And, that’s a wrap!

Well, 2017 is coming to a close. And, let me tell you, it’s been an incredible year. One for the record books. Unbelievable. Amazing. Overwhelming. Wonderful. Blessed.

We started the year in full planning mode for a February wedding. We gave our daughter Danielle to the love of her life, Dylan Oakey, on February 24th. It’s a love story to make your heart swoon. Their wedding was such a beautiful representation of who they are: unique, inspirational and fun!

The next week, our oldest daughter Gabrielle, had the fourth of six surgeries to repair the retina in both eyes. She discovered both retinas had detached in late 2016 and multiple surgeries would be required to regain vision. In addition to those six surgeries, she also had multiple laser procedures as the pressure in each eye sky-rocketed painfully (and dangerously) high. As a family, we spent the year helping her hero of a husband, Scott, take care of her and their toddler Josiah. It has been a very long and intensive journey to regain her sight, and we look forward with hope to the end of January 2018 when she should be able to function independently as her sight steadily improves.

At the end of March, my husband Bill became ill with unexplainable symptoms. It started with perpetual dizziness and went downhill from there. The symptoms seemed to mimic an episode of a thyroid storm he experienced in 2010 where everything went haywire. But, even though the symptoms were eerily similar, there were differences that left everyone – including doctors – scratching their heads. We have gallon-size ziplock bags that holds the dozens and dozens of medicines prescribed to him.  And, after a MRI, CAT scan, x-rays, heart tests, balance and equilibrium testing, a sleep study, countless blood draws, multiple visits to the ER, endless appointments with his regular doctor, several visits with a homeopathic doctor, a visit to an ENT and neurologist, no one had any answers for us.

In the midst of all this, Danielle suffered a miscarriage at seven weeks. She was due January 1st.  And within 10 days of her miscarriage, found herself pregnant again. She is currently pregnant with grandson number two. Judah Beckett is due one day after their 1st anniversary, February 25th.

Because Bill is still struggling with his health, someone suggested that we do mold testing in the parsonage we live in. So, the week of Thanksgiving, a company came into the parsonage and did air quality testing. The test results revealed that the parsonage – our home – was full of toxic levels of mold and formaldehyde and we needed to immediately evacuate. We were stunned. We suspected there might be “something” to deal with, but never imagined it was toxic. Never dreamed we’d have to leave. Immediately.

Our heads were spinning. There was talk of losing everything we owned. Of walking away from everything with just the clothes on our back. There was talk of being able to remediate some things but not everything. It would take several days before the final test results would reveal that we could keep some things, but the majority of our belongings – 30 years of marriage and family – would have to be discarded.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so overwhelmed. I can’t explain to you the myriad of emotions we felt. It was like experiencing a flood or a fire – except we could choose to keep some items. The guilt of throwing away items that looked perfectly fine. The shame of owning “too much”. The pressure to immediately find a place to live – to purchase a house of our own. During the holidays. The uncertainty of what all this would end up looking like. The inability to help and support Scott and Gabe, as she had surgery number six the same week we found out this news.

The shock of realizing that Bill’s illness was connected to mold and formaldehyde toxicity. That Stefan and I were also experiencing symptoms of mold and formaldehyde toxicity, we just had not realized it because they were different than Bill’s. That once out of the house it may take us months to recover.


(I had pics of the girls, so I had to show you Stefan too)

But with all that (and these are 2017’s highlights, because details or listing more challenges would have made this post entirely too long) 2017 was not a year of difficulties, heartache, problems or despair. It was not a year of fear, anxiety or stress – though, it certainly contained all of that. Instead, 2017 was a year of promise. Of possibilities. Of opportunities. Of hope. Of joy. Of faithfulness.

I can say that because I have chosen to see it that way. I have chosen to look at Jesus. I have chosen to see the blessings. I have chosen to focus on His goodness to us. His faithfulness to us. His provision for us.

I can say that because I have chosen to let those situations anchor my soul in Him. I refused to let myself become angry, bitter, frustrated, disappointed, resentful, discouraged or depressed. I refused to ask “why?” I was determined to be driven further into His arms, where I knew I could find safety and rest. Where there was hope.

