When this past year began, we thought it was one of hopeful health and a time to get our feet back under us. When I started off the new year, it was one that was still filled with recovery and rehab, but one filled with excitement and anticipation of what God would do.
God sure has done so much in our lives – just maybe not in the way we anticipated. 2018 has looked vastly different than I could have ever imagined! If you would have told that I would still struggle with heart failure, I would’ve been devastated. This year has been such a roller coaster with my heart, but I know God has a grand purpose and plan for this too. If you would have told that I would publish a book, though always my dream, I would have chuckled. This year has been filled with countless faith-building, life-changing, and humbling moments. And not to mention, plenty of fun too!
~ January started off with cardiac rehab that lasted 10 weeks, but oh was it worth every minute emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually!
~ February the Olympics were my go-to for rest and recovery (I am “slightly” obsessed with them), while we also accomplished many house projects, which helped us get through those long winter weeks.
~ In March we celebrated Mazy’s 3rd birthday and were glued to March Madness!
~ April brought a trip to Wisconsin to visit friends, a weekend away in Canada to visit an old college roommate, and then we got this crazy idea that we would paint our house.
~ May brought a week’s hospital stay for me at the University of Michigan, we finished up the painting of our house, and we opened the pool.
~ In June, we spent a week at the Conference Grounds in Grand Haven, MI, I published and launched my first book, “A Heartbeat of Grace,” which that in and of itself was a whirlwind of an experience, but what a blessing it has been. Along with that, the bookstore I used to work at, invited me down to do my first book signing!
~ July hit with a bang, as the book selling was in full force. I LOVED being able to sign and send off books personally! The post office definitely got to know us well! We started the month off by visiting Minnesota to catch up with friends and I also did another book signing. Then Mazy went away for a few days with Grandpa and Grandma Sterk camping in Cadillac. Then 2 weeks later, we headed up to Beaver Island to visit them at a cottage they were renting.
~ In August, we spent a LOT of time in the pool, went to Dutch Village a few times, and also went on vacation with my family for a week to Gladwin, MI.
~ September started off a bit different than we expected, where I was put in an ambulance and sent back to the U of M hospital for a few days, to get to the bottom of my heart failure symptoms. The week after, I had my first speaking engagement at Kuyper College and then a few weeks later I went back to Kuyper to speak in a social work class. I also had the privilege of going to the Revive Your Heart Conference with a few ladies from church in Indianapolis, Indiana. We also spent a good amount of time in pool, which is always so relaxing!
~ In October, we had a fun day spent at Pumpkinfest in downtown Zeeland, we closed up the pool, went fishing, and had fun trick or treating with Mazy and also handing out candy!
~ November brought our first snow, bowling with the youth group kids, celebrating birthdays, decorating for Christmas, having a blast at a redneck Christmas party, and also attending the Zeeland Christmas Parade.
~ Finally, in December, we had the honor of being the master and mistress of ceremonies and reception at our friends’ wedding. We also did a free babysitting night with our youth group kids for our church, we made lots of Christmas cookies, had numerous Christmas parties, and oh the joy of watching Mazy open gifts this year! The amount of thankfulness that flowed from her heart made this mama tear up!