Looking back but leaping forward

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I feel like I blinked and 2018 was over, yet at the same time, I feel like it took forever.

2018 was…a mixture of so many emotions.

2018 taught me so much about joy, patience, heartbreak, grief, happiness and gratefulness.

Moving AND bringing a new baby into the family is an exciting way to start the year, or chaotic, depending on how you look at it. Building a home while living in your parents garage with two babes in a new city with one car was interesting, sleepless and tight, yet rewarding. Watching our home be built required a lot of heart change. Losing a family member to cancer was…unbelievably hard. And everything in between those major moments is what got us to where we are today.

I’m late in posting this because you know how life goes. I’m still trying to process parts of 2018 without trying to dwell in them.

I need to remember that each new day (and each new year) is a blessing…it’s another chance to change the world (and that can start at home!) and it’s another chance to share Jesus. It’s more time to be grateful for the time you got with loved ones, and time to cherish the memories you have left. It’s a time to set goals for yourself and keep focused on keeping them (beyond the second day of the year.)

My goals for 2019 are simple, because let’s face it…simple is good in this crazy life. Praying more is top of my goal list. Resting more and reading more, less screen time and less getting angry. Take more photos, but don’t miss moments. Stand up for myself and say what I need to say. Also spend more time with people I so deeply love because life is too short. And most important to me: moving aside to make room for God to move. That involves letting go of “my way” and “my timing” because that’s not what life is about. It’s all about His way and His timing.

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I can think my ways of parenting are the best…then God reminds me that His ways are better. I can think I’m doing a great job at being a wife (which most of the time I don’t think that) and God nudges me to change my ways and soften my heart. I can sit by myself and cry and dwell on the fact that there is no more time to spend with my aunt, and then God reminds me that she is without pain, and with Jesus! And her life brought so many to Him.

I don’t normally have “a word” for the year, but I’ve been encouraged to do so. So my word for 2019 is: GRACE.

I need to remember that every day I am a recipient of grace. I don’t deserve it. God GIVES me grace. And I need to be better at giving grace more freely…to my husband, kids, family and friends…and myself.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. -Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

I’ll leave you with this…

Look back on 2018. Remember the good times, the laughter, the jokes, the tears, the hardships, the triumphs, the accomplishments, the growth…remember the Ed Sheeran concert and getting caught in the rain in Traverse City, spending days with great friends and neighbors, starting a kombucha brewery in your closet…remember how you felt when you found out your best friend is going to have a baby, and when you said goodbye for the last time and…just remember it all.

But then keep going.

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Look forward, trust that God has something great in store for you. Something that might be tough or might hurt, something that may be unexpected or long awaited…something that will more than likely grow you, break you, or change you. Trust that no matter what 2019 has in store for you, that God will be there, and pray that He will help you find the joy in every day.

He will be there as you parent, as you learn, as you mourn, as you rejoice…He will be there no matter where you are or what you go through. Trust Him, and give yourself grace when trusting Him is hard or out of reach, because those days will come. Letting go of control and trusting is one of the hardest things to do in life, but also one of the most rewarding.

Here is to 2019…here is to your year! Make it count.

 

 

 

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