If you are a follower of this blog, you may have noticed that it got off to a good start, then took a nosedive in the second half of 2014! There were many times that I thought about sharing ‘life stuff’ with you in explanation of this, but didn’t really want to publicize at the time.
You see, I had big plans for last year… I was going to start a blog, increase profit, help more people finish their quilts, hire and train an apprentice, advertise in a national magazine, etc. I even thought about sharing with you all as I tackled my unfinished quilts! All of them!
I’m not sure why I had all these lofty ideas of what I could do with my time…must have been DENIAL!!
The truth is, that last January, I knew that I would be embarking on a new role for the second half of the year: single mother.
In late June, after hosting 100 of our friends to say farewell…my kids and I said “see you soon” to my newly activated normally reservist husband.
It was the culmination of many months of “preparing” for a deployment to Afghanistan. We had made the decision the previous year, that Cliff would join a group of airmen from his base to contribute to Operation Enduring Freedom. As a former active duty member, and long time reservist, we both felt it was our turn to serve in this way. We were sad to see him go, but happy to serve our great nation.
What I didn’t know at that time was that I would then enter survival mode. Summers have traditionally been a bit of a juggling act, with 3 active kids at home and quilts needing to be attended to. I normally adjust my hours so that I can get some solid quilting time in the wee hours of the morning, and also spend time with the kids while they are off. Then in the evenings, my husband and I would work together to get dinner made and cleaned up as well as carting the kids to soccer games, or whatever else was going on. Suddenly, we had 2 kids on travel soccer teams, and 1 taxi! This wasn’t plain old juggling…this was juggling cats! Needless to say…we ate more than one meal in the minivan!
As summer faded into fall…and we signed up for all of our usual activities, more soccer, dance (for both girls), piano lessons, robotics, chorus, drama club,a bowling league, bible quizzing, youth group etc. I realized it truly does “take a village”. Although I won’t say I didn’t complain, or get a little bit stressed at times, I will say how truly blessed we were to have our little village. Our family, church family, and community surrounded us with love, and all the support I needed. Between meals, and rides for the kids, helping hands, a getaway at a cottage for respite from life, we were well loved indeed. We also had the opportunity to do some traveling and visit some wonderful friends, who also gave me some respite.
I’m happy to say, that the deployment ended in December. Cliff came home. We celebrated.
“Survival Mode” is over. I am no longer in the frame mind that allows only the necessities to be completed. I can now have lunch with a friend, go for a run, or write a blog post, without feeling like I’m neglecting something or someone. We are settling into a routine. I have learned SO much through these past few months.
Looking back, I did more than survive 2014. The relationships between myself and each of my kids is richer and deeper as a result of having leaned on each other. The bond between myself and my husband is stronger (and I think we appreciate each other a bit more!) One of our Bible Quizzing quote verses is Romans 8:28, a verse that I am witnessing in my own life today.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I did achieve some of those 2014 goals I mentioned. I started a blog. I did hire a wonderful apprentice, who is doing a fabulous job! I also increased profits…a little, and helped a few more people finish up those quilts. I gave a lot of thought to my unfinished quilts (I know, thinking about them doesn’t accomplish anything!) and I SURVIVED!
I’m hoping to spend more time blogging in 2015. I have found that I enjoy sharing my thoughts from behind the quilting machine, and I hope you will enjoy reading them.
I’m looking forward to finishing up the “8 things” series quickly so I can share with you what else is up my sleeve for 2015!