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Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Barkers!

Well, another year has almost come to an end, and WOW what a year! I can honestly say that this year has been one of my top 3 most challenging years of my entire life and yet God has revealed Himself to me more obviously this year than any other year. I am amazed. And humbled. And in awe. And humbled. Did I mention humbled? I am apparently enrolled in The Humility University in a never ending pursuit of a degree in lowering one's pride that I seem to never be any closer to earning. However, this year, God has made an impact in my life, my marriage, my family...and I am so grateful!
Have you ever noticed that when you can see faults so clearly in others that its the very thing that God is nudging you to evaluate in yourself? I seem to be oblivious anytime God supposedly "nudges" me. So instead, He just smacks me in the head with my life lessons. But hey, I am glad He takes the time to teach lame ol' me lessons in how to be more like Him because I still fall so short.
And so all that being said, WHAT A YEAR! Praise the Lord for His mercy!
Among other things, God has strengthened my marriage to a level I never imagined! God has blessed my life and home with 3 of the most precious children who color my life daily with their distinct personalities and craziness! Our church finally after almost 12 years has moved into our very own church building! Our "new" home finally feels like HOME and I love being here more than any other place in the world. Gary and I celebrated our 7th anniversary this past October, and Gary surprised me with a romantic trip to Miami for the two of us. On the traveling front, we skied in West Virginia, vacationed in Cancun with Gary's company and on a cruise to the Caribbean with my company, went on an AMAZING family trip to Disneyworld in October and several other fun adventures. My precious (and first!) niece Lucy Kate was born in February and my sister announced she was pregnant with my 2nd nephew due this next February. My sister Melanie got engaged, my brother and sister-in-law got their very first house, my dad took a part-time job with our church, my brother graduated with his doctorate and is now a pharmacist and so many other changes along the way. My amazing Opa passed away just months ago and my heart is still so sad that he is no longer with us, but his strong legacy will last and last!
So I guess that wraps it all up and yet doesn't even wrap it up a little! But here's to 2011, whom I'm not sad to see go in so many ways, but was a year in which I learned much and grew lots. Thank you Lord for this year!