Looking back over the course of the year, it has had some amazing highs – our first family vacation to Disneyland, bon fires on the beach, adopting our youngest who has started walking and officially in toddler mode – no more babies in our home, my husband leading the campus church, and starting Inspire Gatherings and so on. And while it is has been awesome, it has definitely been full of hard; a word I do not like to rest on but one that has been in my vocabulary more than I would like to say it this year.
I entered the year tired. Scrape me off my bed tired. I had done blood tests and ultrasounds before Christmas of 2016, which thankfully revealed nothing more than what my OBGYN referred to as post pregnancy regulation of my menses, after experiencing excessive bleeding and fatigue. I was thankful, despite the oddness of being three years post pregnancy.
In the fall, as the cool (for California) air came, I grabbed a pair of pants that to my dismay, no longer fit – the only other time this happened, I found out I was pregnant and this clearly was not the case. The dentist appointment I finally rescheduled after delaying for over six months revealed a cavity - my third cavity ever, which came as a surprise since I could not even feel discomfort from it.
These quickly became tell tale signs of the tiredness and the less than stellar routines it had produced, not to mention all of the chocolate chips I had been eating through it all.
My morning routines more common than not, were waking up to kiddos asking for breakfast or crying - a lot of crying in January with colds and sickness. A good part of the New Year, my sweet husband let me sleep in until he went to work in the morning, leaving my quiet time until afternoon naps on good days and morning runs hard to come by.
Through it all, God has been faithful and good. Despite the tiredness, he always gave strength and the reminder that he is not bound by time and bible studies are not mandatory in the mornings (though my favorite) and a sweet friend who seemed to be like my personal prayer warrior for the year. Not to mention my mom and mother in law who cleaned our home and babysat more times than I can count. As I lay on the table waiting for the ultrasound in regards to bleeding, the Lord whispered, be still and know that I am God. And as I stepped out in faith leading Inspire Gatherings, God spoke about setting tables for his kingdom and provided everything that was needed and more than I could imagine; one of the sweetest gifts he has given besides my family. It has been a slow and small year, the exact words He gave me to usher in 2017.
By God’s grace and what feels like a small miracle, my energy levels have been back up and to my own surprise this anti-gym girl currently has eight weeks in as a gym member, waking up at what I like to call dark o’clock for bible study before working out, before the kiddos wake. My pants are pretty much fitting and my chocolate consumption is at an all time low. And my teeth are getting a better brushing and flossing, in case you were wondering.
Friend, I have no idea how your past year has been. Perhaps you are finding your pants are on the tighter side or maybe this year has been one for the record books, wherever you find yourself today, I pray that you see the goodness of God throughout the past year and praise him. Praise him for the strength that he has given you to prevail and the perseverance to see things through and the grace he has given despite your short comings and the blessings he sprinkled along the way through friendships and prayers and the gift of a new day.
God has been bringing Jeremiah 29:11 to mind the last few weeks, so I wanted to pass it along to you. It is one that can be cliché in its over usage but a reminder of what God intended from the beginning of creation. His plans have always been for good, for our good. While Adam and Eve brought sin and death in to the world, something that we bring into our own lives at times, God is always good and always working out good – even when we fall short eating too much chocolate - for those who love him (Romans 8:28).
Praying for you as the year unfolds. May you embrace the year with open hands, actively seeking out the goodness of God daily, even when it is hard. Even when the enemy is telling you otherwise. God is good. God is faithful.
If you need a little reminder of who God is, here is a teeny sampling of scriptures that touch on it.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Originally posted in The Inspire Monthly newsletter, January 2018.