2015 is over and 2016 already has many things that will be happening and some exciting firsts! Blessing #1 will be spending the majority of his summer serving oppressed people in a poor urban area in another state. Blessing #2 is going on her first mission trip in another country serving pastors for an unreached people group. Blessing #3 is starting college classes. Also, Blessings #3,4 and 5 are already practicing their parts for a play with a theatre group (first time for Blessing #5). Hubby and I joined our 1st small group with the new church we have started visiting in November. We are hoping to rent a home for a week this summer with my sister and her family. I am looking forward to going to an adoptive moms retreat this year. Our family has been researching and are hoping to add a standard poodle to our home -she will be a companion dog and will be trained for therapy work. Hubby and I got away for a weekend recently(thanks to a free hotel stay from our air mileage points) and began working on some short term and long term goals for us and our family so that was fun.
To sum up 2015 I would say it was a year of growth and dependence. As a family we grew in many ways together and individually. A lot of emotional growth from our kids at home. Also, it can be tough having kids of such a big age range sometimes. For our college age kids it is a time of readjusting for them and us when they come home for breaks from college where they are used to living on their own. To then being under our roof with so many younger siblings again. This year it seemed like we all just had a better way of respecting and valuing each others needs while strengthening and really enjoying our time together as a family. Also, we started serving at a weekly food pantry together as a family and that has grown us in ways we never imagined- it is now one of the highlights of our week. Ever since adopting we knew we would need to find ways to add more color to our lives. We live in a primarily white area and attend church for 9 years in a white community. For a while we were feeling it was time to start looking for a church closer to the city so there would be more diversity. In November we started searching. God led us to one that seems to be what our family needed. It is such a glorious representation of all the colors that will be in Heaven...it is truly beautiful. One Sunday there were more "pretty brown" children in blessing #5 class than white...tears from this mommas eyes started to flow. Also, this church is very proactive in serving (what Jesus came for) they are out in the community serving homeless, hungry, refugees and people recovering from various addictions -we love it.
For me 2015 was a year of growth and a deepened dependence on God along with learning its ok to ask and depend on others for help. Early in the year I had a pretty major reaction to an antibiotic that I was on for Lyme's disease that caused me to experience major depression. I have never experienced anything like this before-I now have a whole new compassion for people who suffer with this. I am so thankful for my pastor who met with hubby and I several times to help me with this. His wife - my friend who is so sweet, encouraging and blessed me with meeting for coffee. I told my sister and older kids what I was going through and thankful that I could depend on them and that they would pray for me. Too often I believe I have to be the strong one and don’t ask for help-the Lord knew I needed to learn humility too. I am so thankful for how God providentially let me know it was the medication I was on. Even after stopping the medication it took a little while for the symptoms to go away and for the medication to completely leave my body. However, on this side of it now I am so glad because in the midst of that time the one thing I knew and could cling to was Gods word and His promises to me. It was the one thing I would do when getting up and it so ministered to my heart and helped me to keep doing the next thing I needed to do for the day.
I don’t really set resolutions but I have in the past picked a verse to meditate on for the year to challenge me in my spiritual walk. This year I will be meditating on:
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.