one year stronger

Posted on December 31st, 2011 by mountain girl  |  10 Comments »

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

2011, that is.

I don’t remember much about the first two months of the year, except that between David, Zia, and I, we had an inordinate number of colds, coughs, and sniffles. It was the sort of thing where Zia would catch it, than David, then me—then Zia again, and so on.

I remember at the end of February saying to David, “January and February have been hard months, but March will be better.”

A week later, though, I accidentally poisoned my liver by taking too much oregano oil. To say the least, it was excruciating. It only took a week to recover, but I haven’t taken my liver for granted since!

A couple of weeks later I had a bout with a mono-like virus. I was pretty weak for a couple of weeks and could barely drag myself around. I began to get better just before Caleb came to visit for Spring Break.

April was fairly uneventful (thankfully!), and we went to NY to visit my family. Then there was another mono-like attack in May. It was 3 weeks before I was feeling like myself again.

A week or two after I recovered, I started going downhill again. Caleb came to spend the summer with us in June, but from June through the end of August I grew increasingly weaker. I lost 15 lbs, bringing me down to a rather slender 95 lbs.

In my healthy state, I normally do a light workout every day and take at least one power walk (sometimes three) for about 40 minutes. I also rarely sit down, but like to stay busy around the house and outside.

For the 3 months of summer, though, it became all I could do to get down the steps to the jeep and back up again when I got home. I sat or lay down most of each day. After a while I became too weak to even drive myself very often, so David took me where I had to go.

I finally decided to get a blood test. It was fairly normal except that my sodium was really low. I decided to add some vitamins and minerals to my diet, as well as start eating some salmon and a few other things.

Around the same time, my friend Cindy found out I was sick and began praying for me. With Cindy praying, along with the change in diet, I began to get better, slowly but steadily.

At this time I also discovered I had a sensitivity to corn. When I took every form of corn out of my diet (and there are lots of forms, believe me!) the breathing difficulty I had had for about 15 years disappeared. Woo-hoo! That has made a HUGE difference in my life. (See what I mean, It was the best of times, it was the worst of times?)

Also in August, Caleb went back to NM to get some of his things and came to permanently move in with us.  By September 1st, when I began homeschooling Caleb, I was on my way back to health. Slowly I gained about 10 lbs back, and started walking again, bit by bit.

My hair had turned dark and gone limp after that crazy summer, but when I had a haircut a few weeks ago, my stylist found that it was springing back to life underneath. Yay!

Having Caleb in our lives has been a big change. Although it has been amazing to have David’s boy become a part of our family, it has also been a difficult transition for all of us—probably especially for Caleb, as his world has been completely turned upside down.

Besides the change of going from a structured school routine to a very unstructured homeschool one, Caleb is learning to integrate with our family, our values, and our ideas. It’s amazing how greatly those can differ from one family to another.

In September I developed itchy red bumps on my neck. They lasted 3 months, and I’m still not sure what that was all about. I suppose it was my body telling me I was a bit stressed out.

In early November, I had a bit of an emotional crash, complete with shaking, crying, and hyperventilating. (I know—dramatic, huh?) I think the simple truth is that I was just trying too hard. I wanted so badly for everything to work together for our family, and it just didn’t happen that easily.

Out of that week of falling apart, I went back to God’s word. As I meditated on it, I began to be stronger. It pulled me through and set me in a solid, steady place of trust.

I’m still learning to let go of making things happen in my strength, and lean on the One who gives me strength.

Since then we’ve learned to do things a little differently, changing our parenting focus a bit. It’s been such a time of learning, of making mistakes, of hitting on something that works for all of us, of changing direction and starting over.

I’ve learned who David is at a whole new level, and as difficult as new revelations can be, the truth is that the more I understand him, the more I love him. The challenges of this year have without a doubt drawn us together. I think we see each other now with more understanding, grace, and—yup—passion. We’re getting solid, Baby.

Caleb is doing really well, but it has been, and still is, a difficult journey. For sure, it is the best of times and the worst of times. The one exception to that might be for Zia. For her, it has simply been the best of times. I mean really, what’s better than having a brand new big brother who plays with you?

Caleb will be starting school at our local mountain community school on Wednesday. We think it will be just what he needs for now. It’s a good little school with some wise, caring teachers, and we trust Caleb will make some good friends with the mountain kids there (children, not goats).

With all the stretching and growing and seasons of difficulty, we have certainly had our share of visible blessings. (Did I forget to say that all these hard things have been blessings, too? Just in disguise, that’s all.)

Our sweet house is just one of them, and David’s awesome job working at home, and this wild, beautiful state to explore and play in (think, Winterpark). The garden we had in Lakewood. Our new table and chairs. The friends who have come to visit us, and our involuntary return to Kansas City for a busted sewer pipe, which became an avenue to meet up with other good friends.

(I got another small gift at the end of this year, but it’s still wrapped. I’m saving it for a little while–yes, I like to savor surprises. Knowing David, I think it will be something extra sweet.)

This year, I feel like I got a bit of steel in my soul. Just a very thin steel rod, but it’s there. It’s a knowing deep inside that through my God, I have and will overcome. He cares about my life, he dictates my joys and my struggles (and then gives joy even through the struggles). He carries me through it all.

Trying to work through parenting a pre-teen this year has given me a more vivid angle on God’s heart. He desires more than just my immediate comfort. He looks beyond to what He envisions me to be, to what is best for me, and He creates a path to take me there. I want to go with Him as easily as possible, fighting Him as little as possible, because He really does know the best way.

I’m looking forward to this new year, to learning and growing and loving and living–to seeing what another year stronger looks like.

Happy New Year!

10 Responses to “one year stronger”

  1. jodi says on :

    Mia, this post was amazing. What a year you guys have had! I love getting to see a little bit of your heart and how the Lord is working in your lives. It’s amazing! I pray you have the most wonderful new year!

  2. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks, Jodi! Happy New Year to you guys!

  3. Allison says on :

    Thank you for sharing all of this. Thank you for such a close look into your life.

  4. NgoFamilyFarm says on :

    This is beautiful, Mia! Thank you for sharing your journey. May you and those you love have a very happy, healthy, and blessed 2012!
    -Jaime

  5. mountain girl says on :

    Thank you Jaime!

  6. Mom, Dad & Makayla says on :

    hi honeeee………….We LOVE U SOOOOO MUCH! STAY HEALTHY AND HAPPY AND JOYFUL. HAVE A VERY BLESSED NEW YEAR. WE PRAY THE ANGELS ARE WITH YOU EVERY DAY 🙂 MOM

    TO DVL: WE LOVE YOU SOOOOOO MUCH, TOO. STAY STRONG AND HAPPY AND HAVE A VERY NICE NEW YEAR 🙂 MOM

  7. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks Mom! Happy New Year to all of you!

  8. LITTLE FUR WONDER says on :

    GOD WORKS IN WILD AND WONDERFUL WAYS.MANY TIMES THOSE WAYS ARE NOT OUR WAYS(LUCKY FOR US HE KNOWS BETTER) I AM SO HAAPPY U ARE FEELING MUCH BETTER AND WILL CONTINUE TO PRAY WE ALL HAVE A BETTER 2012. ZIA LOOKS GREAT–NO WORRIES AT HER AGE–WHAT A BLESSING!!!

  9. Lauren says on :

    Mia- thanks for sharing your journey… I had no idea all of that was going on. I enjoy reading your blog and seeing your family as well as learn from you. Continue to draw deeper in the heart of the One who made you and loves you more than you could ever imagine (and I know you have a big imagination)

  10. mountain girl says on :

    Thanks, Lauren! We miss you guys!

Leave a Reply