Thursday, January 3, 2013

Crazy 2012

Hellllooo 2013!  I don't think I am ready for you quite yet.  I am still reminiscing a bit about this past year.  To say 2012 was CRAZY is a pretty big understatement.  Crazy fun, crazy trips, crazy time away from home, crazy decision-making processes, crazy transitions, crazy new things...  The list goes on.  Here's a look back, in the form of the longest blog post...ever.  

Terry peak 2012 - The best Young Life retreat yet.  So much fun relaxing in a beautiful cabin, in a beautiful area with beautiful friends with BEAUTIFUL hearts.

Florida & Young Life conference - Highlights included hearing from Francis Chan, having the entire Sea World park to ourselves, celebrating my birthday with fireworks at Epcot and a super fun day at Animal Kingdom.

Rapid City - Oh my word.  We stayed in such a beautiful lodge.  LOVED their breakfast.  Mark saw the Bad Lands for the first time!

Extreme Easter - Wowzers.  It WAS extreme.  I bet we put 200 miles on the suburban with this extreme scavengar hunt.

Bible study with the Young Life girls - Oh, how I miss these friends!  So many wonderful conversations about the Lord.  And...a few fun parties together.

Interviews at First Reformed in Sioux Center - God opened a door for Mark to interview for the youth pastor position at First.  The interview process and the committee were extremely loving and gracious, but it was a tricky season in beginning to think about the potential of God calling us to a new community and ministry.

Castaway Assignment - Mark and I spent the entire month of June at Young Life's Castaway Camp in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.  It was a blessing to see Mark used in so many powerful ways, but it was also a hard month of decision-making and seeking the Lord.  We were up to our eyeballs in Young Life, but emotionally, we were having to process the potential of giving it all up and moving away.  So tough.  On the flip side, this was the view from our little deck in the room we stayed at all month.  Beautiful!

Young Life Timberwolf Camp - If I remember right, I think we took about 70 kids from Sioux Falls to Timberwolf Camp in Michigan for a week.  At this point, we knew that God was calling us to Sioux Center, so it was a last hurrah in a lot of ways for Mark and I.  We thoroughly enjoyed the energy of camp, the selflessness of our rock star leaders, and were super blessed to see lots of kids come to know Christ.

House Hunting - Oh my.  We looked at A LOT of homes in Sioux Center.  I had thought house hunting would be fun and exciting - like an episode off of HGTV.  Turns out, house hunting can be filled with number crunching, paper work, a silly game of back and forth in making offers, and some letting go of unrealistic ideals.  Humph.  Praise the Lord for the patience and endurance to get through the stress of this season.  Though we made an offer on a couple of cute places, this little guy was the one God had planned for us to buy.  Everything in this house was white.  White woodwork, white siding, and EVERY single wall in the house was white.  What a blank slate!  We are still in the process of painting and making it feel a little more homey.  It has taken a lot of work, we are loving being home owners.

Baby - The DAY AFTER we found out we got our little white house, we also found out that we were expecting our little (or not so little) Baby DeYounge.  Holy smokes.  To say that I was a little overwhelmed in dealing with the emotional stress of leaving a ministry, moving to a different community, changing churches, buying a home AND becoming a mom is an understatement.  It was a lot to process!  We had been trying to get pregnant for a while, though, so we were very, very grateful for the pregnancy.  We celebrated for a day or two...and then morning (or ALL DAY) sickness hit hard.  I still remember trying to get ready to move, packing a box, running to the toilet, packing another box, running to the toilet again...  The next two months were a blur...

Sioux Center - Somewhere in those blurry two months, we moved to Sioux Center.  Gracious friends and family came to unpack our boxes and get us relatively settled, and my main job became pretty simple - try NOT to puke.  I was a couch potato, an invalid, and depressed lady for what seemed like an eternity.  Little by little, I began to feel better and love being in a small town again.  Though Sioux Center has plenty of quirks, it has such a special place in my heart.  Moving, transition and surrender are tough things in life...yet, at the same time, there is SUCH great joy and peace that comes with knowing that you are in the center of the Lord's will - RIGHT where you are supposed to be...destined to be, even.  Praise the Lord for His guidance!

Dave & Bev Move! - About three weeks after we knew we were transitioning to Sioux Center, Mark's parents announced that THEY, too, were moving to Sioux Center.  They had lived previously in Mountain Lake, Minnesota for twenty-something years, and, through a series of crazy and miraculous events, the Lord opened a door, provided a job in town and moved them to our little town, too!  It's a blessing to have family in town, and we are really looking forward to having a "built-in" babysitter in the area too. :)

2nd Anniversary - We celebrated our second anniversary!  It, too, was somewhat of a blur between lingering morning sickness and exhaustion, but we were able to spend some time away, eat out at some fun places and get some pheasant hunting in for Mark.  Hooray for two years of marriage!  I am a lucky lady.

New Niece and Nephew - The DeYounge side is BOOMING with kids.  Next Christmas, we will have 7 grandchildren all at, or under, the age of 7.  Watch out, folks!  Mark's sister, Sara, and her husband, Jarrod, adopted another little girl from China.  Hannah is a little peanut.  She reminds me of Tinkerbell!!  Mark's brother, Ryan, and his wife, Amanda, just had their second child, Lydia!  She is teeny-tiny and perfect.  Looks like a little doll!  I tried to hog Lydia at Christmas time to practice my baby-holding skills.  

Etsy Shop - My Etsy shop is officially one year old!  I have been pleasantly surprised at how busy the "business" has kept me.  It's been super fun to have an outlet for some creativity, and God has used the shop to provide a little extra "home improvement" cash for us.  Such an enjoyable blessing.  Thanks to all of you that have contributed to this little dream of mine!  

Phew...  That was 2012, folks!  What a busy year!  Praising God for His crazy evident faithfulness to us.

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