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Grateful January 1st

goodbye 2010...
Alright, I've never been so happy to see a year be over.  Never.  And, I won't be making any grandiose resolutions for the coming year, either.  With the luck I've been having, I'd better just stick to makin' it through each day without a major meltdown.

I'm grateful that the LORD gave me breath each day, that I had food to eat and a soft place to lay my head each night. 

This year was pretty eventful, if nothing else.  My 45th year of life has been a roller coaster ride from...well, you know where.

I'm grateful for faithful friends, especially my bestie Lisa.  She has been steadfast in her loyalty, love and acceptance through it all.  I will never be able to express my gratitude for the friends, the true treasures, that the LORD has given me.

2010 continued where 2009 left off caring for a dear friend who was suffering from colon cancer.  My sweet friend Rose left us in July.  I miss her still.

I'm grateful and honored that I was able to be by her side until the very end, fulfilling the promise I made to her.  Thank you, LORD, for making that happen, for if it weren't for your presence and strength, I would not have been able to make it.

2010 included the unexpected passing of my beloved mother, as well as the mother of a friend, both in the month of September. It is also the year that I lost friends I thought were so very important and gained loyal friends I never knew I had. 

I will be ever-grateful for my Mother.  She was my protector, nurse, best friend, confidante, mentor, teacher, helper and main hand-holder for my almost 46 years.  She truly gave me the wings of independence to choose my own way and the roots to keep me grounded.  She was and always will be my inspiration.  I thank the LORD for giving me the time with my sweet and special Mom.

2010 was the year that I left and lost the congregation where I invested so much of myself.  Not sure I'll ever get over that one.

I'm so grateful for the time and experience I had the privilege of having, of living the 'dream' of community, as close as I've ever seen it.  I'm grateful for the many memories, friendships, laughter and tears...the lifestyle that I enjoyed for eight years.  So many don't even get to taste it, and I am so very grateful.

A high point for 2010 was another month-long cross-country road trip.  Almost 9,000 miles of highways, hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions.  Yeah, definitely the bright spot of the year.  We, Lisa and I, also got to travel to Idaho to visit her wonderful mother - so grateful we got to do that.

I am so grateful that I have had incredible opportunities to travel with my children, Lisa and Jacob.  I would have not changed a thing in any of our time on the road.  What a gift of time and exploration - I am grateful beyond words.

2010 was the year that my dear hubby came down with Shingles.  Painful things, those are.

I'm thankful beyond words for my husband of 18 years.  He is smart, witty and handsome.  He is a wonderful provider, a loving father and loyal partner.  I thank the LORD for him and all the years we have had together.

Living with two teens and a 'tween in 2010 has been a challenge, to say the least.  Can anyone say raging hormones?  (Not to mention my bestie going through pre-menopause...I've got them on all sides!)  Just tryin' to be supportive to them all, really.

I'm grateful and honored to have my beautiful, intelligent and caring children in my life - truly a gift from HaShem.  I thank the LORD for walking me though all the stages of their lives up to this point; I am truly blessed beyond words.

The year 2010 ushered in unbelievable accusations and blasting of my writing here on the blog - not fun.  Yep, pretty much all year.  2010 was the year that showed me exactly what it feels like to be judged unfairly and have your character maligned beyond what I thought was possible.

I'm grateful that the LORD is and has been with me through all the difficult times.  He has provided friends, loved ones, music, Scripture and even strangers to give me strength and perseverance to withstand the attacks of the enemy.   I could not have have walked through any of it if it wasn't for my ever-present help, my Savior.

There is one good thing that has come from such a crappy year.  I have learned how to diligently and honestly devote myself to prayer and fasting.  I can honestly say that it has been the only way to make it through some terrible days, days where no one could truly comfort me.

I thank the LORD for teaching me and not forsaking me.  I praise Him for giving me wisdom when I ask for it, for strength when I needed it, for the words to say when I had none and for the comfort when I was barely able to hold up my head.

And now, looking forward to 2011, this is the part of the post where I should start looking up, optimistically and cautiously excited for what next year holds.  Honestly, after such a time of trial, it's hard for this realist to be optimistic.  But, I do have an exciting new ministry opportunity, so we will have to see what the LORD has in store.  I have had the unexpected pleasure of singing with a dear, dear friend, so that will continue into 2011.  Other than that, there are no plans for 2011 other than homeschooling, keeping our heads above water in suburban America and trying to figure out how to keep the Torah festivals without a community.  Guess I have more to learn about leaning on the LORD, eh?

I want to wish all my devoted readers a happy, happy new year and all the blessings the LORD can bestow.
~Hendel

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