It is so hard to believe that we have finally made it to the end of the year.
The scripture verse that comes to mind to describe this past year is Job 1:21b:
“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
It has been a year of up’s and down’s, of good times and hard times alike. Never before has there been a year where I feel like I have lived a lifetime, when in reality, it was a mere 365 days. Each month, each day, each hour- even each milli-second…God was Sovereign.
He was Sovereign even before the world came to be.
Even as hard as some parts of this year has been, He has been there. He has counted our every tear. He knew our joys and our sorrows, even before we knew them ourselves.
As I look back over the year, I am thankful.
-I’m thankful to be saved by God’s wondrous grace- for Him choosing me to be His own- a child of the Lord Most High. <3 -I am thankful for the strength God gave us when it seemed we couldn't go on. The strength He provided when our own had long failed us. -I am thankful for God's mercies. They are truly new each morning. Some of the days this year were so hard...I'll never forget the day we found out my grandmother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, or the night she passed away after struggling for so many weeks. I'll also never forget the many ways the Lord showed us His hand at work during that time and afterwards, even to now. I'll never forget how our church family, and our friends from near and far came to be with us. They were a strong shoulder to cry on, they provided meals, house cleaning, babysitting... they anticipated many of our needs and took care of them before we knew they were needed. -I am so very thankful for my dear family. It seems that we have grown closer as a family this year more than any other year. I love each one of you very much, and I am so blessed to call you my family. As we have cried, laughed, and worked together this year, I know the Lord is giving us very special memories to look back on as we grow older. May we always grow closer as a family while we diligently seek where the Lord is leading us next. -I am so thankful for all of my special sisters in Christ, who have been listening ears as I have worked past some things I've been struggling with during this year. You have sent me back to scripture, and diligently prayed for me as I have shared different concerns and thoughts. You know who you are, and you have blessed me more than you will ever know. <3 -I am thankful for our home. The Lord brought it into our lives at the perfect time. I feel so thankful we were here and settled before my grandmother got sick, as we were able to move her in and she was able to have her own space. It was such a blessing to have the room for her to live with us, and I know that we will forever treasure that special time. -I am thankful for the Lord's allowing us to travel quite a bit this year. We've visited many new states and have met quite a few new friends along the way. -I am thankful for the Lord pushing me out of my comfort zone in many ways this year. I've become a regular interstate traveler (finally! =]), taken quite a few college classes, started piano lessons again, did my first official photography shoots, went on two road trips with Josh, sang in front of folks who are not my family, went to and danced at a ball, helped some family friends with chicken processing, played master plumber/electrician by repairing and installing our washer and dryers....it has definitely been a year of growth- of learning new things each and every day. -I am thankful for the way God's word has felt so ALIVE this year. Even just merely glancing down a page of my Bible, it seemed as if things would literally pop off the page. I'm so thankful for the way God speaks to us through His word. -I am thankful for fresh starts. I have messed up so many things over this past year from my own sinfulness. I am thankful for the Lord, who offers ready forgiveness, and for my family, who has loved me when I've been at my most unlovable. I am thankful for this new year. I am thankful that the Lord will be faithful, loving, teaching and forgiving. He will be our Abba Father, and we who are in Him will be His children. I'm looking forward to seeing where He leads, whom He will have us meet, where we will go, and what we will do, for I know Whom I have believèd, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed, unto Him against that day.
Eucharisteo: to be grateful, feel thankful; give thanks.
My prayer for the coming year is for the Lord to enable me to give thanks, even when I am in the most dire of circumstances.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
I look forward to seeing where Christ will lead in this new year of our Lord, 2014. Many blessings to you as you each continue the journey Christ has set forth just for you!
With much love,