The Christmas light are being taken down and the ornaments tucked away, the purging of closets and toy chests is in full force, pencils and keyboards are working away at those goal lists, and marked-up 2018 calendars are making way for fresh new ones with 2019 filling the date space.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
My personality loves the new year; the fresh, the clean, the anticipation of what’s going to fill our days, the hope for new adventures and memories and deeper growth. I love tucking away the moments and memories from the past year to be cherished or learned from in those mental keepsake boxes we all have, and pulling out a new one just waiting to be filled.
This past year was a beautiful one for our little band of four, an ebenezer year for us I think. Starting the year having just welcomed Jack into our world was truly remarkable and there are so many reasons why I cherish the way the Lord orchestrated the timing of Jack the way He did. This year, I turned 30 and I couldn’t have been more excited. 29, though it held one of the most treasured parts of my life, was a rather difficult year for me, and I was ready to meet 30. 30 has been one of the best years I’ve lived. This year, Jas started his MBA program, has done remarkably well in it, and balanced a full-time job, school, and a side-job many weeks of the year, all the while not skipping a beat as husband and daddy. I couldn’t be more proud of him or grateful to live this life alongside him. This year, AK turned 7, started 1st grade, and became a little woman. Her creativity is endless and her thoughts so deep, and watching her with Jack is magical. This year, we traveled to see family and friends, and were reminded again that the people we are surrounded by, near and far, are such a means of grace in our lives. This year, we had our second “just us” vacation and it was perfect and again, just what we needed.
This year, we learned more about how to live simply, to have margin, to discern and guard what the four of us need, to say “no” when it’s the wisest thing for us to do, to enjoy one another’s presence even more, to make the most of everyday, to fight comparison and practice gratitude, to put screens away and pull out books and game, to communicate better, to put one another first, to serve with joy, to take more walks and be outside, to dream more, to pursue creativity, to encourage, to challenge, to speak truth, to love well, to pursue relationships, to think well and wisely, to listen, to be patient, to make beauty with what we have, to be gracious and kind, to make messes, to try new things and celebrate small victories, to play more music, to light more candles, to have more dance parties, to stay within budget, to rejoice with others and weep with them too, to be hopeful and excited, to be honest in our struggles, to be joyful in our struggles, to be flexible, to let go, to ask forgiveness, to sacrifice and to save, to be together, to cherish these days, to make Jesus known, to trust Him more.
In so many ways, it’s been a simple year, and that is what we have loved. The heart work that’s behind that simplicity, though, has been profound and something, we see, that the Lord has been prodding us toward for many years now. To see that fruit come and to begin to enjoy it, even in those pruning moments, has been a thread of grace running through the 365 days of 2018. It’s a strong one, that thread, one of those that’s holds the work taut. I love how the Lord knows which threads to weave when.
I’ve loved this year He wrote for us.
I’m ready for the next one, too.