I thought I would end this year’s session with our little family, pictures taken by my dad, David & I - capturing us as we are this season. Consider this a little blog Christmas card, from our family to yours.
This year has held many changes, adventures, challenges and memories.
At the beginning of the year we finalized Ella Bear’s Arizona adoption, and I’ll never forget us all gathered around with the judge, looking at camera phones and loudly proclaiming,
“WE ARE FAMILY!”
We never needed a judge to tell us that we were, but to have that finalization was a blessing and a memory I’ll never forget.
Early January the Lord released David from his job, the company was changing and merging and it ended up being the perfect time for him to start a new chapter in his career. After two really exciting and blessed job transitions (the second being an unexpected gift from God in His perfect timing) he is back doing what he loves, back in the pharmacy world. We are grateful that God closes doors and opens them, He is our sole provider.
We spent a little time traveling in the spring, visiting some of our dearest friends whom we have missed since their big move, each moment together was sweet and oh so precious.
This summer, I turned the big 3-0. Can you believe it? In some moments I feel so young and green, and in others I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime. My sweet husband made it a birthday for the books, throwing me TWO surprises in one night. A girls dinner with my closest friends, and another get together later in the night with spouses and children. It was a night I’ll never forget.
This summer we also had the joy of out-of-town visitors, five sweet souls over the course of a month and a half. Each one filled my cup, and the memories with them still makes my heart full. The coming of each of them was something God-ordained, His generosity never ending.
In August, school started for the littles, and the Lord helped me see some of Christian’s passions; while opening a door for Ella to go to a part-time Pre-School program that she loves and does so, so well in. Both these babies are so bright and clever, keeping me on my toes, growing me as a mom, and showing me grace when I fall.
In September, my mom, the kids and I packed up and flew home to Serbia to spend time with loved ones. Oh goodness, the memories made, the connections deepened, I long for and love the people in that small country so, so much. While we were there we also deepened our friendships with the local church, a small but mighty force doing Kingdom work and spreading God’s love on the streets of my birth city. If you want to learn more about them, and find ways to come alongside their ministries (teenagers, homeless, drug addiction and more!) comment and I’d love to put you in touch.
Coming home, my fall photography season started, and it has been one of the biggest blessings. Every individual, company, and family who allowed me to capture them helped further propel this little business. I am deeply indebted to the Lord for starting me on this beautiful journey, and thankful to every soul who has allowed me to walk with them, even if only for a moment.
In October, Mr. Abear and I celebrated nine years of marriage. Nine years, two precious children, job transitions, both of our journeys with school, walking through griefs and triumphs and everything in between - I would say yes to this man all over again.
The fall and winter season continued with visits from David’s parents, and we look forward to more time with them as they plan trips to travel west to visit kids and grand kids. The kids have loved every second with them, time together is filling. Our kids greatly enjoy time with my parents as well, Christian “helps” them with their work, and Ella loves being spoiled by her “Nana & Keba”.
The biggest news of late was a conversation I overheard while I was at my computer, Christian upstairs sharing the immeasurable gift and offer of salvation with Ella. It was so innocent, sweet and pure; he really loves the Lord and it shows with how he treats her and talks with her about Him. The next thing I knew, two sets of little feet were coming downstairs, and Ella was wanting to accept Jesus into her heart. She repented of sin, and the Lord washed her and cleansed her of all unrighteousness as He has promised. That day was momentous.
I really don’t know how to follow up from that, if there is anything I would’ve wanted 2018 to hold, it would always be a soul knowing the love of their Savior.
Early December one of my besties and I put on a boutique & event at our church, and boy was it fun! Every experience comes with life lessons, and I think if we decided to do one again we have more knowledge and tools in our tool belt - isn’t that what life is, one big lesson?
I think, scratch that - I KNOW my biggest combined life lesson of 2018 was to let Jesus be the Savior, and not overdo it. Sometimes my perfectionism can be a blessing, but most of the time I’m so caught up trying to make everything perfect that I can miss all of the moments that make up now. It’s easy for me to get fixated on the imperfections, and not celebrate the small victories. Thank goodness for David, he’s a vessel from the Lord helping to course correct me through life.
I’m looking forward, with fresh eyes to what the Lord will do in 2019.
My goal for this year is that I will walk more closely with Him, listen better & slow down.
To all of you who have read this little blog, or who have allowed me to step into your life and capture a memory - thank you. May our Lord mightily bless you this year and always, drawing you to the knowledge of His sovereign plan to send His Son into the world as a love offering. May you fall more deeply in love with Him, and hold those close to you a little bit closer.
In Christ Alone,