This Has Been a Happy New Year

“There are mixed emotions attached to January 1st. We stand at the beginning of 2018 overwhelmed with 365 days of which we know nothing about. We feel hope, pain and healing often simultaneously. We fight hard to surrender to God & we find joy in our surrender! If you lived through last year and came to the end of it nearer to God, then you had a successful year.

Make 2018 the place where you grow even nearer to God. Resolve to give your heart to God again & again whether it be dancing or crying. Fall into the shadow of God’s wings every day, sure that nothing can separate you from His love. God’s going to be faithful. He’s going to keep loving you & He’s going to keep healing your wounds with Himself. My heart can handle change only because God doesn’t change! There is so much joy today…as much as there is for any day…all because of God!” -January 1

“I have been waiting for the pouring rain for quite awhile, and yesterday it finally came. Continuous sheets of gloomy water fell with promise. ‘Those are going to be beautiful flowers’, I thought to myself when night had fallen and Monday was close to dead. Oh if only I carried that much faith for all that God is doing in my heart right now! I’m learning to trust Him with my winter just as I trust Him with my spring. Split wide-open wounds seem to be the best soil for God’s grace & healing.

Winter doesn’t have to hurt.” January 9

My birthday felt like a crossroads for me. Am I going to continue living under all this weight? Or am I going to pick up and move forward and choose LIFE, and the God of all JOY to give me that life?” -January 13, 2018

“I love that we can step out of January and into February knowing that God doesn’t change…and if we draw near to Him, then life will be even more enjoyable as we walk into March. The truth is…circumstances won’t give you joy and seasons of life may satisfy for a time, but not forever. BUT GOD! He will give of Himself as we know Him…and our satisfaction won’t be in what we are given, but in Who we know…the Giver, God Himself!” -February 1

“After a crazy week and before the full weekend, I picked these simple beauties. They are my first flowers of the spring season. I loved plucking these from the ground, knowing that new life will always come again, but it’s good and necessary to enjoy what’s springing up now! So many wonderful realizations this week. Deep ones and practical ones…hard ones an good ones. All freeing! All reminding me of my human fragility. All showing me plain as day just how little I am, that I’m not meant to hold everything, and do all the things and succeed.

Sometimes, we must sink in our weakness, wake up to God’s strength, and then move forward courageously. I’m in the last two of these today. I love living life. I love being alive in God. Happy Spring!” -March 24

“As a child of God, there are big moments of rejoicing…when all of earthly life goes dim and you have no room to think of your heartache or struggles. You are simply lost in God, ready to offer everything back, leaping through this earth-bound pain to see the good that He has for you, for others, for purposes you cannot even begin to know quite yet. So then…all your heart can do is rejoice, rejoice, rejoice! Life with God is life-giving. I had one of these big moments last week. It was personal, it was real, and it was full of rejoicing. “ -April 5

“I scurried past the beautiful spring flowers…foolishly thinking THERE IS NO LIFE HERE! Like my rebellious shout could change the fact that God is life and brings life in and restores all life always. The yelling never lasts long as a child of God, because God brings us back and makes us uncomfortable until we return! If you are broken, you are also whole. This is life with God.”-April 10

“Recently, I’ve been starting my day with this thought: ‘I believe in Your goodness.’ This automatically changes the course for my day. God, I BELIEVE that you are good. I BELIEVE that you are good to me. I BELIEVE You have goodness in store (may be totally unlike anything I can imagine, but it will be good!). And this morning while channel surfing in the Psalms, I came across Chapter 107. I never knew this passage existed! It was like finding a treasure chest for the soul!

Psalms 107:9- “For he (God) satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”

You can be sure that God Himself will do the satisfying! Not the people He puts in your life, not the gifts you get, not the material blessings, or the dreams coming true..NOPE! God Himself will satisfy your soul. You may receive many gifts + blessings along the way…God always loves giving diversely and abundantly, but for the longing soul He gives Himself! And that is more than enough. I BELIEVE that God is good. Without question.” -May 9

“God is working miracles we never imagined, writing stories we are much too scared to write, giving us Himself so that we can ALWAYS live from a Place of a abundance.  I will sing a new song…the song God is teaching me to sing!” -May 30

