As if it isn't enough that He sent His one and only Son into the world to die on the cross for my sins so I could have my forever home with Him, He just pours an abundance of blessings into my life! The mercy and grace and forgiveness and love without condition are really beyond anything I can understand and comprehend. And then . . . as if all of that isn't enough . . . He's blessed me here on this earth in ways that I never really imagined or thought possible. This Thanksgiving season was especially meaningful to me. I am completely on-my-knees humbled every time I look into the faces of my children, every time I drive up in my driveway, every time I hold my husband's hand. They are my dreams come true from a God who grants a thousand wishes and answers every prayer, a God who goes above and beyond EVERYTHING we petition of Him.
This year has been especially humbling for me, and I am so inadequate at praising Him and thanking Him . . . because, truly, it will never be enough.
I haven't posted anything about our new house since spring time. There are several reasons for that. First of all, I just got so tired of all the unfinished projects. Everywhere I looked, something needed to be painted! And, by the way, I did finally hire someone to finish the odds and ends of painting that I knew I'd never get to. That was one of the best decisions I made. The worst decision I made was doing all of the painting ourselves! Anyway, there continued to be an endless list of odds and ends that weren't finished. I was tired of looking at it, and I certainly didn't want it in pictures anymore. So I stopped talking about it.
And then, second of all, it became a pride issue for me. I was to the point that I was nearly embarrassed about our new house. I started second-guessing some of our decisions, my decisions. I mean, was this big ole house with all the bells and whistles (at least to us!) necessary? There are so many people with NOTHING. Should we not have shared something with them? Should we have built something smaller? Should we even have built at all? The Lord and I talked through those questions a lot, and we're still talking. He continues to remind me of my life verse.
"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." ~Psalm 37:4
He also gave me another verse.
"Yes, the Lord will give what is good." ~Psalm 85:12
It is only because of the Lord and His generous blessings over our life that we built our house this year. It really has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Him. That's what I hope people will understand and know.
I've had lots of people ask about the house and request pictures. I was looking back at my previous posts and realized this is the last picture I posted of the exterior. The last time I even blogged about the house was when the countertops were installed and the tile work was being done. We've come a long way!
Just two weeks ago, we finally hung the shutters and finished cleaning the stickers off of the windows. So - except for landscaping, which I don't even want to think about, much less talk about and a gas lantern that will eventually be placed above the front doors - the exterior is finished.There are still lots of inside projects left to be done. The biggest by far is the fireplace. It's still completely unfinished. Hopefully we'll have the stone work done after Christmas. I think that's going to make the biggest difference on the interior. The rest is just cosmetic. If you look closely at our bedroom on the left side of the house, you'll see an old pair of sheets hanging in the window! My next big project after Christmas will be window treatments. I'm going to start in Mason and Hannah Kate's rooms and then our bedroom and the dining room. I don't plan to do much with the windows on the back of the house because I love looking out over the backyard and to the trees beyond. Just two weeks ago I finally finished unpacking all of our moving boxes. And the only reason I did it at that time was because I need all of the space in the dining room for Hannah Kate's birthday party this Saturday! And the other reason is because I wanted to start using my Christmas china, and it was still in boxes!
So when I think about my life in 2010, I will definitely think about the year we built this house. And what a year is has been! The next thing that comes to mind is something I was absolutely giddy about from the time January 1 arrived. This would be the year that Seth and I would celebrate TEN YEARS of marriage in July. I know. It isn't a big deal to most. But it was to me! I really wanted us to take a trip - just the two of us - but that just didn't work out. The timing was all wrong, especially with Mason also starting kindergarten just a few days later. So imagine my surprise when my husband told me about three weeks ago that we were going to have our trip, and that he'd taken care of the whole thing (well, almost)! We spent several days in San Antonio before Thanksgiving. It was close enough that we could drive yet far enough away to feel like we really went somewhere. And neither of us had ever been.
The whole time I was there, I felt like I was in a dream! The city was just beautiful, and we had the lovliest of times. We spent most of our days walking the RiverWalk and eating the most delish Mexican food ever. We headed north into Hill Country one day and spent the day in Fredricksburg. It was just a precious time and a tremendous blessing to have the opportunity we did. The only thing is that I forgot my camera (I was too nervous about Mason having to get off the bus at MawMaw's house the day we left) so I don't have any photographs . . . but I have the most beautiful of memories!
We returned just in time to spend Thanksgiving in Louisiana with Seth's family. I made several Connell favorites to add to the feast and just enjoyed the day. The best thing about the whole week was that we didn't have to get up early everyday for school! Let's just say I didn't sleep a wink this past Sunday night . . . I felt all over again like I did the night before Mason's first day of kindergarten! I wanted nothing more than to keep him home with me yesterday morning, but, of course, I didn't.
And now . . . we're entering the season of celebration for perhaps the first of God's great gifts to us, the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ . . .