The past year was filled with deep dark valleys, towering ethereal mountains, and dusty plateaus where only the wind blows. It has been a year full of change, enduring love, the pain of loss, and the determination of becoming our best.
I was able to retain and increase my position at the middle school to a full time 8th grade Social Studies teacher, despite the wringer of public education cuts. Through tireless prayer from my friends and family, I was able to have this blessing and dream job, and allow Kenny to scale back his hours at work so he could return to school in hopes of earning a degree. Praise the Lord! We are so blessed!
Last summer (around this time), however, I experienced one of the greatest losses our family has ever experienced: the unexpected loss of a very dear and close uncle. We all continue to mourn for our loss and grieve, missing him daily, but it is amazing to me how his life continues to touch people. He is still a living testament of generosity, compassion, Living (because, man, did he Live), and of Christ's love. Although, we miss him very much, I know he is with us, and every once in awhile, I could almost feel his encouraging words and love, and I am reminded why we Live.
As quickly as the summer came and we experienced our dark valley, we also experienced those towering peaks, as we celebrated Kenny's 30th in Las Vegas, and we celebrated our One Year Anniversary on a little weekend get-away in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.
|4th of July in Las Vegas.|
|One Year Anniversary|
|Up by Mary Hill Winery|
|Before & After|
In the midst of the school year, we dealt with the transition of Kenny attending school and working part-time. There were some real budgetary adjustments we had to make and it was at times stressful, but the Lord continued to provide. My family, due to my uncle's passing, felt wounded and often disjointed, but we also came together and finding bonds we never had before. My closest group of friends also dealt with life altering events and losses, which I feel have only brought us closer together and we are finding the 'glue' that keeps us together is the simplest and sweetest of ingredients.
I do not know what the next year has in store for us, but I am excited to see what happens as we continue to grow together. We will most definitely have more deep valleys, dry plateaus, and high mountain peaks, but we know we are in this together.
|Love, the Strands.|