Happy 2014!

I hope that you and yours have been enjoying the holiday season as much as we have. There’s been much lego building, bracelet making, and nap taking. B and I have actually slept in until almost seven on multiple days. We’ve played at Get Air and Legoland, cleaned out the backyard, and consumed our fair share of cookies, chocolate, bacon, and sangria (though thankfully not all at once). I feel so blessed to have wrapped up the year in such a wonderful way.

It truly was a wonderful year. I looked back at my old resolutions and was thrilled to find only one: to live light. And I did! I lived the lightest light: I lived by FAITH.My mantra has been TRUST, and I’ve had to repeat it to myself almost daily. But it’s also led me into new friendships, new responsibilities, and a new career that I absolutely love. If I had one testimony to give from 2013, it’s that trusting in God and living my faith leaves you doubly blessed: first because you leave the worrying up to the One in charge, and second because you experience exactly what He designed you for.

This year, I have a few smaller goals I hope to meet, like purging the closet and garage, appreciating my volunteers, and running a strong VBS (the biggest adventure, since no one in our family has experienced a VBS. No one. Ahem.). But my biggest prayer and goal for this coming year is FOCUS. Focus on God’s will, focus on the tasks required to accomplish it, focus on what matters. As I look at those smaller goals I’ve been tossing around, they really lead back to this one big commitment. I hope I return here in no year feeling like I really know and understand what I’m doing for the Lord, as much as that’s ever possible, and am doing it with intentionality and purpose.

All that to say, this will be my first and last post for 2014. Of course, God always reserves the right to require something different, but for now, I feel like this is the right step. Thank you to all those who have faithfully followed my journey–I wish you all a blessed 2014!

The Joy of Endurance

And look–two months later and I emerge alive!

Honestly, I just have not felt the need to write, not that I really have the time. I’m appreciating seasonality right now, surprised by how quickly my focus has changed, and how content I finally feel.

Working continues to be a juggling act. I’m getting my 20ish hours (we all knew it wasn’t going to be just 20, right), but not without weekly schedule struggles. Turns out one of my children doesn’t like doing her homework in my office, even if it includes computer games and playing on the playground. Of course, she also doesn’t like staying home from school, going to school, or singing in public–unless it’s caroling. She’s an enigma, that one.

We’ve had our share of added hurdles as well: two colds, the stomach flu, and lice. Yes, lice. I neverthout I’d prefer stomach flu to anything, but it turns out that anything is lice. 2-3 hours of nitpicking (literally) that sweet little enigma, repeated daily for a solid week, coupled with 2-3 loads of laundry each day, and I was waving the white flag.

You know those things you think you won’t ever survive? And then somehow you do.

Many of these weeks have not been particularly joyful. But I’ve been meditating on this verse when they aren’t: “For the joy set before him he endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2).

Lice is not the cross, but the point is that sometimes there’s not much joy to be had in the experience. The joy comes from not giving up, from pushing through with an appreciation not for our misfortunes but on the strength that gets us through them, the memories we make in the process. In a culture full of “enjoy the moment” angst, I offer up the comfort that it’s okay if your moment isn’t particularly enjoyable. Just enduring it can be it’s own reward.