A Fresh Start…..

Yes, this blog has been quiet of late….too quiet, I think. Especially for one who processes thoughts through writing and typing and seeing words written down on a page…but there is a reason, a very good reason….

My year ended with a bang — a really loud bang, a crash, and glass shattering. Yes, quite literally — a crock-pot broke in my hands while I washing it out. And then, I was in the emergency room for stitches to reattach my poor little finger to my hand. I was extremely thankful I did not fully cut it off, which I had at first thought. The blood, the pain, and seeing my finger hanging from my hand…..needless to say, I was very glad Dad was helping in the kitchen, was very quick with a towel, and provided a chair as I was having a mild panic attack and feeling slightly light-headed ;-) He was also the one who reassured me that my finger was still attached — although it was bad. This was on Christmas Eve, as we were all supposed to be gathering at my grandparents home.

It was my right little finger — as I type this, I still have the stitches in my hand, waiting to get them out, waiting to have a doctor assess possible nerve damage, waiting to be able to fully us this finger again. Waiting on muscles and nerves to strengthen and reattach and start working right, so I can type productively again. Play the piano and violin again. Wash dishes and fold laundry and sweep floors and make beds and a host of other things.

I think I would say that one thing the Lord will be teaching me this year is patience. And trust. And contentment.

In other news, I have written about the termite damage that my father and brothers and several sweet friends from our church fixed this year. In December, we fully finished all the kitchen repair! A kitchen counter was exciting — second only to a kitchen sink being installed! After washing dishes for a family of thirteen in the bathroom sink….well, you learn what a blessing a kitchen sink is. No more waiting on people to hurry up, no more running through the house with hands covered with eggs…meat….grease….or various sundry other things. And to prepare food for a family on a counter — oh, what a blessing we realize a working kitchen is! Everything back in cabinets, out of the other rooms of the house. No more running to the living room for flour, the sewing room for sugar, navigating the various kitchen appliances or holes in the floor.  I’ve written about it here: Little Drops of Water but I am pretty sure I haven’t posted any pictures for you to see. So….here are a lot of pictures. A lot of pictures. Keep in mind that some of these pictures I received while puppy sitting for my grandparents puppy, or while up at the hospital while my grandfather was recovering from quadruple bypass surgery. And imagine my surprise….

This is what our kitchen looked like before we totally destroyed it….kinda =) In this picture we — meaning Dad and the boys and a friend — had already taken out the tile to get a better idea of what the damage was. But this gives you a vague idea of cabinet placement…..

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Step one: Tear up floor. We knew there was damage in this general area, but we had no idea…..

The floor beams have already been repaired….the cabinets removed….

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Then Dad moved to one of the outside walls of the house. I don’t have pictures of the other one….a friend does =)

From the outside looking in….literally :D

From the inside looking out =P

What our living room looked like until the cabinets were re-installed in August. I think this picture was taken in May….and this was the second time to unload the cabinets….These are some of the pictures I was receiving at my grandparents, leaving me wondering what was going on…12

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And here are other pictures, when I was surprised by seeing the stove on the wrong side of the kitchen…..10

And another hole in the floor. Apparently termites were running between the layers of the floor….They even made it all the way into the hallway.9

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One of “those days” where there was a hole in the middle of the kitchen floor. Ever tried to get lunch around a hole in the floor? Well, it looks something like frantically running back and forth outside around the house, from the front door to the back door, getting supplies. Until the guys inside started handing things over the hole….since they were already there X)

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Lunch break!!!

As the floor was torn up, it was discovered that the floor beams under the house had been eaten,  were rotten, and generally shaky and unsteady. So out they came!5

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We had sweet friends and our pastor who came over to help with the last half of the floor. We were so incredibly thankful for the help! The laughter, hard work, and general fun that went along with the task of destroying the floor made it memorable…..

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We girls spent the day staining the new wood floor, in preparation for everyone getting it down later.7

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capture

Even the littlest of the little ones were able to help with reconstruction work, learning a good work ethic as they went.

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I don’t have pictures of the finished project yet….the hard drive for the computer went *kaput* a few weeks ago….ah, the challenges of life!

I have written about our bus woes in the past — suddenly the big yellow bus decided to start working again. Dad did something or other….I have NO idea what….but it is mostly reliable now. Mostly :D It still needs the occasional jump to work, but that is a step up (actually, several steps up) from not working at all. Or blowing smoke through vents. Or stopping and starting itself. Trust me when I say, it was getting embarrassing to be stuck at church so many times….or on the side of the road…..or at a gas station….=P

And now we are onto a new year. A new beginning, a new path, a new chapter in the book of life. What will happen? Only the Lord knows right now, and I am good with that. If I had known in the beginning of 2016 that within three weeks of each other my baby brother would be born, we would have no kitchen, and my grandfather would be in the hospital, I would have been lost, with the weight of the world falling on me. Coming on slowly, suddenly, it doesn’t seem like so much. Each time I questioned or wondered, I knew God had a plan. A perfect, wise, all-knowing plan, that He would reveal little by little as He saw fit.

I have been asked about plans for this new year of life the Lord has blessed me with. I really don’t have *plans* for the year. I know from experience that though man makes plans, God directs our footsteps. And He does it for His own glory. I do have goals, long term and short term ones.

I want to get my finger working to play instruments again.
I am continuing my work for Foundations of Reconstruction.
I want to become a full-fledged doula…sooner rather than later.
I need to learn how to drive, which means we need a smaller vehicle than a bus =)
I want to read more theology type books this year, specifically studying more into God’s character and attributes.
I’d like to finish my Names of God study with the children, and move on to another study.

I know I won’t finish all these. I know there are some things I have left out, there are some things I am praying about, and there are some things I don’t even know about yet. I am quite aware that some of these will not be accomplished this year, ’cause there are times when life just takes over. And I am okay with that.

So, now that I have “caught you up”, I am going to be working on catching up this blog that I have left neglected so long….as fast as this healing appendage of mine allows =) I was told typing and playing piano were good “therapy” type things to do. As long as I actually remember to use the finger….which is kinda painful =D One day, it will be back to normal…..one day….

Until then, I will exercise patience and trust and wait patiently on the Lord…..

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