Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reflecting on the Beauty of this Past Year

It might be cold and snowy outside, but inside the paperwhites are starting. I love having bulbs grow this time of the year. It reminds me of the beginning of a new season of life. God is always doing something new. He is always tilling the ground in order to start new life.

This is also the time of the year when I look back on the growth that God has done in my life. Every time I go on the internet these days, there seems to be some story that tries to capture the best of the past year. In a similar way, I want to capture the best that God has given me this past year. Some of it is fun and some of it is hard, yet they are all precious gifts from God.

Someone close to me said to me, "I thank God that you are still standing." Yes, what a year. As Christy and I drove into the parking lot of the church the other night, we were reminded of the first time we came to the church. We cannot believe what God has done and continues to do in us and around us.

This past year is our first year of home ownership. Oh, the work that was done to get this house finished. The joys of home ownership. How much will it cost to do this project? Will the roof hold up for a few more months? Like so many other home owners, I am so thankful we have a warm house to live in and I pray that others would be kept warm by our loving God.

There is the joy of having a family that loves me and supports me. What a gift God has given me. I enter the house and have two boys running towards me, happy to have me home. And then there is the exhaustion. Please go back to sleep boys, please. They make up for it in many other ways. Building legos, wrestling on the floor, reading books together--I love those moments.

Of course I cannot forget the photographer. Don't tell her this, but I am still shocked she chose to marry me. I hope she doesn't change her mind. I would be lost without her. She keeps me going and has held me up many times during the year.

I am blessed with a fabulous team around me. I remember being away on retreat and reading my journal from past years. I longed to be part of community that would journey together towards God. I am now part of that community. I have a group around me that support me as well as inspire me to go deeper with God. They are the ones that make me look better than I am. Whether it is putting together a bulletin, keeping the finances stable, or leading one of the many ministries, they honor God and the church with their many gifts. We are all blessed by them.
God has also given me the gifts that I did not ask for. To be honest at the beginning I did not like them. Yet, through pain and struggle I rejoice in the situations that God has used to bring me closer to Him. He keeps pulling me into His presence. And, whatever way He chooses, I am learned contentment and thankfulness.

During this past year, God has worked in spite of me. He keeps pushing me and stretching me. He makes me uncomfortable of where my walk is with Him. I hear His voice calling me to go deeper and further. I have so many more things to show you. There are more flowers that must bloom.

I can't wait to see them God.

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