I don’t know about you, but I usually get excited about the New Year. It’s invigorating to reflect on the past and envision the future. Taking stock leads me to feel hopeful and pumped for possibilities and enthusiastic for change. Let’s DO this, 2020! 

Then life happens. This year, a reality check arrived immediately. After Christmas, we went on vacation and during our road trip, a freeway closed so a 7 hour ride turned into a 13 hour trek. Upon arrival, our youngest daughter became extremely sick so we had to navigate health care insurance to get her seen and treated for severe asthma that she hasn’t had in years. This included many wheezing for breath moments and hours of waiting in the doctor’s office and pharmacy for the upgraded medications.

A few days later, our older daughter became sick too. After one week of caregiving, we ended up getting home with both girls still recovering. A few days later, my husband and I both got sick–twice. We are still battling our second round. He finished antibiotics and I’m on my course. In fact, I had a relapse the evening of my 48th birthday and was in bed with a 104 degree fever–something that has not happened in years. 

All this to say, our vision of what will happen in the future is often very different than what actually happens. Our goals suddenly seem lofty or definitely not a priority when getting through the day is the biggest win. 

Having kids has been a continual process of “resetting expectations” for me and my marriage. Javier and I have big plans and big ideas and then our lives as parents often get in the way. That’s not true–we love our family–but we often underestimate the challenges that life bring our way when you take on responsibility for two other human beings.

This also has become a test of faith. Lifting up all those messy moments of “Well, that didn’t go very well!” to “I give this to you, Lord.” My husband says that I’m the most stubborn person he knows and I don’t doubt him so this is an extremely, tall order for me. But, when life happens and runs counter to my will, I’m forced to let Him steer because I truly have no clue what is going on. 

So that’s my 2020 so far! I try to “keep it real” in my life, tell the truth and see things clearly–for what. I cannot hide my disappointment that our road trip was a nightmare, our vacation was hijacked by illness and my birthday was quickly forgotten in feverish paralysis. But the good still outweighs the bad. 

We learned that taking frequent stops on the road is more fun. That sometimes illness brings forced down time and vacation is an opportunity to let go and heal. And, birthdays are to be celebrated but what’s most important is being together as a family and loving one another every day–thankful to be alive. 

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