I can't say I was sad to see 2012 go. As Son (#3) and I like to say, "It's not my favorite".
Some wonderful memories. Fun times with the troops. Watched them grow up a lot, for sure (My boys are SO much taller, too.).
But some really hard things.
How do we grieve the hard things and smile at the blessings?
All at once?
I'm not sure.
My mother reminded me of I Peter 4 during our morning walk/jog in the freezing temps this morning (Can you say frost on the inside of my Buff? Ugh.).
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
Fiery trials (not some strange thing!).
Joy (of the exceeding variety!).
I don't get it.
This year will likely bring more "fiery trials". I'm not foolish enough to think it won't. But blessings will likely come, too. I intend to count them. Even when the trials seem to drown me. . . I'm going to keep counting my blessings. Finding the joy.
I'm grateful to look back and see that the Lord has healed my girl (Daughter #6) and given us the grace we've needed for homeschool. And sleep. He's given us back our sleep! Can I get an AMEN?
I'm grateful that the Coach has been coaching basketball. And is loving it. And that Daughter (#2) is loving it, too.
I'm grateful for a football season that ended with my son being healthy and whole. Times two! Sons, that is.
I'm grateful for our school. . . that the construction is moving along (inside and out, planned and unplanned, too!) and things might sort of return to normal before too long.
I'm grateful for the Lord's gracious financial provision for our troops. So grateful.
I'm grateful for sweet friends for my troops (and that they love hanging out at our house!). And for my BFF's, too. I've needed them so desperately this year.
I'm grateful for precious memories with both of our sets of parents. Africa with my parents for the oldest two. Colorado with my parents in the Summer. Branson with both sets of grands at Christmastime.
I'm grateful for precious times with the Coach last Summer. Chicago - what a fun trip! Branson - so relaxing.
I'm grateful for the many date nights we've enjoyed, home projects finished - a new driveway!! - painting - furniture replacements (We seem to wear things out. Go figure.). And lots of lots of laughing.
I'm grateful for healthy kids. SO very grateful for healthy kids.
And in 2013?
I'm looking forward to some things, for sure:
Making the Daily Audio Bible a regular part of my mornings.
Finishing up a Spring of homeschool and sending ALL EIGHT of the troops to school in the Fall. Won't that be amazing? "Lord willin' and the creek don't rise", as they say.
Turning 40. Yikes. And a beach trip with the girls to celebrate! Yay!
Hopefully running another 1/2 marathon in the Spring. Not the full marathon I'd been hoping for. . . but this Fall wasn't quite what I had planned. I have some work to do in that department.
Sending my big kids off to share the gospel, again, next Summer. A dream come true each and every time.
I'm even contemplating a return to Weight Watchers. If I can find the time.
And hopefully getting in more blogging now and then. I miss it.
One thing I know for sure? God is still on His throne. And He still loves me.
Happy 2013, to all of you, Dear Ones!
May the Lord be more real to you in the coming year.
May you KNOW His love in a deeper way.
And may He grant you the grace to love those around you, as He loves them.
From my troops to yours. . .