Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Year that was...2012

I always love putting up the new calender and exchanging it for the old. Fresh and clean with no pen marks, red lettering, strike thrus, or smudges. A blank slate for optimism, hope, and a fresh start. Looking back on the past year is requisite; something that we inevitably do in life. It's a time to reflect on our accomplishments, things that have changed and evolved, but also a time to see where we are heading and taking inventory of our own personal lives.

A header that I made but never used, 
this image just speaks volumes to me about life.

Hallway bath repaint in late January and February.
A start on lightening up my walls and surroundings.

Looking back on this last year I didn't feel like I had accomplished very much. This has been one of those years that even though there have been many good things, over all it's one I would rather not have had to walk through. My New Year's wish, instead of resolutions, is always said with a hopeful and optimistic prayer, that this next year will be a better one than the last...

realistically, that doesn't always happen.

Immediately after the bath refresh came the Living Room RePaint.

What a huge difference in my daily frame of mind.

There's just something about a clean white wall
that visually and emotionally "lightens the load".

Within a week I was on to the Master Bedroom,
and my quest for the perfect shade of "greige".

I had realized that the darker colors I had loved 9 years ago were causing me to feel overpowered and claustrophobic. Sort of like the walls were closing in on me. It all had to go and this was the last bastion of dark and "heavy".

I still wake up everyday feeling the freshness of this change.

With the old darker color I was getting tired of all the dark wood,
 but once the paint was changed, I looked at it differently.

The bedroom RePaint ended the major projects of last year.
It was late Spring when my world needed to refocus.

(a few small projects like the trompe l'oeil print on canvas)

My new slipcovers for the Dining Room chairs were a huge success.
They got to put on a new "dress".
Joy, oh Joy!!!

and then the Dining Room became my "happy place".

June brought one of the highlights of my year;
getting to spend a week with this gal.

and then heading up to St. Louis 
to share a weekend with Elizabeth Maxson,
our dear and precious mutual friend.

After this trip, projects became few and far between,
but I managed to play a little with some fun Fall decor.
My favorite time of the year;
but then I've said that a gazillion times.

But this next photo sums it all up...
this guy.

I haven't talked about it too much here on this blog, but he's the center of my life. God has placed him there to love, trust, and to take care of me. I like to say that my hubby is the "pole" to my "tether ball". I may be hit and bounce around every which direction, but my guy is always the stable, unmoving, center of my life. Ten years ago I had 3 massive heart attacks and almost died. After that, our lives changed. We both had a wake up call to the important things in life...like waking up every day with those that you love still here. But this year he was the one with health challenges and I was the one that had to be strong for him. He was the one feeling like he was walking on quicksand...and I had to be the one that was immovable and unshakable. 

Without God as my strength, we would have been flailing. 

For several years he'd been having occasional attacks of vertigo, then they started becoming an everyday occurrence that changed everything. He's just never been "sick". Oh, you know occasionally a bout with the flu, but nothing serious. Last summer started a journey to not give up, but to seek God for guidance in a place of uncertainty. Tests, doctors, more tests, more doctors...I know that many of you have been through something similar. If it's not you or your husband, it's our kids or loved ones. It takes everything out of you, but then with God's help, He fills you up with His Spirit, His outlook, His Word. 

Fast forward six months and we've been seeing a specialist in St. Louis for Meniere's Disease. It's a tough one, with no cure (they say). We had no help in our area, only a fatalistic litany of defeat for the future. But we were not going to roll over and play dead with this...we faced it head on and now we are seeing positive results. He's not over it, but he's improving significantly. 

So many of you out there know people that are dealing with this life changing condition. The first thing we did was radically change our diet. no salt. Actually, we had to rethink our whole outlook on eating and how inevitably it defines our health, and then eventually, our life. Meniere's is basically the inner ear deteriorating to the point that fluid cannot be regulated so you feel dizzy, nauseated, like your head is under water (filled with water) and dreadful...most of the time. Can't drive, can't eat, can't walk with confidence...can't think straight. OK, I won't dwell on this, but let me tell you there are options out there that work. You don't have to live with this...it CAN get better. 

As with any illness, or life changing circumstance we've learned that there IS hope. God has a good plan for our lives and He has answers that no man does. not doctors, not ourselves, not our friends...He's the one with the way to make things change.

So if you thought that my posts had changed, well, they had. I had changed. I am changed. Walking through something life altering has a way of changing a person. Hopefully, for the better, but still changed. My Bible Study blog went on "hold", because I couldn't concentrate on much other than getting through each day with my husband. Encouraging him became my priority. But as I said earlier, what I lacked in output, I gained with God's "input". If we let circumstances defeat us, there is no "lesson". I want to learn all the lessons I can from God. Don't ever go through a "problem" without seeking God for something deeper to be given you.

I know this has been long, but now seemed like the time to share it all. If I haven't commented, please know that I haven't meant to slight any of you, there have just been days that I didn't have it in me. Thanks for hanging in there with me. I love you all; you have become such a big part of my life. I'm still here, just different. But still believing for a better year.

My prayer for each of you this year
 is for you to stay strong, seek God, love without limits.

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