December 16, 2017

A Year in Review

It’s hard to believe that another year has passed. Time flies, but as always, God has been very good. At the start of the year, my mom and I decided to keep a “blessings jar”, and fill it with all the wonderful things God has done for us, and for our family and friends. As we reflected on some of those things today, we were reminded of all the times God was there to guide, comfort, and provide for us. I’m so grateful that we had an abundance of good reports, especially towards the end of this year. We can say good-bye to 2017, and hello to 2018 with a thankful attitude.

In January, I was living with Ben and his parents which made it a 2 and a half hour drive to school each week. Seeing that I don’t have my own vehicle, I was fortunate enough to have my parents pick me up and take me to school on most weekends. Also, I had met some wonderful friends in my class who had offered to drive me part of the way home too, which saved my parents over an hour of driving there and back. On January 20th, I remember posting on Facebook if there was anyone who was driving towards my home that I could get a ride with. My Pastor’s wife Jackie had sent a message saying I could ask  my Pastor if he was passing through the area, since he was already near by. I had called him and asked if that would be okay, and he happily said yes! We had a wonderful car ride home, and talked about so many different things. He told me some stories of how God has worked in his life, and his 2 sons and grandson’s lives. He always has great stories of God’s miraculous works, as well as His healing and providence. I was very blessed to for our time together. Another blessing in January was when I had to get a police check before starting at the nursing home for my clinical placement. I had received an e-mail from my school saying that I was unable to attend clinical the next day because my police check was expired. I was very upset at this, and became very stressed out about losing on the clinical hours. I spoke with Ben’s mom about it on the phone, and she said that she would pray for me. The next morning, I learned that clincial placement had been cancelled due to bad weather conditions. This gave me extra time to get my police check in order to attend clinical the following week. Praising the Lord for hearing our prayers, concerns, and meeting our needs.

During the month of February, I had written several notes concerning the times where I felt blessed. On February 3rd I had noted that I had a “great conversation with Pastor Tim on the phone. He said that I was the apple of God’s eye, and that the enemy can roar but has no teeth.” This reminded me of all the times where I felt inadequate and unworthy, but those feelings are only when satan whispers lies. At the end of the day, what the Lord thinks and says about us is what counts. On February 4th, I had written  note saying “Today I woe up and felt so happy, I wanted to sing songs so I went to the back room and sang and watch the sun rise, it was beautiful and I called Ben in to watch it with me. I felt really inspired to make french toast for the family and had no issues eating it. Praise God <3”

I had my reading week in March, where my mom and I went dress shopping for me to wear at her wedding. On our way home, we had passed a vehicle that was very smashed up and my mom said “That looks like Ben’s moms car.” We didn’t make any assumptions that it would be her, because we had just seen her before we went dress-shopping. We called Ben to let him know there was an accident on our road incase he planned to go out, and he said “Yes, I know, it’s mom.” My mom and I immediately turned the car around, and I began to pray that Ben’s mom would be okay”. As we approached the scene of the accident, there were paramedics and firefighters helping his mom out of the vehicle and cleaning off the road. She was taken to the emergency room, and found out she had fractured the bones of her ankles and feet. We were thankful that her injuries weren’t to serious, but her car was completely totalled.

In April I received a phone call from a nursing home I applied to, asking if I would like to come for an interview. I was so thrilled at this because I really wanted to gain experience working with the elderly. I did end up going for my interview, but I was hesitant on waning the job because they explained how short-staffed they were and would need me to work every day for a minimum of 8 hours, and I would be on-call. I prayed about it a lot because I wasn’t sure if it was the job for me, and it was not too long after that I received a phone call from a couple from my church asking if I’d like to work for them. The reason was because Mike was going for knee surgery, and would benefit from having someone extra help him and his wife Sue to clean. I was really eager to start working with them because I love them, and because the hours would be much more flexible.

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We finished our first year of nursing school!

During the month of May I was thankful I took the job with Mike and Sue because I was taught new skills about cleaning, had great conversations with them both, and was blessed by their cooking and baking skills (they used to own a restaurant, so you can imagine their cooking is divine). Also, I had the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and sing in front of a room full of complete strangers a song I was rehearsing at singing lessons. I sang “I’m Yours by Lauren Diagle” and received really nice feedback from the audience about the song choice! I hope that the lyrics to the song was able to speak to someone, as the some of lyrics talked about “those who will kneel, will walk away healed”. Another blessing was that Ben’s sister Leanne had called and said her church was looking to hire people for their kid’s summer day camp. I have always wanted to work at a day camp in the summer time because I’ve never had the opportunity to go to camp, and I love kids!

