In December we lost our precious girl, Jubilee Belle. I miss her often and though I don't cry as often and it is easier to remember that she is with Jesus and doing better than I am, it's still difficult every once in a while. I see Zoe playing with her baby doll constantly and can't help but think, she should be playing with a real live baby instead. However, God saw fit that Jubilee join Him instead and we rest in that.
We've been able to use Jubilee's death as a witness many times in the last year. Sometimes with family, sometimes with friends, and most often with the boys. I've been able to talk to the boys about the importance of staying strong when they want to collapse and doing what they need to do even when it's hard sometimes. I've stressed that the best way they can care for someone who is hurt back home is to work on getting their life in order while they are here. Ironically, my emotions have sometimes taught our youth to be empathetic. They will often ask what is wrong if I'm on the verge of tears. Not that I do it often but when I do it is good to see they are learning empathy.
It took a few months, but we found out in June that we are expecting again, and what a blessing that is! I'm so looking forward to baby #3. My biggest struggle is not to worry about the birth. I'm trying to just trust that Jesus will provide the strength I need to trust Him despite my temptation to doubt. Things are going well so far with this pregnancy for which I'm very thankful. I can't wait to meet our little one this March! It's hard to believe that I've been pregnant 3 times in 3 years. I'm so thankful for the opportunity.
We moved yet again this year, another amazing opportunity! We are working for a new Director who is a much better fit for us. Instead of 8 boys, we now raise 10 and they are WAY more immature because they are the younger kids. They want to do things with us though and that is a blessing. Unfortunately the program is run so tightly that it's hard to do a lot of the fun things we would like to do with them. We have to conduct three one-hour groups a week plus all of our normal stuff, it cuts out a lot of the time we would have for playing games and doing projects.
My husband had a "definitely-not-30-party". I'm so blessed by having my husband. He treats me so well and I'm very thankful he's willing to clean. Haha it's probably my least favorite thing ever but I've been much better about it. He's been very supportive through all of the rough times this year. In fact, he's supported me in starting my own business.
I've been wanting to be a Compassionate Entrepreneur with Trades of Hope since Zoe was born. We never had the funds to do so and so when an opportunity presented itself, I'm so glad we were able to say, "YES!" The heart of this organization is what always kept it in my mind. The fact that they are changing one of their taglines from "Shop. Host. Join" to "Join. Host. Shop" says a lot about the mission of TOH. My trainer told me that we have many more groups coming to TOH saying that they have heard of how much TOH has helped others that they are hoping to sell their goods with TOH also. Unfortunately, with less than 1,000 CE's nationwide, TOH has had to turn down some of these groups. So I'm so thankful to be working with a company that wants to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus.
Those are the biggest changes we've experienced this year. We pray that Jesus keeps working to keep our hearts turned toward Him and helping us to trust Him every step of the way.
I leave you with a cute video of our precious girl. (Well, I suppose I should leave the "cute" adjective out, that's for you to decide.)