Woohoo! I hope you have been enjoying the past couple of weeks with family and friends. I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and you are looking forward to the New Year. I don’t know about you, but I have been very reflective the past few days. I’m always stirred to do this at the end of the year. I look back on the year, give praises and glory to the Lord, and then get excited about what He is stirring in my heart for the next year. I have to say, 2016 was chalk FULL of accomplishments, lessons learned, surprises, disappointments, victories, and a TON of spiritual growth, which is exactly what I sensed was going to take place about this time last year.
I had no idea the holy discontentment I would experience in January of this year would lead to not one, but two more challenges for the year, where several women would experience physical wellness, and gain a sense of strength over the course of forty-five days. I also had no idea several of us would take on the challenge of doing fifty 5k’s in fifty days, and complete them (Hubster included). Nor did I expect to completely fall off the fitness wagon after finishing. I would have never guessed my family and I would have enjoyed building, raising and gathering from the chickens we added to our home – but we did.
I was delighted as the Lord began transforming this site and social media outlets into a place that would better encourage, support and edify other women on their journeys to becoming whole in spirit, soul and body. I loved sharing not one but two 5k races with my dear friend. I loved witnessing my daughter grow spiritually, as well as become more independent, on our mission trip to the Dominican Republic, together.
Life changed following that mission trip. Our oldest grew up and seemed to launch from the nest sooner than we expected. Our youngest literally growing at a rate of one inch per month, while exploring who she is becoming. The constant, as we all know, was change. Our marriage changed. Our family changed. Our friendships changed. Our hearts changed. We wanted more after that trip. More love. More life. More living without fear. More LIVING.
Books like “Undaunted”, “Wild & Free”, and “Fervent Prayer” moved me from a place where I really wanted to settle into, into places where I would be extremely uncomfortable – and the response from others would make me even more uncomfortable. But looking back, it was all necessary. From praying with our private online community for so many women I love, to going live and sharing about ensuring we set aside time, have true connections, and understand brokenness, as well as being cautious of ditches. It was all necessary.
God was stretching me. Seeing if I truly was willing to go wherever He would lead. Like creating the recipe book and compiling the devotions book, and then asking others to review for me. All this both excited me and made me uneasy at the same time. I knew I could create for my daughters, I desire nothing more than to leave them with items possessing eternal value. But being open to others’ criticism, while also feeling the lack of support from some I never would have guessed, generated unease I had to hand over to the Lord and trust He was going to do something with. When He surprised me with new support and encouragement, I began seeing sometimes that is how it goes – there will be a pruning and growing – and it’s ok.
In October, when I was faced with the notion of having only twelve months to live, my entire perspective shifted. A resolve solidified in my soul that there are no other options BUT to follow wherever He leads, and that living testimony to my husband and girls is all I really need to leave behind. There’s that word LIVING – again. While contemplating and praying about what living might look like in 2017, so many things came to mind…
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