looking back

 

I was hoping that before the year ended I would come up with some really good blog to write about, but as the days pasted nothing came to inspire me to write.  Don’t get me wrong.  This was the first time in a long time I felt ok at Christmas and New Year.  I felt calm and normal for the most part.  I had one day, more like a few hours, I was depressed, but it pasted very quickly.

I read posts and seen all kinds of pictures from family, friends and customers, and it only seemed right that I too post something.  It just didn’t happen.  There was nothing exciting or depressing going on in our lives.  The past two weeks have been kind of a slow moving, calm, and somewhat peaceful kind of flow.  And for us, that is a good thing!

At dinner last night we started talking about the past and my son asked if we could look at the “dream” books when we got home and see what all we had accomplished and what we had written over the years.  By the time we returned home I had forgotten to check.

Tonight however I decided to pull out my books of Dreams (ie. Dreams and sometimes check lists).  I was surprised to see I had actually started writing/lists in 2008 and then after reading the “Dream Manager” by Matthew Kelly in 2010, turned those lists into “Dreams”.  I started crossing out all the things we had accomplished and I began to read some of what I wrote.

12/22/2008 “Happiness is the consequence of personal effect” – boy isn’t that the truth.

12/24/2008 “Jealous my sister-in-law’s husband is throwing her a surprise birthday party, something I know in this life time I will never get” – jealousy still rears its ugly head every now and then.

12/25/2008 “Slept off my green envy jealousy and feeling a little better.  John and the boys opened their presents and seemed happy.  I wish I could have done more.  I know John thinks I am upset with him, but I am not.  He has blessed me in so many other ways.  He has been my gift every year for Christmas” – This is so true!  Even today; my husband John and my boys are the best Christmas gift I could and will ever receive in this life time.

On June 6th 2010 I turned those lists into dreams and began to write them down.  I soon started to listening to the boys and John and write down theirs too.  My husband’s dreams were always something simple, like fishing and loving his wife.  Every now and again he would throw out owning a new truck or fishing boat someday.

If loving is his only accomplishment in life, he should win the noble peace prize because he has loved me and his boys like no other.  I might sound a little bias, but coming from someone who is incredible hard to love, he has loved me the best.

In 2013 my oldest son Johnny set out to fix up the old truck.  Johnny is a lot like his Dad.  He doesn’t need a complicated list or detail his dreams to feel accomplished and yet he has kept his pace.  Johnny graduated high school and was still determined to fix up that truck.  It was something sentimental to his father and him.  I wanted to move on, get rid of the truck.  My son however wanted to keep it.  He told me once, “Mom it has meaning, it was something that was the beginning of you and dad”.

My husband John purchased the truck two months after we met and moved in together. Four months later we were pregnant with Johnny.  John must have known we would be together way before I did.  That truck has been in our life for 20 years now and I guess in some way, for Johnny, the truck symbolizes not only our love and commitment to one another, but it also symbolizes him.

Johnny and John worked with a friend and put a new engine and transmission in the truck.  Again something I was against.  I have always said to my kids, “I don’t want to be right.  Prove me wrong”.  They did.  Together they worked on the project and grew closer.  I couldn’t ask for a better accomplishment.

For Joey the dreams that stick out the most are in 2010.  He had written down many dreams, but the two that struck me the most tonight were #1 – Weight and #10 – Friends.

Joey is a junior and has worked hard to drop his weight and get in shape.  He has done it!  Not only are we proud of him, but so are his doctors.  I only wish I had his drive, determination, and commitment when it comes to my weight that he does.

#10 touches my heart the most -“Friends”.  Joey struggled for years to connect with good friends.  Since he started high school he had finally landed on solid ground.  He is in great shape mentally and physically and has four of the best friends he could ever ask for.  In 2010 he was only dreaming of having one good friend.  Now he has four.  I am so incredibly happy for him.  When he smiles his dimples just melt my heart and he smiles a lot these days.

As for me, well, I did things I never thought I would ever do in my life time.  Travelled to Ireland and Mexico, graduated from college, swam with dolphins and started my own business.

On February 18, 2012 I started my new “Dream” book for that year.  On the first page I wrote the verse Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”

There is no doubt God did his work in me over the past couple of years and I pray every night he continues.  I did my best to stop suffering and I started living.  I got through the tough years and we grew as a family.  I learned about resilience, walking in the lives of others, and giving back in any way I can.  Most of all I learned that loving with all my heart is what God wants me to do. It’s not always easy, but I am going to keep trying.

Looking back brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.  2014 was fun and went by way to fast. It felt normal.  It had a lot less drama.  All good things, I know, but sometimes normal scares me because I think suffering is around the corner.  I sure hope not.  I am praying for…………………………………………. Well I am not sure.  I think I will just leave it all in God’s hands because it’s only January 4th,2015 and already feels different; different good.

Luv, Luv,

Julie