Follow @EllenGrabe Grabe's Gatherings: 2014; In Review: New Year, Old Me

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014; In Review: New Year, Old Me

It's time for my new year blog, the blog where I reflect on the previous year and prepare for the upcoming year.  2013 was a big year and when I reread my top 10 list, it brought back a lot of emotions. 2014 held it's own emotions and learning's.  Here are my top 10:

10)  I am stronger than I and others give me credit for.  I'm not talking physical strength (that is definitely where I lack!) but I am a strong person.  I spent 7 weeks alone with 3 kids over the summer while Eric worked in Ames.  In those weeks I nursed a 1 year old, took kids to sports, kept the house clean, took the garbage out, gave piano lessons, fed the kids 3 meals a day, worked out, and took classes online.  I rarely slept but I did it all for my kids.  In 2014, there were times that friends and family hurt me and brought me down, however I always bounced back and moved forward.  Life circumstances left me in scattered pieces at times however the puzzle came together and I carried on.  In 2015 I will not let others or circumstances break me.  I am strong.

9)  Nothing in life is guaranteed.  When I didn't get the job that I requested to transfer to last spring, it left me broken.  My plan for my future was taken back not just by a few steps, but by a few years.  I had to reassess where I wanted to go in life and how I was going to get there.  With prayer and overwhelming support from friends and Eric, I put those broken pieces back together and kept moving forward.  The cracks continue to be visible, but I am strong.

8)  I love where I live.  After 9 years of complaining about living in Newton, I can finally say that I love it.  Why?  We have found family here.  I couldn't imagine living away from our Newton family. They bring us so much laughter, love, and support.  We are so blessed to have them in our lives!

7)  Time away with my friends is important.  Whether it be one night out together or a girls weekend trip, it is needed!  Thank you to my husband for sending me away throughout the year with my girl friends.  I am a better wife and mother because of it.

6)  Raising an active little boy is difficult.  The kid has my entire heart wrapped around his finger and I ache seeing him struggle to control his lanky little body.  His intelligence amazes me and although he doesn't always show it, he is a cuddly little boy who still loves to sit on his mama's lap.  Co-teaching in his kindergarten classroom is stressful yet eye opening.  I see his energy compete with his knowledge and when things do not move fast enough the energy wins the fight and takes over.  God bless his teacher for working with him on this :)

5)  Having my kids attend the school I teach at is incredible.  I now get to spend more time with them, I understand the school projects and routines, and I get to see how they interact with others.  It has it's challenges, like when I walk in the kindergarten room and Bryce yells, "Mama!" but being close to them all day long is worth any challenge thrown my way.

4)  Change is difficult.  Some people thrive on change, while others cower.  I cower.  I cower like a turtle and slowly come out of my shell as time goes on.  It has been a school year of change and at times I have wanted to go back into my shell and pretend everything is the way it was last year.  Hopefully by the end of the school year I will be able to leave my shell behind and believe that I can and will adjust to the change.

3)  My husband is an incredible dad.  I knew this before the year 2014 but having a 3rd child has made it more obvious.  He has a way with our oldest daughter that no one else has.  He problem solves the struggles of morning routines, bedtime arguments, and sibling rivalry.  He changes diapers and gets up in the night.  He even cleans up vomit!  Seriously, I couldn't ask for a better father for my children.

2)  Finding peace and contentment can only be attained through prayer and faith.  I have struggled staying on this path through 2014.  Sometimes I am too busy to read the Bible, I might be too tired to read the daily devotions that are sent to me.  However, when I am on the right path I am more content with life and feel more fulfilled.  God has given me incredible blessings and I must remember to thank Him daily and live in a way Jesus taught us.

1)  I do not need to change who I am for others.  For 32 years I struggled with this, always wanting to conform to the crowd I am surrounded by.  It leaves me feeling lost and uncertain about who I am.  I finally know who I am-and I like who I am.  In 2015 I will not go out of my way to fit in with others. It may be a new year, but I am not going to make resolutions to change who I am.  My resolution for the new year is to be the old me.

I am excited to see what the year 2015 brings to our family.  Lauryn is changing daily and is always keeping us on our toes.  It is hard to believe my baby will be 2 in a few weeks.  The older two challenge us daily with their constant questions and energy.  The love I have for these three is a love I can't even describe. They are my world and I can't wait to embark into 2015 with them.

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