“Here is the one simple phrase that will quiet our souls: ‘It is God Who made us and we are His.’ (Ps 100:3) 💛 Doesn’t that calm your fears and come alongside you in this sorrow? Doesn’t that burrow deep into your heart telling you to stay? Because yes, God knows you, He loves you, and He calls you HIS very own. You better believe that He is working in your life with love, doing good for your soul, accomplishing glory for Himself. It is God who made you, and you are His!” -June 5

“There’s always this huge soul sigh of relief when I remember, ‘God will fulfill His purpose for me’. It’s easy for me to get sucked into to ‘what if’s’ and ‘but look over there.’ The reality is those things don’t matter, but I matter to God and He will fulfill His purpose for me…for His glory and my good. Suddenly, I don’t have to get it. I don’t have to see it. I don’t have to know what’s coming or be overwhelmed by all that’s behind me. I just get to KNOW God and be KNOWN by God while He works in me and works around me to accomplish His purpose for me.

It may look different that I thought it would, but it’s designed by God. And there’s glorious freedom in that. I’m not made for me, I’m made for God…and He knows what to do with what He created. I rest!” -August 17

“YOU’RE NOT STUCK. Tired seasons don’t last forever, and they don’t get the final say. The exhaustion and soul-sapping shape of these seasons brings new life by the miraculous power and love of God. This is life with God! Never stuck. Always grace. And backward seasons that always, always mean forward movement in the kingdom of God.” -September 11

“Never EVER underestimate the beauty of growing. It looks a lot like blooming. It feels a lot like pain and a whole lot of discomfort. But I’ve learned that miracles don’t just happen at the end of a season, they happen IN the very ugly middle places that scare our minds and scar our hearts AND THEN right there…every part is healed in full by God! In the depth of any season, in all the middle places God remakes you with blooming wonder and brimming joy…THIS is life with God! We don’t have to be afraid of pain. There is beauty here and beauty hereafter.” -September 21

“I loved the downpour of rain that came yesterday! And it made me wonder…what does this rain mean for next spring? Beautiful things, I know! There is SO much more to come! God doesn’t only work in the things we can see right now, but in the things we can’t see (sometimes for years!). I love the fall rain simply because it is rain, but I also love it because I know God gives that rain a purpose, and I’ll see a thousand spring wildflowers as proof.

The God who sees us works in ways we cannot see! No season stands alone!” -October 4

“Choosing to trust in God’s goodness though you cannot understand it is still a beautiful kind of worship. Never give your broken heart the power to stand in the way. Yes, your heart can be broken and confused, but make it follow. Always make your heart follow.

And here God will transform this heart as it drags along your wilderness-way. God will infuse life into its core. He will fill your soul with song. It will be more than well.” -October 17

“Don’t lose out on this season of pain, heartache, waiting, endurance, disappointment, or WHATEVER it may be. God will not waste any part of your life, so you MUST live boldly here.

Pour out your soul and watch it learn to celebrate. Teach your mind to go straight through the fire as you hold fast to the truth. Go with confidence where God has led you, and drag your heart along…forcefully if need be. Your heart will beat joy again. Your soul will sing along. And all the while weaving through will be you the way God desired and designed…nothing wasted, now, then, or ever.” -October 23

“Even in the breaking, the falling, the punctures, the struggle…there is beauty in life with God. This kind of beauty is not always pretty. But goodness and mercy follows. Joy does come. The best for us is always in God’s heart. We don’t have to be afraid of falling like leaves. God’s ways are not our ways, His thoughts not ours. Life with God can feel ugly, but we can’t see everything…or anything, really. So let’s just see our God, the God who sees.” -November 21

“I don’t think any adult walks into the holiday season without feeling the weight of another year. Life on earth and life with God means pain and joy walk hand-in-hand. I’m learning to soak up the life I have right now. The good gifts don’t negate the hard things, but Ben said something profound last week. He reminded me that Christmas is really the beginning. We celebrate the birth of Jesus…essentially the birth of our Hope & Joy.

Thinking of Christmas as the beginning and realizing that this whole season is one of Thanksgiving, of Remembering, and yet of Rejoicing. Because here is the beginning all over again. Hope and and Joy and Peace!” -December 12

I think it’s safe to say that we can run confidently & joyfully into 2019. Another beginning! God will be there with us and underneath are His everlasting arms!

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