We saw much grace in 2013...
more than I could ever have imagined.
We faced the year head-on knowing there would be many tough days and now I can look back and say "You know what? We had a surprisingly great year."
So I thought I'd do a recap of some of the many graces we saw this year.
Daniel and I started the year with a trip away full of rejuvenation & healing. We purposed in our hearts we were going to focus on our kids, try new things and pouring into the people who'd poured into us for the past year.
::: we discovered more and more of the love of Christ :::
More than I know how to possibly express.
I've talked about it a lot on here, but there's really no way to explain the nearness we've felt to God this year. God is real, heaven is near and some how this whole story has taken us there.
::: we went deeper with friends & community :::
Best thing ever. I love our friends so much. Our community group has been so great. Our church has been amazing. My girlfriends started the year somehow knowing what I needed before I knew myself. There were bad days where they cried with me, there were days they spurred me on, & there were days they celebrated the good with me. I am one thankful girl.
::: i discovered a love for a few new things - painting, running & writing :::
I may never be an expert or even good at any of these but God has brought me great purpose and used all 3 as extreme therapy!
::: ryder played tball :::
::: paisley started dance - and loves it :::
::: our bills were PAID :::
Yes, that's right. All of G's hospital bills got paid. We will never EVER be able to truly express our gratitude to all who so selflessly & lovingly gave and made this happen. People gave and gave and gave... And they ALL. GOT. PAID! And somehow (by the grace of God) the largest bill that we were being charged as an "out-of-network" charge which would have added almost 30k to our already mounting bills was pardoned. All the sweet lady at Dell said to me on the phone that day was, "I've spoken to 'some people,' you will not be charged over what your insurance has paid for this one. Hope y'all are doing ok..." I really didn't believe it and thought for sure I'd receive another bill soon. To this day I get a knot in my stomach when I receive the mail! But we are so happy to say they're PAID.
::: we went on a safari :::
::: we celebrated 10 years of marriage :::
And I can say I'm more in love than ever after watching my husband stand like a ROCK for us this year.
::: we celebrated G's birthday :::
yes, celebrated. it was bittersweet but it was again, more than I could have imagined.
::: ryder started kindergarten :::
::: sold our house :::
So we got a wild hair and sold our house. Wasn't exactly what we saw coming either!
::: started building a house!!! :::
Again, wasn't exactly what we saw coming, but we're oh so excited for what's to come.
::: moved in with friends :::
Yep, that's what we're doing!
(we have pretty great friends!)
::: daniel got a new job! :::
::: God has brought us purpose :::
Our story is our story. And God has continued to give me purpose in that mystery. I've shared it in multiple ways this year only by His grace.
So it's been a pretty great year.
::: live more simply :::
I know, I know I just spent the whole day shopping at Dillards! But seriously, after packing everything we own to go in storage I really just want to live more simply!!! That means different things for every person, but this year I hope to discover what it means for us. I bought a planner today. Yes, an old school paper planner. I want to write things down. I want to use my phone less. (GASP!) I want to be present. It's a re-programming I think.
::: let go of the heavy and just be :::
What does this mean in the course of eternity? Or even the course of this year. I want to do what's important and let go of the rest. I feel like we just touched the tip of the iceberg this year.
The other night Paisley was putting a little nativity puzzle together. She's probably put it together 10 times in the past couple weeks. But I laid on the floor and watched her and was amazed at how fast she did it and how smart she was. How could I have missed this? Was I on my phone? Was I focused on something more important? I have lots of dreams for my kids and for myself. Time to stop dreaming and do the little things that we can each day in the direction of our dreams and let go of the rest.
(My goals are to pursue my business/brand more and write... as in a book. Did I just put that out there!?!)
::: counting blessings :::
A few years ago I read One Thousand Gifts for the first time, having no idea how much I'd need it in the coming days. Last week I bought the devotional because I need to be reminded going into 2014. Somehow it's easier to see the little blessings on the bleak days. Last year I was grasping for blessings at every turn to help get me through.
The other night while my parents were putting up Christmas my dad stepped outside and called my mom & I out to look at the stars. They were so bright and clear. You could see them everywhere. I thought about it later... You see the thing is the stars were always there. We just couldn't see them in the city light. For us God's light has shown brightest in our darkness. But I want to see(k) him the same in the blessings.
So here's to a new year, of new starts and new blessings to be counted...