I can say that, because I have chosen to be thankful in all circumstances (1Thessalonians 5:18) for every everything (Ephesians 5:20). Am I thankful in this moment, when I am “homeless”? When I am sick? Am I thankful for mold and formaldehyde? For detached retinas and miscarriages? Yes. Yes, I am, because those painful, difficult and stressful situations, gave me the opportunity to encounter God in a way that I may not have otherwise. I had the opportunity to see an aspect of His greatness that I may not have seen. Those circumstances opened doors for miracles. To see the impossible come to life. To experience heaven on earth. They gave me opportunities to learn and discover Him. To grow and mature in faith and Truth. To lean in and trust. To be even more dependent on Him. They provided an opportunity for the supernatural to become a reality for me.

NOTE: let me be clear, those things are NOT from God. None of it. God is good and only does good. Every situation I’ve mentioned above were strategies of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy. But, in His faithfulness, Abba took the situations the enemy intended to destroy us with and worked them together for our good (Genesis 50:20). In His kindness to us, He is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). He is giving us beauty for ashes and joy for our sorrow (Isaiah 61:3). We leave 2017 blessed and enriched, instead of destroyed.

And, while the events of 2017 came as a complete shock to us, they did not catch Abba off guard. He was not surprised. Instead, He was prepared. He was waiting on us as we stepped into each moment, with precisely what we needed. Whether we needed peace, strength, endurance, help, courage, grace, wisdom, encouragement, comfort, assurances, financial or material supplies, or anything else, He was there with an abundant supply. We saw God be everything He promised to be. Not once did He leave us hanging. Not once did He fail us. Not once was He late. Not once did we have to fend for ourselves. Not once did we have to fix it. Not once were we alone. His faithful goodness was astounding.

Yes, it’s been an incredible year. One for the record books. Unbelievable. Amazing. Overwhelming. Wonderful. Blessed. I would not want to do it again, but I would not trade it for anything.

James 1:2-4 (TPT) My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.



26 thoughts on “And, that’s a wrap!

  1. We don’t love you because you are strong and a unbelievable example of a follower of Jesus Christ, but we are grateful that you are. Thank you for showing us how to rejoice in all situations. We can’t wait to see what victories 2018 brings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 😭😭😭 I’m so encouraged by you and your family. 😭😭😭. And I, glad it’s almost over….Love you❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Kim. You surely helped me to put 2017 in perspective – nothing has taken Abba Father by surprise! You once told me that God does not let our pain go to waste. He will use it for good. Thanking God for His mercies on all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Kemi! And it is so true – He wastes nothing! We are so much richer for our trails and difficulties. Praying you have a wonderful New Year 😘


  4. Kim, I have no worries at all for you and your family. God has his arms wrapped tightly around you all, He has filled you all to the overflowing point that everyone who knows any of you can feel right away. You have all been such a blessing and inspiration to Al and I, and we thank you and have you in our hearts and prayers daily.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wowza, Praise God! His mercies are new every morning. That was the first thing that popped into my head when reading your post , I just did not know the book till now being Lamentations 3: 22-23 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail . They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself ,”The Lord is my portion ;therefore I will wait for Him.” Thank you Kim and Bill for living out James 1: 2-4 it is a blessing and testimony for all of us! Big Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kim … Thank you for share your journey in this year 2017. May God show His Power and Grace through you and your family to whoever is around you…,Let be Jesus the first name I call…. Let be Jesus my song inside the storm

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Omg. Beautiful. It makes me a little ashamed of some of my responses to difficulty this year. This is true godly character worthy of follow. Thank you for being s great example to all of us, Kim. I wanna grow up to be more like you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such an inspiring message Kim! Abba never ever fails us!
    I am so thankful for his love and guardian angels that protected all of you.
    He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. – Psalms 112:7.
    You are and always have inspired me by your strength.
    Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! And I love this verse. I hope to get to the place where my IMMEDIATE response is not a sinking heart but a triumphant heart that celebrates the victory 🙌🏼


  9. I am inspired and ashamed at the same time, I have not handled even minor issues with such faith and steadfastness as you, but…. I am going to always remember this post,you and yours did exactly what we all should do when troubles come knocking, so thank-you for sharing, I’m lifting you all up in prayer, my heart goes out to you wonderful people, I do know that The Lord is definitely going to heal and continue to embrace you all! Many blessings, love and concern.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Theresa! Thank you so much for stopping by to share your heart ❤️ and thank you for praying for us. I am absolutely confident that God is caring for us and restoring us! Blessings to you my friend!


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