Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Year of Yes

It's that time of year for look back on 2015 and reflect on how things worked out.

I'm one of those really indecisive people.  I can't even choose what's for dinner.  So, for me to say, "Yes" to something is huge.

Saying "Yes" is very difficult, especially if the outcome will be life changing.  Sometimes that little 3 letter word just takes you out of your comfort zone.  

Here's a look back at some of my YES moments for 2015.

Active Duty
My husband and I talked a lot about the possibility of moving from Reserves to Active Duty.  Before that happened though, he took a leap from Reserves to National Guard.  Then we said YES to sending off the active duty packet.  That's a major risk uprooting your family, leaving all that is comfortable for the the unknown.  But we said YES.  

God said NO.

Jeff submitted his packet.  For whatever reason, his packet did not go before the board.

I'll admit, it was a somewhat disappointing.  I felt certain that God had called my husband to be an active duty Army Chaplain.  Maybe he has, but this just wasn't the time.  I don't know.  But we talked and prayed and said YES.  I think sometimes that's all God wants us to do,  just show we trust him.

Teacher of All Things
Really, I didn't have a choice in this.  At my school this year, we were told that we were going to teach ALL subject areas.  Yes, the girl that must have pencil and paper or a calculator to work out her math......I was going to be a math teacher for the first time in about 15 years.  I was not excited, but I knew there was absolutely NOTHING I could do about it.  

Mindset people!

I changed my mindset and said, "YES! I can do this!"

And I did.

Now, I'm not saying I was the perfect math teacher. NO WAY!  But I learned along with my students. I gave them my best effort, and you know.....It wasn't terrible.  Not everyday anyways!  There were days I enjoyed it. There were days my kids had fun and light bulbs went off.  There were notes and blog messages about how fun math class was. There was the parent conference where I heard, "Thank you. She is having such good year in math this year. She is so much more confident."

Because I said YES to changing my mindset about something I was uncomfortable with, I made it through a trying time.  And I encouraged some children along the way.

We Moved!
For a few years now, we have been unhappy with where we lived. Well, maybe not unhappy, just a little frustrated.  We had some amazing neighbors and some not so amazing neighbors. We lived on a dead end street that was busier than Grand Central Station.  So, we house hunted. For years.  In late winter and early spring, we got serious about finding a new home.  The Army had said "no," so it was time to move on, or across town anyway.  

There was a house we had been looking at for a couple of years. Yeah, we actually took a tour of this house several times, even during melting snow to make sure the basement didn't leak.  We wanted this was huge, in a good neighborhood, and well, huge.  It was a bit expensive and the owner wasn't budging on the price. And it needed updating. Lots of it. We looked at some other houses, said yes to one, but was told it sold 15 minutes after we left. Shucks.

Then we found The One. Although I didn't realize it was The One.  It was in the perfect neighborhood, but wasn't really what I expected. I just wasn't sure about it.  Jeff and I had a trip to Starbucks to discuss our reasons for wanting to move. This house was the answer.  We said YES and are loving our new home.  Great neighbors (I didn't know people actually welcomed you to the neighborhood with cookies).  Wonderful neighborhood. Horse farm in the backyard.  Kids for our boys to play with.  Almost no traffic.

We closed in May. Remodeled in June and July. Moved in days before Colin's 13th birthday (just in time for his party). And it's home.

Family and Fun

What good is life if we aren't enjoying it?  It's so easy to say NO to things because of messes, time, selfishness.....the list can go on.  But I'll tell you this, I have not regretted saying YES to fun this year, whether for me or my family.

We've been busy this year. Some of our favorite activities have been:
Singing in the car
Cuddling on the couch
Soccer (rec league and middle school)
Academic Team
Winter Xtreme
Birthday parties
Sitting around the fire
And the list could go on.  Regardless of the activity, we spent time together. We spent time apart. We enjoyed doing things that were meant for fun.  


Not only have I enjoyed saying YES to fun times with my family, but saying YES to Jesus is always a blessing.  Sunday School, VBS, Camp Creative, Back Yard Bible Club, Pancakes with Santa, Wednesday Night Nursery Duty.  You can never go wrong with saying YES to Jesus.  

I have found this year that the more I said YES to Him, the more my kids did too.  Colin has gotten more involved at church. He is involved in the Youth Group, Praise Band, and Adult Choir.  He also serves as an usher and runs the sound and video system.  Carson and Carter have also enjoyed staying dedicated to their nightly devotions and taking part in their classes and children's choir.  We have a lot of great conversations about faith and Jesus. There's nothing like serving God as a family. 

It is a wonderful feeling to look back and see that we are changed for the better for spending time with and saying YES to God. 

Five Minute Friday Retreat
I'm a big chicken when it comes to meeting new people.  And the thought of attending a weekend with 20 or more people I had never met in person......terrifying.  But with the encouragement of my husband, I signed up for the first ever Five Minute Friday Retreat. God never let me get nervous, and even though it was a crazy time of year, I never opted to back out.  

The retreat was a blessing in so many ways. 
New Friends
So much from a weekend at the lake with perfect strangers......sisters in Christ.....lovers of Jesus and words.   It's possible that I could never see these women in real life again, but they will always hold a special place in my heart.  

These, my friends, are some of my YES moments.  One thing I've learned is that someone else's big is our little (and vice versa).  And I'm ok with that.  My big is just learning to say YES more and see what God has in store for me.

What about you?  What did you say YES to this year.  

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