I do not make resolutions each New Year. I do not set goals. The New Year does bring a natural inclination to think about the previous year and where the new one will take you. I think about a lot of aspects of my life and goals to set for myself. I am not static. I am ever-changing and growing emotionally and spiritually.
I have thought a lot about things I want to change in my life. Eat healthier, exercise more often, stress less, be the best wife and mom I can be. Each one of these things is affected directly by God. My goal this year, and every year, is to grow closer to God. I was remodeling my blog today and something in the category cloud caught my eye.
Can you see it? That teeny tiny “Jesus” in the midst of all the larger things?
My blog topics may vary, but in my everyday life, I want Jesus to be a bigger priority than anything else in my life.
Today, tomorrow, always.
One thing God has been teaching me this year is that He is here with me through the good and the bad. The worse things have been, the stronger He shows himself to me. I am so thankful for his comfort and presence. The hurt has been hard, but the healing brings hope and peace and thankfulness.
When we started our plan to pay off all of our debt Dave Ramsey-style, we were told that things were going to come up that would try to keep us from our goal. Little did we know that beginning in the Fall of 2009, we would spend a year getting to know Murphy and his law all too well.
Unplanned expenses from Fall 2009 to Fall 2010
- $1100 – van repairs
- $1000 – dental work after insurance paid
- $1100 – replace home air conditioner
- $200 – replace van windshield (thank you, gigantic dump truck for throwing a boulder at my van)
- $500 – deductible to replace hail damaged roof…when it rains it pours?
- $187 – repair new home air conditioner that broke 5 days after the warranty expired
- $850 – health insurance deductible kicked in 1/1/10
- $500 – replace Papa Llama’s car, may it’s scrapped soul rest in peace
This was truly the most stressful year we’ve ever had with finances. We live on one income comfortably, but when expenses of this nature keep adding up it makes it very difficult for us. The bright spot in all of this is that we paid cash for all of these expenses. Years ago we would have charged them on a credit card and thought about how to pay it off later. Believe it or not, we are thankful for the past year of financial ups and downs. We are also humbled by it all. There are so many people dealing with lost jobs and foreclosures and health crises that I often wonder what in the world we were so stressed and worried about. In the end, it was a huge lesson in God’s faithfulness and trusting that He’s got everything under control.
Matthew 6:25-34 is a passage in the Bible that I read often. The parts in bold are constant reminders to me to keep my eyes on God.
25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
My husband’s willingness to relentlessly meet the needs of his family.
Snuggling my children.
A glass of Riesling.
God’s creativity. I am constantly astounded by it. Somehow I am stunned by the beauty of Fall every single year.
The internet. Yes, silly, but I do love it so.
And sleep. Good night, Internet.