Happy New Year! I literally CAN NOT BELIEVE it is 2020?!
My New Year's Eve festivities would not make most folks' wish list, but I'm perfectly fine with them... Overseeing 5 little people make their own pizza, making bottles and snuggling a 6th little one, the washer & dryer spinning all night, suds in the sink & dishwasher and getting an update that my favorite guy is heading back home after leading worship at a New Year's Eve service... these are a few of the things that made up my "wild night"!
It's weird how we often get in auto-pilot with our answers or conversations. Mark & I were talking about this happening and I even heard the same scenario play out with our kiddos, that folks make such cliche comments about the ending year and we in turn answer in the same way. In our case, on more than one occasion it was said, yeah, it was a good year. Umm, reality check?! We had a tough year. In fact, I'd definitely say it has been one of the toughest years of our 14+ years together and most certainly the toughest year of our kiddo's lives. Most everything about 2019 feels like a struggle. Like a constantly dripping faucet or a cold wind that cuts right through you and doesn't seem to let up. In many ways it feels like a punch in the gut, and we seemed to get hit again each time after finally pushing ourselves back to standing. From health, to ministry to family life and so much in between...it's been tough!
I'm a complete romanticist. I want everything to always end well. To be peaceful and complete. To be wrapped in a bow and not just the curling ribbon kind of bow, I'm talking about wide, wired ribbon that makes a statement, kind of bow. Haha! There are a number of things in my life that aren't wrapped in a perfect bow as the calendar flips to 2020 and time marches along and if I let it, it can really be unsettling. But then I look back to remind myself of God at work in our lives through some incredibly emotional and bleak moments of the past 365 days. In fact, I see how He carried me through so many of these days and even when I was walking on my own, I was never alone. He was there. In every moment I thought I had it figured out, as well as those that terrified me to think of a second ahead of where I was at that instant.
God has specifically shown Himself to be Jehovah Rapha & Jehovah Jireh to our family throughout 2019! And as we walk into this new year, Jehovah Nissi is who we're leaning on. He has given strength that was literally un-human. He brought life back into Mark's body when things looked dim. He provided when we welcomed His little ones into our home as well as when resources have been stretched thin and so many times in between. He gave prophetic words over our children even as they walked through deep places of confusion & worry. He filled us over and over again and continues to fill us with hope in His plan that can not be sent off course by any type of opposition!
2019 - foster care, school struggles, lung cancer, 100% blockages, hip replacement, no place for you, too much blood loss, I'll always be your Mommy, sternal wound infection, not out of the woods, tantrums, new higher payment, home health, drug baby, bills, new normal, what next? - a few of the words and phrases we wrestled with throughout the past year.
Romans 5:3 - We can rejoice too when we run into problems and trials for we know that they help us develop endurance. - Isaiah 43:31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
The year of 2019 was a year of immense spiritual warfare. Warfare brings scars, loss and pain, but it brings growth like nothing else can, tenacity, friendships, opportunities & new plans for the future when the landscape around has changed from the battle at hand. My humanity hopes for a year of peace & calm you know the Silent Night kind of atmosphere...of course I always kind of laugh inside at that song...what first night with a new baby is ever silent? (or any of the nights for the following weeks...haha!) Don't get technical on me - I know what the song is implying, but my thoughts here are - "Silent Night" literally or just figuratively, either way, I'm trusting that the lessons learned, doors that have closed, trials we've walked through, mistakes we've had to acknowledge & victories we've been able to sing praises over, will ultimately, propel us into every, single thing He has purposed for 2020 and that these experiences will never be wasted, but will be used for His glory for as long as possible! Happy New Year, Friends!!
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