It’s that time again! Another blogging year has flown right by! It’s at years end that I love to take stock of the lessons, the victories, and even my not so memorable moments. All of it teaches me so much, and gives me so many great reasons to praise Jesus.
My first lesson this year was a piece on pride. (Yeah, that nasty thing.) By late September, I needed to readjust my focus. I love to dream big, but I was reminded that it’s the little things that add up to the greater things. I was a bit stubborn to receive this message through SONG. (I can be over excited and eager), but I finally did come down off my high elephant. (lol)
The elephant in the room was supposed to symbolize my big dreams. However, after I wrote Pride Goes Before the Free Fall I connected the dots and laughed pretty good at the picture I’d been using as my sites cover photo. The photo came down, and so did I. (Or maybe I just fell off that great beast.) My God is awesome! When I’m sure that I’m falling from grace, He comforts me and gives me a good laugh instead.
While working on one of my blog pieces the Lord led me to a wonderful online Church. Since Andrew and I aren’t able to get out nearly as often as we’d like, this has helped us greatly. God supplies!
At Christmas I really enjoyed being hyper focused on our Saviors character. The brown Evergreen tree in our neighbors yard also spoke volumes to me. (By the way, our neighbor finally chopped down that unsightly brown tree. I’m a happy camper!) It was through the winter months that I also realized I was still over eager to get where the Lord is leading, as I wrote Early Bloomers and Horizon Hopefuls. Later in the year I wrote another piece on how Faithfully He Prunes. He’s been doing a lot of it! ❤
Grieving and Lamenting
Sadly, I found out that a dear friend had passed away at Christmas time, and this September another brother went to be with the Lord. We also grieved the loss of some relatives this year, and a friend of ours lost his son . It’s not easy on the heart when the people we care about are no longer with us, but we do celebrate their lives, and take comfort in the fact that we’ll see them again.
When depression kicked in, I learned to lament, and Andrew and I leaned on one another, as well as our heavenly Father, as He lead us into deeper waters . Thankfully, He’s always so gracious and kind to throw us so many life lines.
Giving God the Controls
By January I was really starting to feel the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (combined with my other health challenges.) I learned a lot about trusting God, and allowing Him to do the “piloting” as I wrote my three part series The Backseat Flyer. I was also reminded that it’s okay if I’m not feeling so confident in myself; my Confidence is in Him!
Have I ever mentioned that I love the special things that Jesus does, like “glitches” and “coincidences” One particular “glitch” lead to a conversation that caused me to spill all the beans. Through this conversation I learned how important it is to share our burdens. I thought I had to bottle it up and be strong, but I was wrong. It actually benefits both parties when we share our burdens.
Everything Under the Sun/Son
Speaking of having to be strong, I was reminded that God’s power works best in weakness . Boasting about our weakness helps others to grow, and humbles us. It’s so nice to know that I can depend on the Lord for everything I need.
My prayer life has also improved with this understanding, as I’m asking Him for EVERYTHING under the sun—especially His help! I’m grateful that He hears our cries, and answers!
Don’t Lean on Your Own Understanding
This year the Lord really emphasized NOT leaning on my own understanding. So I changed the blurb in my Gravatar profile to reflect this. It’s kept me from rushing ahead of Him, and prompts me to examine everything more closely.
Keep Asking, Knocking, and Seeking
When I was struggling the most, I became really hard on myself I also started to become resentful of the uphill battle. I wasn’t sure how I was going to keep getting back up, but my Jesus delivered! It does mean continuing to ask, knock and seek. (Abiding ) I was also reminded to ask Him to renew a right (or a “flight”) Spirit within me. (A “fight” spirit would work too.) This is something I’ve done more than once to stay on track. (And I’ll do it again if I have to!)
Speak the Truth with Love ❤
Some lessons aren’t fun! When my emotions we’re running high I failed to pray before addressing an issue with a friend. What I said was fair and true, but I could have handled it more patiently and gently . After the fact I did get away and pray, and this friend admitted that what I said was right. So God worked it for good, but it was a really good lesson in speaking the truth with love!
Last but not least, I came to LOVE the book of Jeremiah , and Psalms provided so many great reminders of God’s love and faithfulness. We were also gifted John MacArthur’s “The Power of Suffering”, which provided a lot of meat to chew on. Above all, The Bible remains my top pick and the most trusted resource to equip us for every good work. Praise the Lord, for another year of lessons, pruning and growth! ❤
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” –2 Timothy 3:14-17