Monday, January 18, 2016

{ reflection }

  My word for 2015 was wholehearted. 

 " God, your God, will cut away the thick calluses on your hear and your children's hearts, freeing you to love God, your God, with your whole heart and soul, and live, real life. "
 Duet. 30:6 ( The Message ) 

  In 2015 I quit buying diapers. And I have watched my kids grow taller and farther away from the baby years.  What a honor it is to get to raise them and witness their little souls unfold. To be an intimate part of their shaping, of who they are becoming. I pray every day that they their hearts will be only, ever, all for Him.  It's a bittersweet process and I find my heart daily whispering these words:  "  the days are long but the years are short." 

   In 2015 David and I were able to sneak away for a couple different overnights. That was treasured time together. I have never been more in love with this man, who cares for me and sacrifices for our family daily with such tenderness and humility. The kids and I took and amazing road trip to see our dear friends for Spring break. We brought our precious, like a sister friend along and it was her first time to see the ocean. She's 15. She was laughing and crying as it came into view on the horizon. I will never forget that.  We snuck away as a family to our favorite place on the coast, Seabrook and ;  and in the summer my parents gifted us with a vintage trailer that the kids named Jolly and we have been happy little campers in her ever since.

In 2015 friendships were deepened and new friendships were forged. And we have seen God do miracles in our hearts and lives and the hearts of those around us and in our city. 

   In 2015 God opened my eyes to some incredibly dark corners of our world, corners I was not aware existed in such horrorfying magnitude of before.  Modern day slavery and sex trafficking became recurring themes in the days that followed and Jesus began to put people in my path and highlight these atrosities everywhere I turned. For months I wrestled as the  heaviness of the burden and weight of all I was learning settled over my soul. For a couple months during the summer I was sinking inside. Sinking under the sadness of the sin and brokeness I was seeing so close to my front door ( as close as the middle school that's two miles from where I live, but that's another story for another time ) Feeling swallowed whole by the enormity of pain and suffering. I felt broken for the loved ones I was watching walk through loss and trauma, abuse and injustice. The words of this song say it better than I ever could. As Jesus showed gently showed me this year that I cannot live wholeheartedly without surrender. I came out of that season with hope and a prayer that I would be delivered from whatever it is that keeps me from Jesus and a dream to see people delivered from whatever it is that keeps them from knowing Jesus.

I have come to this place in my life  

I’m full but I’ve not satisfied  

This longing to have more of You  

I can feel it my heart is convinced

I’m thirsty my soul can’t be quenched

You already know this but still  

Come and do whatever You want to

I’m standing knee deep but I’m out where never been

I feel You coming and I hear Your voice on the wind

Would you come and tear down the boxes that I have tried to put You in

Let love come teach me who You are again

Take me back to the place where my heart was only about You

And all I wanted was just to be with You

Come and do whatever You want to

Further and further my heart moves away from the shore

Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours

Further and further my heart moves away from the shore

Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours

Then You crash over me and I’ve lost control but I’m free

I’m going under, I’m in over my head  

And You crash over me, I’m where You want me to be

I’m going under, I’m in over my head  

Whether I sink, whether I swim  

It makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head
Whether I sink whether I swim
It makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head
I’m beautifully in over my head
I’m beautifully in over my head

  Honestly 2015 has left me with more questions than answers. So many more. But as the past year dies away and I anticipate all that the new year holds, this is not one of them: in 2015 I look back and see the unfailing faithfulness of Jesus. His perfect love for me, for my husband and my children, His perfect love for my friends and family, for the world: this is our only constant and unshakable reality. God's love and His Word, are the only fixed point of truth. And even as we press deeper into those places we doubt He is, as we fight back in trials and pain with joy, as we lean into the hard questions,  and walk in the light and do not step even a toenail into the darkness, as we love especially when it's ugly and messy,  as we embrace growing pains, and love when no one is looking. My our long days and short years be a lovesong declaring " and if not, you are still good! "

Books that I read in 2015 that left me a changed person: Holy Is the Day, The Hardest Peace, Playdates with God, A Loving Life, Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet,  Wonderstruck,

Books I am reading January 2016: Teaching From A State of Rest, Delancey, The Magic Art of Tidying Up, Cold Tangerines, The Reading Promise