Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Kingdom of Love Waiting to be Reclaimed: 2014 Year in Review

Now pray for yourself and that you may not fall
When the hour of deliverance comes on us all
When our hope and faith and courage and trust
Can rise or vanish like dust into dust
Now there's a kingdom of love waiting to be reclaimed
I am the hunter of invisible game

Our January started off a little rough. Peyton left to find our new home in the city on the last day of December, Graves was diagnosed with a bout of bronchitis, and I started really intensely packing. I dealt with toilet issues on my own (or actually with a very supportive tribe rallying around me) and Peyton found us an apartment (though not the one I was set on)! We got our moving cubes loaded, got a cavity in Annie's mouth filled and made a spontaneous trip to visit Granny, who was in the hospital because she broke her hip. An on the very last day of the month, we moved to New York City.

February was our first month in our new home. We got a huge snow the first week here and, though it took longer than expected, our moving cubes were delivered and we were able to set up house. We took our first trip into Manhattan to see the ballet and near the end of the month I had my first of several big homesick struggles.

March brought our first trip Central Park and I attempted transit by myself and then with the kids (which turned out to be a VERY eventful first experience). I also shared shared my goals for the year.

April started out with sweet Annie turning five. We started volunteering with an amazing ministry in the South Bronx and I attended a truly life changing conference in the city. My baby boy turned three and I finally felt Spring. We took Graves to the Russian barber and I got my nose pierced. We celebrated Easter with both of our precious church families and we also had a really frightening experience where Annie almost got hit by a car in front of a parking garage.

May was an amazing month. Spring finally came to Brooklyn and we visited the Botanic Gardens and we took our first ferry ride. Also, an incredible friend who was visiting from Mississippi took care of the kids so Peyton and I could go grab lunch together, Carrie and Ashley came up to the city and we had such a wonderful visit (which was just what I needed), and then I got to share our beloved new home with my best friend of fifteen years and his precious wife.

We experienced the joy of playground sprinklers all over the city in June and the kids and I spent every afternoon for a week in Manhattan at Calvary-Saint George's Creative Arts Camp. We also had a blast seeing friends and eating Southern food at the Mississippi picnic in Central Park.

In July, we celebrated the Fourth with friends in the city and took our first trip to Coney Island. Our precious babysitter from home came to visit for a week and we loved getting to show her around!

We took a trip out to Govenors Island, found some epic playgrounds at Brooklyn Bridge Park, and enjoyed our street's block party in August. The highlight of the month, though, was a visit from Minnie. Sadly, Peyton also hurt his back.


September meant the start of Fall activities- basically dance classes for both kids and the addition of Annie's math curriculum to our Kindergarten homeschool routine which I had gradually integrated into our days during the Summer, but was otherwise low-key. We also made a visit to a rooftop farm in Queens!

October was a big month. I did a lot of processing and we traveled back to Misssissippi. We were blessed to join Cookie and Conrad for their big day and we had loads of fun in our original home. We sent Peyton back to the city (somebody's gotta pay the bills) and the kids and I had another great week in the Magnolia State. I attended my highschool reunion and had such a absurdly fantastic time. We made it back to Brooklyn just in time for a incredibly fun and magical Halloween. 

In November, I shared my thankfuls. We had houseguests and we had a special Thanksgiving celebration together and saw the Macy's parade balloons get blown up the night before the parade. I also really struggled with intense homesickness for probably the third time.

December was purely amazing, though. We had some really special, worshipful experiences at both our churches, we attended more special celebrations at church in addition to the regular services, and we participated in a protest against over-policing, which is something I'll never forget. We went to a holiday train exhibit at Grand Central and we visited the tree at Rockefeller Center. We celebrated Christmas Eve at a party with friends and by attending (and serving at) the eleven o'clock service at Calvary-Saint George's. We spent Christmas day just the four of us, very happy and thankful. We finished off the year with all four of us sick. It was VERY reminiscent of the previous year, but I was so thankful we were all together and that we had all four learned to call Brooklyn, New York "home" in 2014.

2014 was such a year of growth for me individually and for our family as a whole. There were some challenging parts and I did things I never dreamed I could do. But somehow, I sort of knew going into the move that there was "a kingdom of love waiting to be reclaimed". I wasn't prepared for the depth of it, though. In my biggest and brightest dreams, I couldn't have prepared my heart for the way it would love this city. I learned to love it scared, but I learned to love it fast. And I wasn't prepared for the way I learned to love my people better this year. My relationship with the children has certainly grown and strengthened, but more with Peyton, I feel like our love has been made inexplicably stronger. It was a year full of some much joy and I am grateful for it.

I am also anxious and excited for the adventures that are awaiting in Mississippi. I know, there too, are kingdoms of love waiting to be reclaimed.

2009 Year in Review
2010 Year in Review
2011 Year in Review
2012 Year in Review 
2013 Year in Review

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