On June 2nd, Ben’s dad went to be with the Lord. It was a huge shock to our family because he was doing well until a few days before he had passed. His symptoms included nausea and vomiting, but we just assumed he had the stomach flu. It was hard to say good-bye because his dad was such a wonderful man. He was always joyful, pleasant, and hard-working. He was up every morning to take care of the barn chores, and would work late cleaning off the eggs to deliver to people. I would enjoy going around from place to place delivering eggs with him, and stopping for tea and donut. It was about 2-weeks prior to him passing that we had gone to Tim Hortons after delivering eggs, and he told me a lot of stories about himself and how he would work long hours. It was interesting to hear some of his experiences milking cows, driving truck, and sometimes running on only 2-hours of sleep! He was never one to complain, and always rejoiced in his work.

July & August were sort of hard on our family, because we were adjusting to living on the farm without Ben’s dad. We sort of took for granted all the things he would do around the farm, including collecting 200 eggs everyday and cleaning them off. I took on the job of collecting and cleaning the eggs and putting them in cartons. It was very humbling because it was such a time-consuming job, and yet somehow he managed to do it very carefully and skillfully every-single-day.  It was in July where I had started my new job at the Kid’s Day Camp and met some really great people. I came out of my comfort zone during this job because I had to act foolish in front of other adults in order to entertain the kiddo’s. It was so fun being able to be a group-leader for a group of 7 hyper little boys. I found that the boys needed less-entertainment because they were able to come up with their own fun things to do, like play fight. I had to keep reminded them to keep their hands to theirselves, but they were often very quick to listen. There was one little boy who wasn’t as interested in playing with the other boys, but would always want to tell me stories and ask questions. Each week, we went on a field trip to either African Lion Safari, Sky-zone, The Children’s Museum, and Story Book Gardens. I also had to sing silly-camp songs every day to the kids. If anyone knows the “popcorn song”, that’s what you’d hear me singing on the stage every Wednesday.

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Kid’s Day Camp Staff

I headed back for school in September, and continued to see God’s faithfulness during the fall and winter months.

September, my mom and Ben got hitched! It was a beautiful ceremony, my Pastor had sang my mom down the aisle “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and it gives me goose bumps every time I watch the video.

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My two cousins holding a sign “Uncle Ben, here comes your bride”

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Momma and Me.

In October, my school went on strike for 5-weeks. Although it seemed like disruption to our school year, I was blessed to have been able to spend time with friends and family and learn new things around the house.  I was able to visit with some of friends from Kitchener and each time I did, it included great conversations and blessings. My friend Krystal had come to visit me twice in her new truck, and we had a wonderful time together.

Returning back to school was great, and we had several take-home tests which I believe boosted my mark because we were able to use our notes, and work together with classmates. I have never seen my marks be this high in my entire life, but praise God that I’m getting good marks and becoming one-step closer to received my license to practice as a nurse.

In November, I had my birthday where I was blessed to have spent it with my friend Cassie. She bought me a new sign that says “Don’t tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is”. It was quite awesome actually, because I had given her a sign quoting a verse from the bible too. We had no idea that each of us were planning to give each other signs, but it was incredible to see how God planned that out.

God’s been very, very good to us in the last year. And although it involved some tests and trials for my family and I, I feel more matured in my relationship with God because of these hard times. It is during these valley experience where we experience the gracious, loving, and merciful hand of God. Our mountain-top experiences don’t allow us to grow as much as we do in the hard times.

I’m thankful for Jesus’ love, for His free gift of salvation, for blessing my family with a new place to call home (which includes the farm we’ve prayed for, for many years) and all that He’s done for the people in my life.

I look forward to the upcoming year, as it is full of uncertainties and surprises that I’m certain God will be orchestrating and being very present in.

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my blogs, I know I have the tendency to ramble or switch topics but I just love being able to share the love of God and how He helps us through the good times, and through some of the hardest times of our lives. I pray that God would work in your lives too, and that through your tests & trails, you would become closernot further, away-from being in relationship with the Lord.

Blessings to you!

Sara

 

 

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