Monday, August 04, 2008

Looking Back...

Time does indeed fly.

As the years bring new challenges and blessings, as the children grow (whether they're siblings or your own), and as you look back at photos, you think to yourself, "Where has the time gone?" I’m sure you’ve experienced this too.

My life has changed drastically in the past few years. Things that I never imagined would occur have happened; and though I tend to dislike change, I can see how God has used each event to His glory and turned them into blessings for me.


I honestly did not want to move from Texas—the state where I was born—the home I held dear. I recall thinking at the time: This is where my friends and family live—those I love dearly. I grew up in this house! We have relatives who are growing older—we’ll barely ever be able to see them...the list goes on. But, while I struggled with being content about moving, a thought popped unbidden into my head. What if God is doing all this for my good?

And really and truly, all has turned out for the good. Though I still miss those I left behind in the wonderful state of Texas, I have made new friends here in IL...friends and a church family that I love dearly. I have come to love our home on the lake, our church, the weather, even the glowing cornfields that sweep the land. Though I may never actually love the state of Illinois, I will always love what this state holds...and that is my friends, my family, and my home.


God is so good. And truly, joy has come in the morning!

In Christ Alone,

Jessica

P.S. Here are some photos from past years that I thought I'd share:




The McDonald Kids (except James) in Alabama in the year 2003 (I think).

Emma and Grace at the Weiss' house in Virginia in 2004.

James and Nathan celebrated their birthdays at the same time. I think this was in 2005...


The McDonald kids in Jamestown for the first time in 2001.


Kelsey B, Micah V, Nathan and Brandon H, Ben S and Christa, Tiff and I dancing in the backyard!


Our last Christmas in Texas!



I think they were arguing about what to play. :-) This is the fourth of July...back when we had Church at our house, I believe. Or at least the meal afterwards. 2004?

Playing "Four on A Couch" in our driveway. :-)

Singing around the piano after Church. AND CHECK OUT WHO'S IN THIS PICTURE! PJ and Elissa Pickle!!! :-D


Dancing at our Caroling party with some very dear friends.


William at the hotel we lived in in Peoria for a few months. Look how little and "baby-ish" he was!! *sigh*


Tiff, Melissa and William on the Evans swing. I think that might've been the first time we went to their house...


Our first Christmas in Illinois. William didn't like the camera flash me'thinks. :-)


Our second time in Jamestown...this time without James or Christa.

Sisters.
(this was while we were living at the hotel)


Lenna, Sierra and I at Thanksgiving.


Riding in the car on a nice day. I think this was some time last year.

Dad and Mom chopping pumpkins last year.


I was blessed to spend the last night I was 16 with two wonderful friends (and their dear families!)!


Sisters.
(there's less of us every year it seems...)


The McDonald Family- July 2008

9 comments:

Ella said...

I know what it feels to leave a home you love. If my family has to move from Idaho, I will be leaving something special--a place where I learned some of the lessons God had for me. But I know that something just as good will be lying ahead.

Blessings,
Ella
www.standinginaweofhim.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

aw, glad you miss us jess! -aNNa

Jesi said...

I am sooo glad that God brought y'all over here to IL, and that God is bringing us over there to Peoria!

Love Ya!!

Jesi

Bailey said...

This was so wonderful, Jessica! I'm always so amazed (though goodness knows it shouldn't be) how God works it all out in such a drastically different way than I expected.
p.s. I think Texas is always the hardest state to leave. :) LOL

Elissa said...

AW! I LOVED looking at the pictures Jess!!!!! How funny that you have a picture of PJ and I, we only came, what was twice? I'm so very glad we did! although I was a bit of a turtle during the time that picture was taken, and we hadn't become "bosom friends" yet, I'm so glad we did meet, and I think after meeting you, and experiencing your wonderful warm sunshiney personality, it helped me come out of my shell. :D
Love you and miss you!!!!

Oh, and Bailey, I totally agree, Texas is always the hardest state to leave!!!!!

~Elissa

Joy said...

Hi Jessica!
Isn't it amazing to look back and see how God has used different things for good in our lives?!
By the way, I have a book I have to send back to Mrs. Evans. Could you please e-mail Amy (or me if you have my e-mail address) with their address? Thank you so much!
And do you have Lily Riggenbach's e-mail address? I would like to e-mail her. :-)
I hope that you're doing well!
Love,
Joy

Elissa said...

Hey Jess, I awarded you and your blog ;)
*HUGS*
LOVE YOU LOTS!
~Lis

Elissa said...

woops, forgot the link to the award post... http://delightfulhands.blogspot.com/2008/08/our-very-first-award.html

Jessica NicDhòmhnaill said...

Ella, I agree! And God is so good!

Anna, *wipes tears* I do! *hugs*

Jesi, So am I! Otherwise, we might never have met!! Love you!

Bailey, Isn't it?
*nods* Texas is my ultimate favorite state in the US! :-D "God blessed Texas with His own hand..." *cough* Yeah... :-D

Elissa, *HUG* As am I!!!! LOVE AND MISS YOU, LIS!!! *HUG*
ANd thank you for the award, m'dear!!!

Joy, I'll try to get that address to you as soon as I can!!

In Christ Alone,

Jessica