I can't believe Christmas is just a week away! It seems like the year just began and suddenly it's over in 2 weeks!
This year has brought about so much: blessings, scares, and changes... I am so thankful to serve an all-knowing God, Who is in complete control.
Trying to fit a year-in-review into one blog post seems nearly impossible. What do I say? What do I leave out? Do I even remember enough to warrant a post? I'm sure I'll leave out things I really wanted to say, and perhaps even say things that could have been omitted. But, I'll do my best.
The kids have had a good year. JD has continued to remain on honor roll this year. We are extremely proud of him. His teachers continually praise him for his excellent behavior, manners, helpfulness and willingness to put forth his best effort at all times.
Cora is doing well in school as well. She struggles, do to her Irlen's Syndrome, but always tries her hardest and puts for her best effort each day. We are constantly told what a sweet girl we have, and I have to agree :) Her teacher is very proud of her, as are we. We have been truly blessed with the best teachers we could ask for. I can't say enough about Cora's teacher, Mrs. Davidson, (and Ms. Olsen) and JD's teachers, Mr. Krzmarzick and Mr. Jensen. I thank God for each of them.
Almost all of you reading this know of our scare earlier this year. The end of July brought me to my knees as we learned of abnormal and rapidly developing precancerous cells in my uterus. After much prayer the decision was made for me to have a partial hysterectomy, with the understanding that once they got in there they may have had to do a full. The surgery was in September. This was probably the hardest decision of my life. I still have times where I burst into uncontrollable tears over this. I have always wanted more children. We have tried for years. Obviously, though, God had different plans for our lives. It was a huge blessing we discovered the cells when we did. They were able to get all of them and I am cancer-free!
Of course, I will have to have regular check-ups, just to be safe, but our oncologist was very positive that we made the right decision in leaving my ovaries. (I did not want them taken, Jake was very much a proponent of having them out, just to be on the safe side.) '
God is good, though! Through my weakness, through my doubts and fears and longings, He is faithful!!!
He continues to provide for our needs at just the right moment. Each time another medical bill arrives (yes, they are still arriving), I have a moment (or two or three) of panicking, wondering how we are going to pay for all these bills. Even before the surgery occurred, though, people gave sacrificially to help us through. He provided in ways I could not imagine, and I know He will continue to do so.
God continually reminds me He is on His schedule, not mine.
Jake was very busy with seminary this year, taking 3 classes in the spring and 2 in the fall to finish up his first degree. It was hard on all of us. He would often leave the house in the morning before the kids and I were awake and return home after they had gone to bed. We typically only had 1 night during the week with him and Saturdays. (We never counted Sundays because we were always so busy with church.)
But, the sacrifice of time was well worth it, as he graduated last week! I cannot express how proud I am of him. He still has five classes remaining for his 2nd degree, which we had originally expected him to complete in time to graduate this time next year...but, as usual, God's plans for our family are not what we had been preparing for or expecting. Jake has had to put seminary on hold, at least for the time being.
He has been asked to be Interim Senior Pastor of Northstar, which he accepted after much prayer, meditation and deliberation. This was not anything we were expecting or seeking, but as I said before, God's plans for us often don't go where we imagined. We are, however, excited and anxious to see where God leads, and humbled to be on this journey.
He will continue to be a bi-vocational, serving the church as well as holding down a full-time job outside of the church.
Please continue to lift us up during this time of transition. Pray for Northstar. Losing a pastor is never easy on a church. Pray for unity during this time. We will no longer be able to meet in the school after this month, and are diligently seeking options as to where we can meet. Please be lifting this up to the Father as well as wisdom for Jake as he leads.
Pray for the Ellis family as they move to Arkansas and transition and seek God's will for their lives. They served Northstar wholeheartedly and will be missed. Pray for the 3 children as they adjust to a new life in a new town.
As always, thank you for your prayers for our family and the church. We could not be here without your prayers and support. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for 2011!