2018 Reflections

I don’t quite know what it is about the end of the year that brings this wistful, nostalgic atmosphere, but I love it! There’s a palpable quietness in my spirit, almost as if the calendar slows down my thoughts and heaven’s wisdom descends like a fog.

I learned about pain and selflessness. It wasn’t anything I could have prepared for, but not the worst thing I could imagine. Every second of pain was productive. Every moment of selflessness was a little bit painful, to be honest. It’s like being at a restaurant, starving, plate is warm in front of you, and you’re about to take the first bite. Then they take the plate away, haha! That’s the hunger equivalent of wanting to sleep and not being able to? Or wanting to get up, or go somewhere, or do a certain chore and all of it is a big NOPE. It’s no longer about me, or about that, but about a new little life who trumps every single thing. It does get easier! Not every day is the same type of difficult! Not every attempt is shut down and fail! I think it’d be so unrealistic to paint it all negatively, and say “you’ll never sleep again” or “you’ll always be tired” because that’s untrue, pessimistic, and the opposite of life spoken over someone or a situation.

I do believe deeply after this year that you manifest on the outside what you have on the inside. If your heart is vibrant with peace, like a strong river current, your day will somehow be more peaceful. If anxiety is pulsing inside, like a buzzing that won’t stop, guess what? Chaos comes and camps out in the living room, and words come out that sting and stink up the air.

I am learning to cultivate peace, to guard my heart, to tame my tongue. I am learning to receive the healing God is giving me day by day, like daily bread, and to receive the current circumstance of being home with my sweet little one with the excitement it deserves! What a priceless gift to make these memories with her, to read to her about Jesus every morning, and to giggle over breakfast! To dance in the kitchen and go for walks, and to witness her crawling, standing, and soothe her when she bonks her little noggin. I am learning to enjoy this season without feeling guilty or maimed, that this is what God has for me and it’s a wonderful thing.

I’m relearning boundaries. I’m relearning that consequences are healthy, and forgiveness isn’t a free pass for toxicity. I’m learning to safeguard from dysfunction and disorder, to listen to the Holy Spirit about menial things which grow and grow. Over the years, God has opened my eyes to materialism and the waste/worship of money in our generation, and I have tried so hard to steer clear of it- to be thankful for the good things that we actually need and to not hoard extra, to resist the acquisition of the unnecessary that is common practice and aids the enemy in creating disorder in our lives. This year was a big year of provision and breakthrough financially, and I think in part that was because God has been preparing our hearts for more for a long, long time. He’s been teaching me about how a Good Shepherd doesn’t let us lack any good thing.

This year we became home owners. It was exactly what we needed, exactly when we needed it, exactly where we needed it. We didn’t overextend to keep up with the Jones, and there has been so much grace and peace in our home! There was great temptation to buy something we could not afford, and I am so thankful that God moved in our hearts and aligned us with Him. He’s the only One to impress! And thankfully, He’s already so Impressive all on His own that we don’t have to present anything to Him but open hearts and honest worship.

I am learning that my body is this temporary vessel, and it’s for Him and by Him. It’s this awesome thing, and it’s my honor to steward it well, to nourish it well, to exercise, to take care of it. It’s not about outer appearances anymore, but more about health and wellness. I’m still breastfeeding, which is a big answered prayer! Part of this year I was eating a plant-based diet, and it was the healthiest I had felt in a long, long time. I haven’t been as strict with it lately, but when I start to feel that downward pull on my health, I can almost guarantee it has to do with what I have eaten, and it helps to know how to course-correct. Praise the Lord, our little one has not had a single sick visit to the doctor in her life. I can only say ‘thank You, Jesus’ and acknowledge His provision for her with a grateful heart!

God has been strengthening my marriage as well, we’ve been learning how to communicate even more. We thought we communicated well, but there’s nothing quite like a new baby to make you realize you need a code signal for “please shine a light so I can pick her up in the dark” and “okay okay, turn off the light” haha! It’s been a joy to pray together more, to play music in our home that lifts up our hearts, and to maintain the focus on Christ as our foundation. This year is ending on a really positive note, and I honestly am so thankful to God for giving us wisdom and grace for each other.

I’ll have to post another blog on motherhood in general, things I’m learning just from interacting with a baby, about the heart of God as a Parent! That’ll have to wait til 2019 though, because nap time is officially over.

I pray you’re going into the new year with renewed strength, hope, and vigor in Christ. I pray that Christ in you gives you the guidance and comfort you need to take the next steps in front of you. I pray that comparison gets left behind, along with disproportional self-pity! The true desires of your heart are in unison with the will of God for you, so they are not for the empty, temporary things of this world! The secret sauce is not in more stuff. The secret sauce is not in the amount of likes or followers or in popularity, and it’s definitely not hidden in your social media news feed. The secret sauce isn’t at the next vacation. The secret sauce is definitely not hidden in something that isn’t already provided. You’re not missing out on it, it’s not on sale 70% off and you don’t need to bring out your credit card for it. There’s a peace in this very minute, a hum from heaven in this second, and a righteousness bought for you at the cross that rests on you, if you’ll freely receive it. That’s the secret sauce. I pray you feel sufficient grace for today, that you feel the Holy Spirit resting on you.

Happy New Year!

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