It was tough, but through it all, we saw God's blessings. We have seen spiritual growth not only in my and Wendy's life, but also in our children's. Team Asbell bonded even closer as we tackled the clean up from the fire and began the process of restoring our lives. Blessings poured out upon us as we handled the insurance claim and reached out to help others. Friendships were strengthened. Wendy and I have grown even closer to one another. The trials and blessings were beautifully mixed.
Yesterday, Wendy and I got a rare chance to sleep late. Together we went out to a late brunch and had a nice, uninterrupted time talking. Later at home, we enjoyed watching our children play with their new Christmas toys. Then they took turns racing down the zip line I installed. We had a bonfire and cook out followed by some game time indoors after it became too chilly outside. Our home was filled with activity and delight.
Last night, we rang in the 2012 with a lot of laughter and playfulness followed by prayers and rejoicing for all we experienced in 2011. In the last few seconds of the year due to a mix up in instructions, we were running to grab the grape juice someone stuck in the freezer. As we raced the clock together to serve sparkling grape "slushy" to everyone, we laughed at ourselves! It was a hilarious moment and a perfect end to a challenging year. Today, after worship and a trip down memory lane, we spent the day focusing on what is good in our life. Our day has been filled with thanksgiving, rejoicing, and lots of love and laughter. It's already a better year!