Well it's been about 16 1/2 months since my last blog, which is the about the age of Maci. Reading my last blog about waiting for her arrival stirred up all kinds of emotions. But we are doing great as a family of 4! Maci is a fabulous little rascal who has all the spunk, attitude, and sweetness that you would expect from a sour patch kid. If she goes in for a kiss, better be ready for a punch or a bite...well that may just be with her older sister. In a nutshell, the Pryors are thriving as a foursome!
What brings me visiting my blog today is a lot really. A lot turning in my head and heart and sometimes I just need to unload. Which is what these things are for right? Feel free to X out this screen at anytime because I am not a woman of wise words; after reading this, you probably won't feel any differently than when you decided to read this initially, but thanks in advance for doing so! So the countdown is on to another new year...2015 is 3 days away! Am I the only one who thinks the years are flying by these days? I know I sound super duper old and mom like when I say something like that, but seriously? Could time just hold the rewind button for a minute before I'm prom dress shopping and watching my husband give my daughters away.....sheesh! Breathe Felicia- they are 3 and 16 months...still dragging stuffed animals around and climbing in my lap for snuggles and songs. Ok...I'm better.
Last New Year's Day, Adam and I sat down at the table and made a list of goals we wanted to reach for 2014. He made a list, I made a list, then we made a list together. It really was a great time to sit down and reflect on what's important together. Adam always says he wants us working towards something together, which I'm learning is a huge tool in strengthening our marriage on the daily. So anywho I listed a few things on my posterboard (these are by memory)...lose 30 pounds, participate in a bible study, exercise a couple times a week, etc. The big ones from our together list was find a new church home, put a firm "getting out of debt" plan into action, plan X amount of date nights, etc. I think some of his were similar with the exception of reading more books...why anyone finds that a leisure activity, I will never understand. But the man loves books. So in three days, we will sit down, pull out our lists and evaluate what's been accomplished, what hasn't, what we did and didn't do together. I know that list will breed some disappointment, but overall, it's just something to keep us focused on what's important and an encouragement to look forward to another year, another redo, another clean slate, another chance.
In a quick recap, 2014 was one that was filled with it's definite shares of growing pains. Right out the gate of 2014, we had to make an incredibly difficult and gut wrenching decision to leave our church abruptly. A church we helped plant. A church we poured blood, sweat, and tears into. A church we thought we'd be at longterm with our family. Without going into any detail, I will say that will always be one of the hardest decisions Adam and I have ever had to make. And that's how we started our new year. With people angry at us, pointing the finger at us, and wondering why we'd left so quickly. We had to face rumors of all kinds, especially with me working in a salon, that ironically sat right next to said church. Everything about it was painful and broke our hearts into a million pieces. It's amazing how you feel the overwhelming pain of something so heavily, you are sure you're going to drown beneath the weight of it all. But we did not drown and we did not wallow in our agony. The Lord quickly plugged us into another church and kept us moving forward, dragging our beaten hearts, reputations, and sorry selves alongside us.
We struggled as a family to stay afloat emotionally, but we found sweet comfort in the arms of our Jesus. We've watched and continue to watch people in our families fight, struggle, and stand firm. We had another bump in the road when we got our house ready to put on the market and made the decision to hold off the day before the pictures were going to be posted from our realtor. A few tears shed over that one, but after a glass of wine and a long conversation with my sweet husband, we knew it was the best decision at the time. We've had some friendships fall by the wayside and some days we shook our fists at the sky. But I know with all of my heart, with all of my soul, that God blesses through the growing pains, that He delivers His people who stay faithful, and He supplies for our needs. He sustained us with strength and pushed us out of bed each Sunday morning to get our kids and our family to church.
This past August we became members of Sojourn Community Church and honestly, was one of the best parts of our 2014. God knew exactly what He was doing and exactly where He was taking us. We were welcomed into a group of believers who allowed us to come and be encouraged, as guarded as we were. We were hearing God's Word as it should have been preached and were being reminded of God's promises to never leave us and to finish the work He started in us. The beautiful community we have with our fellow Sojourners is something to behold. My 3 year old is learning, thriving, and growing in the Lord and being encouraged by amazing leaders. We cannot put into words what this place and these people mean to us. We are home after wandering another year, we are finally home.
Our jobs have been great, I've never been busier and Adam had another promotion. Our babies are healthy. We have a home over us and food in our bellies (mine is still squishier than I'd like it to be). We have many things to be thankful for and in light of another year, another goal setting meeting, I am determined to keep Christ as the center of it all. Because I have to wonder...what if I didn't have a good job or a job at all? What if one of my children were ill? What if we were barely putting food in our house? Would I still be thankful then? Would I still give the Lord control or would I start to take back, live like I want, and throw my hands up in the air in despair? Although we feel like we are in a good place now, I do not want to live in the comfort of the familiar, the painless, or the ordinary. I want to give of myself, our finances when we're able to do so wisely, and sacrifice. I want my daughters to grow up knowing what it means to do something kind for their neighbor. I want to love people to the Lord because we are in no shape to produce any kind of salvation. There are many songs I love at Sojourn, but I will end with this one because it makes me burst in to tears nearly everytime I hear it. I pray we're all lead back to life in Christ. Free of rules, free of judgements, free of apathy, free of guilt, free of calloused and angry hearts. Cheers to 2015!
"Lead Us Back"
Falling down upon our knees
Sharing now in common shame
We have sought security
Not the cross that bears Your name
Fences guard our hearts and homes
Comfort sings a siren tune
We're a valley of dry bones
Lead us back to life in You
Lord we fall upon our knees
We have shunned the weak and poor
Worshipped beauty, courted kings
And the things their gold affords
Prayed for those we'd like to know
Favor sings a siren tune
We've become a talent show
Lead us back to life in You
You have caused the blind to see
We have blinded him again
With our man-made laws and creeds
Eager, ready to condemn
Now we plead before Your throne
Power sings a siren tune
We've been throwing heavy stones
Lead us back to life in You
Here's the link to hear it on you tube, it's beautiful, go listen!