Saturday, January 2, 2016

A New Year...

Yesterday was January 1, 2016....the new year.  I'm not into resolutions.  I gave those up years ago, but I am into reflections.  I have reflected a lot about this past year.  I think what I wrote on our Christmas card this year sums it up the best:
2015, what can I say about you?  You  have been a tough one, but a tough one covered by grace.  There has been great sorrow and sadness, but also great joy and gladness.  Sometimes it felt like challenge after challenge after challenge, but amidst the hurt and pain; we found gratitude and goodness.  As 2015 comes to an end, we find ourselves full of hope....the hope one can only find in Jesus Our Savior.  
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15:13

HOPE is the word I adopted this past year, and it has been one I've clung to in some of my darkest days.  There have been many difficult things this past year, but I cannot help but think that Jesus allowed many of those things; so we could grow, so we could help someone else, so we would be protected.  Sending my oldest to college was so hard, but I think we have learned so much.  One day God will use her story of struggles for good....this I know.  Watching my children suffer loss...of loved ones either by death or by choices made has been very difficult.  Losing 2 grandmothers in less than a year has been extremely difficult for us all.  Knowing that their lives will be forever impacted by relationships that have dissolved and watching them cry themselves to sleep over and over broke my heart.  The sleepless nights have left me exhausted physically and emotionally, and I have had to fight hard to stay spiritually focused....on my word, HOPE, and what that means.  
People have come and gone and watching your children experience this can be devastatingly painful, but it can also be beautiful and uplifting.  
The hurt involved in losing someone is almost too much to handle at times.  
Pain, sorrow and grief have definitely played a big role in 2015.  But...I have also seen, once again, that we have some great people in our lives.  Some who we just met recently or rekindled with, and then those who have always been there.  There are good people in this world, and we are blessed to know so many of them and have them in our lives. 
 I don't have many regrets from 2015, but I do have a few.  The biggest one is not moving.  Two great places that slipped through our fingers, and I know things would have been much different had we taken the plunge and fully trusted God.
I turned 49 one week ago today, and this last year in my 40's....I choose to find joy in the small things, dance every day, do lots of good things for others, TRUST IN JESUS wholeheartedly, spend time with good people, drink lots of coffee, go on lots of adventures, not sweat the small stuff, live my life in the present and laugh A LOT.  
The last line of our Christmas card said this:  We wish you a year full of laughter, music, love, hope, family, kindness and JESUS....things that get us through the easy days and the hard days!

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