Thus, I claimed it as my year of jubilee, and it was.
You see, in September 2011 my family and I made a huge cross-country move on faith for a job that my husband was already doing where we were living, only where we were living, we had friends and family and a great church community. In December of 2011, we were 1500 miles away from our church home, our friends, and most of our family. We were living in a rental house that was decent, but entirely too packed with our more than twice the sized house's stuff. We had giant roaches (apparently they are "water bugs" here... but ick ick ick!), the plumbing either leaked or didn't drain, depending on which room you were in, and it happened to be located in one of the worst parts of the city. All of this was due to the fact that we had rented a place, sight unseen, as we drove across the country with our entire house in a uhaul. Obviously choosing to make this decision was a brave one? Or at least one with strong faith. So choosing my word of the year to be "jubilee" seemed a bit... ambitious.
Fast forward to January of my "Jubilee Year", 2012. The year began with a trip "home" to Tennessee to go to court for one last time over full adoption of my children by my husband. We had been battling it out in court for months with their absentee biological father, and the stress was wearing my already hormonal pregnant nerves thin. The good news is that we were finally granted a firm and decided yes to our petition, and they finally became officially the children of the man who had lovingly raised them from babies. This was the first victory in our year, and certainly not the last!
Beginning back in December of 2011, we started to look for a home that we could rent to own, being that we were blessed with a possible benefactor who would buy the home for us initially while we made all payments. But as we looked over the next few months, it seemed like we would never find a house we liked and get it all in order in time... every house we looked at seemed to sell out from under us! It was getting very discouraging. On February 1st, less than three days before our baby was due, we toured a home that we loved! It had great character, was an older house, and had a big front and back yard with grass and trees, which reminded me of home. Of course, just finding it did not mean that all things would work out, since THREE houses that we had looked at had sold before we could do anything.
Two days later, I went to a routine prenatal check up, my 38 week appointment (a few days early). The doctor was not certain which position the baby was in, so she sent me in for an ultrasound to see. The specialist told us that the baby was in complete "Frank breech", meaning her bottom was firmly down in my pelvis, to a point where, if I delivered naturally (which is what I desired), I would deliver her butt first, and her feet and head would be folded jack-knifed. The doctor took this information, coupled with other signs of impending labor, and announced an unexpected c-section would be performed first thing in the morning. So, here I was, already not knowing what to expect about being a mother of four, and now having to go in and have a terrifying surgery. But God was with us all along.
When Anneliese was born, she had a nuchal cord that would have tightened like a noose around her neck had I decided to give birth normally; every time I doubt the outcome, or the choice to go on and have her this way, I think that God planned it so that she would be safe. I have no anger toward my experience at all. All of the doctors, nurses, and my husband were heroes to me that day and the days recovering.
February fourth, my little Joy was brought into this world, with a full blown cry and the most beautiful face I've ever seen. Her birth was the biggest miracle in my year 2012, and if no other good thing had come from the year, she would have been enough.
February eight. As I watched my child, I knew something was wrong. She was sleeping through feeding times, was sometimes not able to waked, and had diarrhea constantly. A trip to the doctor told us nothing, it sounded like jaundice, but her levels were in normal range, so we were sent home, but within hours, she was worse by far. We took her into the ER and she had to be admitted because her levels were so high. I watched my tiny little angel squirm and scream desperately as nurses held her down and dug around in her arms to find a vein, to draw blood, to insert a line for meds, and it was all I could do not to snatch her away and run. Her tiny screams grated at my heart in a way that should not be possible, it was horrible. Then, when all was done, she was placed in a light box, and I slept alone on a hospital cot because my husband had to go to work. But my baby is a fighter, and although they told us it might be three days before she came to normal levels, the prayers of a desperate mother were answered, and she was better within HOURS. We went home by mid day the next day (having gone in over night). Again, the worst situations in my life turned out to only show the goodness of God.
So things had gone back to normal for the family, I fell into routine with the new baby and homeschooling the children, and everything seemed to be just hopping along. Then in March, we got the amazing news that Hubby was getting a raise- a ten thousand dollar raise! All of a sudden, with only six months under his belt with this company, he had already risen in ranks enough to gain a raise. This financially took us to over our income combined before I quit work to homeschool. What an amazing testament to His faithfulness in watching over us and our needs. His boss also decided to take over payments on our home back east to buy the house off of us as an investment property. This also opened another door for our family, the great wait for the perfect house. We had the house within our grasp, but without making an offer on it, we could lose it at any time as we had lost all of the other houses. So, I called the mortgage company, not expecting anything grand since we had one mortgage open, and only one income, but- we were approved, with no hitches, no questions. Amazing!
We put in an offer on the house that we fell in love with, and two days later received an approval and contract. Most people warn that home buying always takes more than the thirty days that they promise,
(our last home had been through a broker, and was a owner sale, so that experience was completely different), but the entire process literally took 28 days! From offer until move in, was 40 days, allowing the previous owners to pack and move. So then we had this great big house to finally unpack and unload all of our stuff into, but we had to leave our living room set back east because it would not fit in our rental, so we had no living room furniture! However, we were able to go to a furniture store with our tax money and get an entire (huge) living room suite for 60 percent less than retail. Again, favor!
This year also marked the successful end to our first year of homeschooling, as well as the much better prepared for beginning of our second year. With our first year being a mad dash and scrambled for materials, curriculum, and basic supplies, our second came fully loaded with a homeschool ROOM (thank you brand new house) as well as plenty of supplies and books. I have to say there was a definite change in the first and second year, and I attribute it to my jubilee!
This year I also met a goal or aspiration of sorts by being blessed enough to guest blog on one of my favorite blogs, Bohemian Bowmans. I have had poems published in books, short stories published in books, but for the first time, I have been "published" by another blogger who I admire very much. This was sort of a literary milestone for me, and something that meant a lot to me since I no longer have work-based accolades to boost my confidence.
As far as the rest of the year, Hubby got another raise, bringing him to only four thousand a year under double what he made a year only a year ago, before we moved. Our marriage is five years old, as is our beloved kitteh. Our family has been blessed with finances, blessings of friendships, and growth in our faith, knowledge, and relationships. Truly this year HAS been a ear of jubilee. What a blessing to be able to hear a word from God, believe in it in faith, and see it come to fruition.
This year, I choose to wait again. I know that God will speak just the right word to me for 2013, and when He does, I will claim it and live it like there is no tomorrow.