Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Well, friends, Christmas has once again come and gone. And as I look at the mess around me, I am reminded of all of our Lord's many blessings on this family. 2011 has been a significant year in the life of my little family, one that we will never forget. The new year brought with it hope. Hope for a bright future and a joyful reunion with Cole, who had been deployed since April 2010. He came home in April 2011, and I thought that finally, our lives would settle down and we could be "normal" for a bit. Boy, how wrong was I!!! HA! We decided to put our home on the market that summer, and about the same time we started to investigate why Ava was not developing typically. There were many things going on with Cole's civilian job as well, and he was gone even more than usual. Needless to say, this past summer was a whirlwind! Fall came, and with the changing of the leaves also came a changing of seasons, of sorts, in our family. Each challenge our family met was followed almost immediately by a blessing of some sort. On the heals of Ava's diagnosis, literally, within a matter of two weeks, came word that Cole would have a new job. One that would not only allow him to be home full time, but is also his "dream aviation job" and one that he has talked about from the first time I met him. What a blessing that was! God is so good!

I began thinking about my 2012 Resolutions around Thanksgiving. So much was happening at that time- both uplifting and heart wrenching, that I started making decisions about things in my life. Some personal, some pertaining to relationships, and some that are continuing resolutions.

On my list, you will not find the typical "loose weight, eat better, ect." resolutions because, honestly, that is not where my focus is right now. I would love to drop a few pounds and learn to love all things green and leafy. BUT realistically, I have more important things in my life to worry with at this moment. Maybe next year! ;)

So here are my New Years Resolutions for 2012:

*Continue to strive to place my relationship with the Lord, my relationship with my husband, and my priority on my child first and foremost. In that order. Everyone else, although I love some of them dearly, are really just peripheral.

*I want to continue to weed out the negative, manipulative, and hateful people in my life. Regardless of how I know them. I have no room for them in this new life as a special needs mother, and my daughter certainly doesn't need them. I will not allow it. I am done with those toxic people.

*I want to continue to and do a better job of advocating for my child and fighting for her to have a better, more fulfilling life and future. There is so much hope for individuals with AS, and I want her to be a part of that!

*I want to do a better job of educating people not just about AS, but about special needs in general. There are so many syndromes and conditions that fall under the "special needs" category, but there are some things that, as I get to know more and more special needs parents, obviously transcend the conditions and effect all of us. Like what to say (and more importantly, what NOT to say) to a parent with a special needs child.

*I want to do a better job of focusing on my marriage. Cole spends so much time at work, and I spend so much of my time caring for Ava or dealing with Ava's doctors/therapists/specialists that it is difficult to make time for each other. And I know that we/I can do a better job of that.

*I want to do a better job of balancing being a gracious person who is willing to answer questions and not be offended, with being someone who stands up to people who say or do hurtful things towards my family and my daughter.

*I want to spend more time reading, not only my Bible, but in general.

*I want to do a better job of evaluating friendships that have lived out their time, and letting go of those. I have always said that I would rather have 3 or 4 amazing, wonderful friends than 300 fair weather friends. Through this diagnosis, I have seen, in the little and big things, who is who. And I need to be willing to accept those realities and let go.

*One sort of practical resolution is that I would like to be a better housekeeper. I have never liked doing chores, although I have gotten much better because I feel better when my house is clean. But I really still hate doing laundry and dishes. I need to be better!!! :)

*I would like to really think and consider my purpose in life. Obviously I am meant to be Ava's mother and advocate. But I feel like I am being called to do something bigger. Something more. And I don't know yet what that might be, but I hope to figure that out in 2012.

I know many people fail at their resolutions because they have no accountability. I remember back when I was a regular gym goer, I used to *loathe* January because it was so packed and the treadmills were always taken. But I knew that if I just waited until February, it would be back to the same ole' dedicated few. And that is how I sort of feel about all resolutions- they will fail unless you have someone to ask you from time to time, "hey, how are you doing?" And that is what I am asking of you. If you think about it, please feel free, from time to time, to hold me accountable to my resolutions. These are not typical resolutions, but honestly, my life is no longer and never will be "typical." In many ways it is harder and more challenging than a typical life. But, it is more wonderful, fulfilling, and amazing in so many other ways.


Leigh Ann said...

I can completely relate to your list. God doesn't call the equipped, but equips the called. I, too, agree that we have a big responsibility. You are amazing and so is Ava!!!

Lauren said...

So well said, Rachel. Thanks for sharing.