It Was a Long January

Can we really be 9 days into February? January was SO long, and now I blink and February is almost 1/3 over!

IMG_20140112_175017_728b
(cozy fire in the fireplace)

Just a recap of January- we were sick most of the month. We started with the stomach flu which lasted less than 24 hours- but the weakness and tiredness hung on for days. Right on the heels of that came a virus that apparently was the kind that last 2-3 weeks. I can handle a bit of a cold, but having fever day after day is depressing. We barely had a social life for a month because someone was almost always sick. Today was the first all of us went to church together all year!

IMG_20140125_092002_112b
(emily and her elizabeth doll in their matching clothes. i know the doll is blurry, but i love emmy’s smile and little braids!)

In the middle of this, I did get a few things done here at home. I knotted and bound a large blanket and got caught up on scrapbooking- I was almost a year behind- and made 3 dresses for a wedding. I guess it was almost 4 if you count a trial one I got mostly made to try a new pattern. So it’s not like nothing got done- there were a some days I felt fine but I was stuck at home with sick children, so what better time to get caught up on projects?

IMG_20140121_180335_958b

Kendall’s brother Ryan was getting married in Georgia on February 1. When we first got sick the beginning of January, I was just glad that we’d for sure be in good health by then, but a few days before it was time to leave, I was losing faith in that. Kierra and I still were miserable with fever, and it didn’t seem to be getting better. One night I asked people on Facebook to pray for us- and many people did. The next afternoon, Kierra woke up from her nap saying she felt good- and she truly acted so much better. It took another day until my fever broke, but just in time, I was feeling good again.

I absolutely believe in the power of prayer, especially intercessory prayer. I think it’s important to have your own private prayer life, and there is power in that, but sometimes it seems that no matter how much you pray about something, nothing changes. But something especially divine can happen when you humble yourself, admit that you can’t do it on your own, and ask others to pray with you.

The instance that makes the biggest impression on me is when I was pregnant with Emily. We had lost Lauren to stillbirth at 37 weeks the year before with no warning, no known reason. Of course, it is natural to be apprehensive with subsequent pregnancies, but for the most part, I was dealing okay with it during the day. Nighttime was another story. Night after night I would have bad dreams about losing my baby in one way or the other. These dreams really upset me, but no matter how much I prayed, the nightmares continued and seriously disturbed my peace of heart, not to mention my sleep.

Finally I told a group of ladies in Sunday school what was going on, and asked them to please pray for me. I never had those nightmares again. Without those to plague me, I was able to have a measure of peace. It wasn’t that I never worried again, but it wasn’t consuming me anymore.

Kendall had a similar experience when he asked some men to pray for him a number of months after Lauren’s death when he was stuck in grief and couldn’t seem to get out of the rut he was in. He feels that was a real turning point in the grief process.

And I truly believe without our friends praying for us the other week, we wouldn’t have been feeling well for the wedding. Skeptics can write my experiences off as coincidence or mind over matter, but the fact is, I am a very cynical person by nature. Faith and trust don’t come easily for me. Sometimes I get to thinking too much and my mind gets in the way. I start questioning God and His goodness and power, but in my heart, I know He is who He says He is. There are so many things that I can’t explain, even to my satisfaction, there is so much about Him I do not know or understand. I still struggle with some things, but I know He is God and that some day we will understand Him and what He has allowed into our lives.

Anyhow, we got to the end of January with much better health than we’d had most of the month, and were able to truly enjoy our time away.

IMG_20140122_193114_822b
(the crazy ones i love)

Another notable thing about January was that it was CRAZY cold! Maybe I have been living under a rock, but I never knew that schools cancel for the cold in these parts. You always get some snow days every year, but I never heard of canceling for the cold. Some schools around here apparently had quite a few cancellations for extreme temperatures. I do understand it, though. Sure, it wasn’t any colder than it gets in Minnesota or Montana or Alberta, but we just aren’t used to dressing for this kind of weather, for one. I suppose it’s a little like when Atlanta gets a skiff of snow. They aren’t equipped to deal with snow and we’re just not equipped to deal with this sort of cold. I had a very thick winter coat that I bought a number of years ago and wore once or twice. A thin coat has always sufficed. I got rid of it this summer, and guess what- my thin coat isn’t cutting it!! I have wished for that thick coat more than once this winter- the few times that we’ve been well enough to venture out! I keep hoping the cold spell is almost over so I don’t have to break down and buy a thick coat I probably won’t wear for 10 years!

IMG_20140127_093121_116b
(snow rollers- Facebook was abuzz about these the other week. we only had a few, but nearby, there were more. some places had larger ones- big snowballs that no person made! http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-snow-rollers-bizzare-winter-storm-20140128,0,238995.story#axzz2ssHc5PSk. sorry about the messy link- i can’t seem to figure out how to do it right, but it’s interesting that it’s rare enough that LA Times has an article on it!)

But… I can’t complain about the cold too much since I got to be inside where it’s warm. After Kendall got some firewood for our woodburner a few weeks ago, I haven’t been cold as long as I stay inside. Also, along with the extreme cold, we’ve had more sunshine than we normally do in the winter. And honestly, that helps my mood- or it does whenever I am not sick! Last year we had rain or snow every day in January, and we rarely saw the sun. So… I guess we can’t have sunshine and warmth in the winter here!

IMG_20140126_191125_490b
(one of emily’s favorite things to do is to bring us more coffee. i always hold my breath, but usually she does okay!)

The last day of January found us traveling the many, many hours to warm, sunny Georgia. Well… it wasn’t exactly sunny most of the time, and not as warm as I was hoping, but it was warmER, so that counts! Next time I will tell you a little about the wedding and my impression of Georgia!

IMG_20140131_151149_354
we had a lot of traffic in Atlanta on a Friday afternoon! but hey, at least there was no snow there anymore to cause chaos like earlier in the week!

IMG_20140131_151505_915
i just love city skylines. something about it just speaks to me. they do not call Kendall’s name, though, so we do well to make an occasional venture into a city. like VERY occasional!!

(the pictures are all from Kendall’s phone, hence the quality. my camera took a January break, but it was fun to look back at the pictures on his phone. Even though the quality isn’t the greatest, i look at them and smile because they are so real life!)

How was your January?
Have you experienced the power of people praying for you?

Advertisements