Happy New Year! - Recap 2008

So much has happened this year, for myself and those in my family. When I think through this past year it's amazing to me how much has changed and how much I've grown.
I am not the type of person who makes New Year's resolutions, because things almost never turn out the way you think they're supposed to, then you just feel disappointed. But I do think that it's a good thing to reflect on what the Lord has done for you during the past year at this time. The following is a recap of my year and some of the things the Lord has taught me.

January/February 2008 - I started out this year as a newly engaged girl, a shining ring on my finger and a brand new Yorkshire puppy named Ralphie. I spent these first couple of months looking at wedding websites and magazines, trying to decide how I'd like to organize the wedding.
At the end of January I went back for my last semester of dental hygiene college. This was probably the most stressful semester of hygiene school that I had to endure, mainly because of preparing for and worrying about my National Board Exams.
My clinic at dental hygiene school started out rather well, and I was starting to feel more confident about becoming an official registered dental hygienist, and working in the "real world".
I also enjoyed my first Valentine's Day ever with anyone, and I felt extremely blessed that I got to spend it with my fiance, Derek! Derek brought flowers and a white teddy bear to my school for me on Valentine's Day (all my classmates were very impressed)!
January and February were very blessed months for me.

March/April 2008 - Clinic definitely became harder during this time. I failed one of my patients, and I think my confidence was somewhat shattered after that, and i struggled through Clinic for the rest of the semester. I think at this time the Lord was trying to teach me to rely on Him more. I didn't realize it at the time, but when things were going well in clinic, I think I was relying on myself too much, and not taking the time to continue to ask for the Lord's help and thank Him when things were going well. This was one of those hard lessons to learn.
I took my written National Dental Hygiene Board Exam in March. The Board Exam actually fell over spring break, and alas as soon as spring break started I was aflicted with a terrible cold. My nose was dripping constantly and I could barely breath - I was sniffing through the entire exam, and I hardly slept the night before because of my cold, and the stress of the exam. Adding to my stress was the fact that no one from our school had ever failed the exam (and I really didn't want to be the first)!
Clinic started to work out a little better by the end of the semester, and I finished all my patient requirements on time! I found out that I passed the written boards as well, which was a relief.
March and April were months of just trusting the Lord.

May/June 2008 - I graduted from dental hygiene college in May! Our program had a seperate pinning ceremony, and I also participated in my college graduation, where I was presented with my Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene (well, it was actually just the degree cover and my degree came in the mail in August, but it was still exciting)!
At the end of May I took my Clinical National Board Exam, in which I pick a qualifying patient and clean their teeth, and my work is checked by the board examiners. My patient was actually my dad, and it was rather fun to get to clean his teeth. After the exam we went to Arby's, and I ate a roast beef sandwich and curly fries, and a shake - I just went through a very stressful exam, so I indulged!
Jne was a flurry of packing, finishing wedding plans, dress fittings, and finding time to relax when I could. I found out that I passed the clinical boards, and I started gathering paperwork for my license to practice dental hygiene.
May and June were months when the Lord helped me through everything I needed to accomplish.

July/August 2008 - I received my dental hygiene license in the beginning of July and signed on with a temporary agency.
On July 12th Derek and I got married! The wedding went very well, it didn't rain, the guests enjoyed themselves, we got all the pictures taken; it turns out there was nothing to worry about! Except that I almost tripped on the runner on the way down the isle, but I didn't.
Derek and I took off to our honeymoon in Hawaii! We had a beautiful time on Kuai, and it was a wonderful start to our married life! I'm so blessed to have found my husband, he's one in a million! Derek and I are determined to go back to Hawaii some day, because we had such a relaxing time there.
In August I started work with the temp agency, which went well at first. However toward the end of the month I poked my hand with a dirty dental instrument, and I had to get my blood drawn and tested for any infections that I could have caught. I also learned how Workman's Compensation works. Unfortunately my employer was not helpful, and for some reason after the incident she wouldn't assign me any more jobs. I switched temp agencies shortly after.
Derek also resigned from his job at the end of August.
July was a month of blessings and love and thanking the Lord for everything He has done for us. August was a month in which our first tests were sent our way, but with the Lord's help they have helped strengthen us in our faith and in our marriage.

September/October 2008 - We got a new dog! Her name is Quincy, and she and Ralphie love playing together.
Derek started hunting for jobs before he left, and he was almost hired for an analyst position right after. However before he was hired the market took it's down-turn, and the company Derek was interviewing with put on a hiring freeze. We spent the next few months searching for jobs. It was very stressful not having any income, but once again the Lord was teaching us to trust Him. I think He was also trying to teach us not to worry so much, because we used to worry about money when Derek had a job, which we realized was silly now that we had no income! Another hard lesson to learn.
September and October were stressful months, and months in which we had to totally trust that the Lord would get us through.

November/December 2008 - Derek found a job and started in November! It's a job with the county, in the human resources department. It's not something Derek wants to do indefinitely, but it's a job, and it's helping us pay many of our bills. Eventually Derek wants a job back in finance, but the Lord gave us this job and we're very grateful for it.
I also got a temporary position filling in for a hygienist who was going on maternity leave, and I started that job in November. It was very helpful to have that job through Christmas; we were able to buy gifts for others and each other, and to pay some of the remaining bills for the month.
My brother got married on December 15th to a wonderful girl named Olivia. It's a blessing to have another member to our family!
Our first Thanksgiving and Christmas as a married couple were wonderful! We enjoyed being together and starting new traditions together.
Tonight is New Year's Eve, and we plan on ringing in the New Year with a movie marathon!
November and December have been months of enjoying being together and thanking the Lord for taking care of us.

Prayers for the New Year:
That the Lord would bring Derek and me good jobs that we enjoy, and that we'd be able to make all our bills and start saving money again.
That He would continue to bless us and take care of us and our families through this New Year.

Happy New Year's!

"The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace." Numbers 6:25
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