Sunday, 1 January 2012

Goodbye. Hello

2011 has been, to use a cliche, a rollercoaster of a year, though I'm not sure that's the right phrase to use. Some people enjoy every part of rollercoasters! It's had its ups and its downs, its highs and its lows, just like any year, I suppose.

The heights were reached when Beatrice was born. What a wonder! The miracle of pregnancy and birth is awesome. That a human being could grow inside another, inside me, like a couple of Russian dolls, is incomprehensible. That she could be pushed out without killing me is amazing! And every morning I get to see such lovely smiles, so gorgeous that the nights of broken sleep are (almost) forgotten. Every day with her is wonderful.

Other highs were buying a house, the birth of our niece, my sister-in-law getting engaged and being a bridesmaid for one of my best friends.

But of course, as in everything, there have been bitter moments.
I made the decision to leave my job because I was having such an awful time there. As a result, though I was immediately happier, money became quite tight. We left Hampshire, and so ended up far from our friends, and I have struggled with loneliness. My parents have had to leave their home and the village they've lived in for over 28 years, the village I grew up in. My body failed Beatrice and I have been unable to exclusively breastfeed her, much to my sadness. And we've had to support family through stressful and upsetting situations.

What blessings though! If I had been working, we would have been earning too much to qualify for the Barratts homes deal and would not have been able to buy our house. Moving up near our parents meant that we had all the help and support we needed when Beatrice was born and when she had to go back into hospital. I dread to think how we would have managed had we stayed down in Hampshire. My parents have bought a house, for the first time in their lives, and it's closer to us. We have made new friends and been able to spend more time with family and old friends. So, a mixed year, but the sour notes have made the sweet all the sweeter. And, as Matt Redman wrote, "Every blessing you pour out, I'll turn back to praise; when the darkness closes in, still I will say, Blessed be the name of the Lord."

So, goodbye 2011.

And, hello 2012. I hope you offer us joy and peace, love and laughter. And if you bring sadness and difficulty, I pray that we can ride the storm and remember that God is a good and loving God, who has plans to prosper us, even if we can't see those plans when we're in the middle of them.

This year I would like to lose weight - the obligatory new year's resolution! I want to make more time to read the Bible and pray with my hubby. I would also like to be more organised, save more money and make sure our house is kept clean and tidy. Yes, I know I have a small baby to look after! A girl can dream, can't she. I've already bought wrapping paper for next Christmas anyway!

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