The beginning of a new year is often a time for reflection. 2016 sure was a busy one.
We kicked off February with the arrival of our second grand child, Violet Elizabeth. She joins her slightly older brother, Lucas.
They say children are the rainbow in life and grand babies are the pot of gold. I couldn’t agree more.
Our move from Baneville (as I affectionately dubbed it when the kids were little) to the hill took place in mid-August. Moving will go down on my list of top 3 least favorite things to ever do. Lord willing, my next move will be to a heavenly home where no packing will be required.
The soul of our first owned house as a family was full with the memories we made there bit by bit, laugh by laugh, with a little heartache along the way for good measure. 17 years, 4 kids, family, friends and a few household pets hallowed the halls.
Some people say it’s the memories and people that make a house a home, not the things in it or the structure itself… Yet when the time came to leave that old house behind, there was an unexpected tug at my heartstrings.
It seemed inconceivable that we would leave the house entirely, and, well, it turned out that we didn’t have to. Our daughter and son-in-love took ownership of it as we left for the hill, thus beginning their journey of making memories there as a family for years to come.
They say that home building can be stressful on a marriage. I say it can be an opportunity for relationship building if you let it. The truth is, Howie and I survived building our new home, enjoyed most of the process (minus the wait) and finished stronger than we began. Our vision was to create a home that would truly express who we are, and we succeeded in creating an abode that will nurture our relationship and our family for years to come.
Our brood continues to grow. In October our oldest son, Jesse, thrilled us when he asked for our blessing to marry his sweetheart and childhood friend, Kyrsten. To our delight, she said yes.
Shortly after their engagement (with the sun in our eyes) I somewhat reluctantly retired from homeschool and Emma began what has been a wonderful transition into private education. It was a bittersweet moment.
I’m amazed at His hand in the “happenstances” of their childhood and adolescent days that I didn’t consider, much less plan, that have become integral parts of the development of their characters and their callings. Obviously, God had something bigger planned than I could see.
In November, Lucas (affectionately called my Buddy) turned two, Noah filled the freezer (and killed his first big buck) and Howie and I gratefully celebrated 20 years of marriage. Our life together has been a crazy, joyful, exciting, wonderful mess that I wouldn’t trade for anything. We made it through the busy seasons in life, though there were a great many challenges along the way. No one is immune to the stressors of living in this very complicated world, but praise God for His grace and a strong man who fights fearlessly for our marriage and family.
If I were to make a list of my least favorite things to do, I’m pretty sure that waiting would rank in the top five (as I said, moving makes the top 3). God has a sense of humor, though, and I did a lot of that in 2016. Waiting for Violet to arrive safely, waiting on Noahs acceptance into the cadet program, waiting on the new house to be finished… But seldom was I still as I waited, and as January turned to June and then December, I began to see Gods fingerprints outlining and confirming the word he gave me for 2016.
My understanding of the word purpose has changed quite a bit. No longer do I feel that its something I’ll arrive at like a destination or place. Purpose doesn’t come neatly packaged or happen in a straight line. In fact, my purpose looks more like a journey full of loop-de-loops and zig-zags. Purpose in 2016 was more about my journey of discovering who God is and who He wants me to be.
Purpose is about living life with my eyes wide open, allowing God the freedom to work through me moment by moment, day by day.
As the new year unfolds, so does a new word. Each year I pray for God to give me an anthem, and each year He delivers. 2017’s one word anthem is…
Listening begins with paying attention. The irony is amusing. I’d rather be the one doing the talking. When I’m not talking I’m busy thinking, and if I’m not busy thinking I’m busy while I’m waiting.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me,” but there are a lot of things happening on a daily basis that compete for my attention.
My son (daughter) give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it. Blessed is the (man) woman who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors.
I’m eager for 2017 to unfold and to see what great and mighty things the Lord plans to do in my life and our family. Ones things for sure, I have no intention of missing a bit.
Speak Lord. Your servant is listening.