As I look back on 2010, I am filled with many wonderful memories, experiences, and God-giving blessings.
God answered prayer by giving me a wonderful husband. Married June 12th. Jon and I talk about how wonderful it is to have someone along side of us living life together. It's an ongoing learning experience to fully live out God's command of being Jon's help-meet. I'm so honored to have such a wonderful, understanding husband who encourages me and helps me along the way. He knows my failures and still smiles in my direction, thanks me for the quick dinner I fixed, or serves me when I stumble. I know God has given Him such an encouraging spirit, patient heart, the skills to be a great role model for our future children, and a great Spiritual leader. People told me about the expectations you make about marriage--before marriage, but Jon and I talk about how we had none. We didn't expect anything--and the blessings are overflowing!!
Marriage is not all daisies and chocolates. I am just as sinful as I was before I got married. Marriage is God's way of helping us better see our weaknesses, sinful nature, and where we need to become stronger. I've learned so much about myself these past six months (due to marriage). I thank God for my husband, because he leads me to Christ. I fall on my knees asking for forgiveness constantly. I've been asking Jon questions as days go on, "Which do you like better? Do you like to come home to this or that? How do you want that cooked? Which is more important to you?" I've learned so much about my wonderful husband, I can only imagine how much more I will be learning in the years to come!
Another big blessing this year was the joy of having two sisters and one sister in law give birth to such beautiful babies! :) (Note: Not very many newlyweds get the joy of having this...usually they constantly get questions, "so when are you going to start a family?" We luck out. Our sisters had babies at a great time. So, thanks sistas!)
The blessings from being around babies and young children in general are so GREAT! God has given me (and Jon) such a wonderful blessing. We get the opportunity to be around babies and kids before we become parents. It leads us to having conversations BEFORE we make the big decision. It also helps us by just having the experience of being around it a lot. Believe me. I know a LOT about babies and toddlers. I'm not a mom yet, but I feel like a mom to many already. For you mom's out there that allow me to spend time with your little ones....
Just as much as you may be thankful to have the short break and allowing me to spend time with your little one, I thank you. It helps that little part of me that says, 'you are married, where's your baby?' ;)
In the meantime I continue to pray and ask God to help Jon and myself to be wise and bless us with children in His perfect timing. Someone once told me they could see me with 16 kids. I'm sorry, I don't see that coming (I've seen labor about 6 times now). However, I know God will bless us. :)
Thank you to those who have allowed me to spend time with your little one in 2010...I hope I can continue to do so in 2011. :)
In 2010 God has also blessed us in the area of Jon's job. In the time where we really needed it, Jon was blessed in his job. I am still looking for something here in Ames, but God has always provided us enough. His boss has really been helpful in giving Jon flexibility while balancing school, marriage, and everything else. We want to send an extra thank you your way Chris! Thanks!
God's blessing of family is indescribable. 2010 was filled with wonderful time with family (and friends). Whether it was planning the wedding, the actual Day, or holidays....we are both very thankful for each one of them. We know their support has really helped us get to where we are now.
Speaking of family and holidays brings me to another blessing. A blessing that brings tears along the way. The week before Christmas, God gave us a blessing of peace. My dear Grandma Evelyn went Home to see the Lord. We all got time to be with her before she took her last breath on earth. I will never forget those moments. The visitation and memorial service was a wonderful time also. It was a great service of praise to God and worship of her life. Grandma was a special lady to many, and I know I have many dear friends who thought of her as "Grandma" also. :) I will be writing another note soon of a Tribute to her. I can just picture my sweet servant-heart Grandma wanting to wash dishes after the "birthday party" for Jesus.
To end the note of our blessings of 2010, I must include the many messages we've heard. Whether it was at Cornerstone Church (Ames), Timberline Church (Urbandale), Johnston E. Free Church, or Community Heights Alliance Church (Newton)...we thank the Pastors for their ministry. Thank you all for serving the Lord in this way. While Jon and I travel from town to town (usually on weekends) we discuss our "sermon notes" and other topic questions.
We also want to thank Don Morris for giving us such wonderful counsel before our marriage. (Jon still talks about it.) :) Nothing like seeing your future husband skip to counseling. :)
Thank you all again for your love, support, and guidance in 2010! It's been a wonderful journey to learn how to love God, love each other and others, and serve together! That statement has a whole new meaning once married. Especially when you are learning/working on the "I'm third" statement. First is God, second is my spouse, and third is myself.
Hope everyone had a wonderful, God-honoring Christmas! Praying everyone has a wonderful year ahead of them.
Love and blessings from the Kaisand's! :)
Mary & Jonathan