Twenty ten just sounds like a monumental year. And for our family it was.
We'll start with the biggest milestone- baby A. The year started with feelings of both excitement and anxiety as I was in the second trimester of my pregnancy. We were thankful for another pregnancy, yet honestly, fearful. Many hours were spent in doctors offices, receiving extra care and monitoring, and many prayers were offered on this sweet baby's behalf. We were again blessed by our family and church family around us with prayers, excitement, and help caring for Hudson during all these appointments. Halfway through the year...a long name discussion took place a few days before a very quick labor for Mom, all with the result of a precious Athan Lane coming into our lives. I felt like Hannah when she said about Samuel, for this child I prayed and the Lord has heard my prayers.
Activities and travel were present as usual. Some hi-lights were: Nashville Hall of Fame induction for Rockey (as usual, Hudson was a champ on that trip!), skiing in Crested Butte with our favorite kids (Jay taught Hudson while Mom and baby in belly were sidelined), a mission trip for Jay days before Athan was born, a hectic but wonderful trip to Colorado to welcome Lauren as Uncle David's bride (we made it!), an Orange Birthday party for H, the annual Pumpkin Party with Pa/Gigi/and crew (wonderful chaos, we call it), Thanksgiving hosted by the Thompsons, and a special Christmas visit to Starkville in December.
As we consider how our prayers were answered this year, Athan's health and development have to top that list. Close behind is how well Hudson has adjusted to the arrival of his baby brother. Aside from a few requests for Athan to be held by Dad in the early days, Hudson has shown nothing but love, excitement, and pride for his brother. He has such a loving heart. He continued to show us how he loves life and having fun. Like most little boys, his play can sometimes get too aggressive, but it is always in the spirit of fun. Some new fears and a sensitive side led to a few rough months being dropped off in the nursery and at preschool, but we ended the year feeling like we overcame most of those issues. Hudson's developmental accomplishments of the year were moving to a toddler bed and then a twin bed, joining playgroups and then starting preschool, and learning to use the potty.
In ministry this was a milestone year as well. We saw a class of seniors graduate that were so special to us. Many of them we knew as middle schoolers, and they have grown to be a part of our family in the past five years. Hudson considers most of them his own friends. It was a bittersweet time as we reflected on the years we have spent together, instructing them in God's word and walking with them through their teen years. Jay and I thanked God for the opportunity to know them. They were a faithful group who we have missed. In this second half of the year, we have enjoyed seeing how the dynamics of our ministry has changed and how younger students have grown.
Personally, my year was marked by prayer and growing in my knowledge of who God is. I thank God for a friend named Mary Herrmann who led me and a few other preschool moms in a prayer group this spring. On the other hand, I also found myself recognizing my fallen, selfish nature many times this year. I was so thankful for Athan's life, yet I struggled with patience when months passed, and we didn't have a good sleep routine with him. I found myself feeling angry about that, and taking it out on others in the family. It was a humbling experience. I've been thankful for the forgiveness I find in Christ and grateful that I get to start every morning with new mercies from God.
A meaningful verse to me this year was from the book of Colossians, when Paul states about God, "for He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." What encouragement I found in remembering my redemption, even when I fall short as a mother. I do belong to the kingdom of His beloved Son and can find victory in that. With that hope in mind, I look forward to 2011...