100 joys (91-100)

In a change from how I’ve been documenting my daily joys, I’m switching gears and am going to cover the top 10 joys of 2010 (in no particular order) to round out the list, and the year.

joy #91

Last January, Frank and I were ecstatic to learn that we were expecting a baby in September 2010.  We were filled with wonder, hope and joy at the thought of finally being blessed with a baby.  While Lily’s life ended at 9 1/2 weeks, I still look back at the time we were pregnant with her as such a treasure and a joy.

joy #92

This summer we hosted a party and loved gathering our friends around for cocktails and desserts.  We really enjoy entertaining and it was a highlight of the summer for us!

 

joy #93

This was Frank’s crashpad in Atlanta.  Why is that in the past-tense?  Because, blissfully, Frank is no longer based in Atlanta.  He no longer has to commute Chicago to Atlanta!  His commute is an easy 90 minute drive to a nearby airport.  Oh, what a joy to see my husband more than six full days a month!!

 

joy #94

Our Church family.  We continue to look for ways to be more plugged into our Church and we are excited about the future at our church.  As always, a particular joy for us was attending our church’s Christmas service this year.  We were so blessed that our friends Rose and Al came along for the ride!

 

joy #95

Our Friend family.  Many of our friends have made up my 100 joy list, but there are so many that I didn’t include that are also joys and delights!

 

joy #96

Our family-family.  Everyone, at the time of this writing, is healthy and happy and safe.  It has been more than three years since my dad had his stroke and he is approved for driving, bike riding and general getting-into-troubleness.  All of our parents are up to their usual antics and getting excited to welcome the twins into the family.  My sibs are up to their usual antics, as are Frank’s sibs.  It was such a joy to spend time with our families this year and we are looking forward to more time together next year.  Not only is it a great joy, but a huge blessing.

 

joys #97 & 98

When we had a positive pregnancy test for the second time this year, we were ecstatic and when we found out we were having twins, we were over the moon!  This pregnancy, and everything about it (nausea, food aversions, heart burn, back pain – you name it!) has been a joy.  We are hopeful that our babies will stay put until late March 2011 and we plan to enjoy the next 88 days as we prepare to welcome them into the world.

 

joy #99

Aw, c’mon, y’all knew that Frank would be one of my top 10 joys, right?  Stop gagging for a minute and bear with me.  For as much as we’ve been through together – infertility treatments, family health issues, job changes, etc, being with Frank has made all of it a joy.  He is my absolute best friend and most favorite person.  While I treasure all of the stuff he does for me, I am most blessed by just spending time with him.  He is just a fantastic person.

 

joy #100

Jesus.

This year there were many times when I wondered, “WHY do I have to go through this?  WHAT am I supposed to learn?”

There was a song we sang at church where the refrain was “God is good all the time.”  It’s so easy to believe that God is good when things are easy.  It’s so easy to believe that God is loving when things are going your way.  But a lot of times, life doesn’t go my way.  This year, we experienced a lot of heartache, too.  There were times when my heart was just broken.  I would look at the mess I was in emotionally and wonder, “How am I going to piece this disaster back together??”  And sometimes it seemed like there was no winning.  But God has consistently shown Frank and I over the course of our lives that He is always good, sometimes especially when we don’t get what we want.  Frank and I can both cite example after example of God blessing us by closing doors that we desperately wished were open.

God’s love and patience with us as we struggled at times this year was almost palpable this year.  Without these struggles, we wouldn’t have stopped to pay attention to what God was doing.  We would have happily continued onward – and I am not sure that would’ve been the best course of action for us.

So my hope for the new year, and for you all, is that when we encounter new struggles and when hope seems lost, that we would remember that we have a loving Father in Heaven that only gives us good gifts.  And like all parents, sometimes the things that are good for children (vegetables, for one…) are not always what we want.

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