needed attention for awhile. Emily and Nathan played beautifully with the cherry wood discs from my Grandma’s tree and Laura hung out on the couch without complaint until she was tired. Emily also got the kids’ table all cleared off and they immediately put it to good use.
Ready for church!
I was trying to exercise but was interrupted constantly. I suggested a dance party to get everyone involved and it turned out to be a show. What an audience!
The one ball that I dropped with our last minute trip to Utah was mailing out our Christmas cards. While I finished addressing the last of them today, Emily and Nathan chose to work at the table. Emily sounded out and wrote “Grandma Blomquist” at the top of the page, then wrote “Ms Carolyn F Blomquist” at the bottom of the page. She filled in the space between with her name.
When Andrew got home from work Nathan ran over with his blanket and asked to be “cozy” and “covered up”.
Nathan has started interacting with Laura more in the last week. He shared his very special tissues that he keeps in his hands at all times with her. She waved her arm and a piece flew out which had Nathan laughing hysterically and trying to repeat the event.
The kids bring Laura the baby she got for Christmas to play with often.
A note to me from Andrew written on wood shavings made by the hand plane he restored.
The note Andrew left the kids for his trip to Georgia last week. He did a training to introduce the soft robotics curriculum to a group of teachers that will be teaching it this semester. He’ll probably head back at least one more time this semester to collect data for his dissertation.