When we were talking about the delay in sewing them, my mother-in-law made a comment about those being the good ole days, 2 years ago. And it hit me how much life can change in two years.
Two years ago, just before the New Year, she came to visit and we picked out the fabric together. Since then, much has happened.
- I've given birth to two more children, Andrew and Alexandre.
- My mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. She has had multiple surgeries and is now in excellent health, but she does still have cancer.
- Our son had emergency lung surgery to save his life as a newborn. This remains one of the most terrifying things we have experienced.
- My husband's cousin passed away very suddenly at 41, leaving her three young children behind.
- Last Spring, I sat with a friend at the hospital, watching her have contractions for a baby that we knew had already passed away in her womb. She was too far along for a D&C and had to labor for this baby, little Jack. Months later, as her due date approached, I asked her how she was doing. She said that we're often closer to God during the trials. I agreed, and said I needed to be more faithful with my quiet times, so that I would stay close to Him when I wasn't in a trial.
- A few weeks later, my step-dad, who had been another father to me for 18 years, passed away suddenly. It was one of those heart attacks that even his doctor could not have predicted. And still, my family is reeling with the loss of such a loving, godly man who always put his children ahead of himself.
I write all of this not to be depressing, but to remind myself that life is short. Many good things have happened in this same time span, including the birth of my children, the marriage of my brother-in-law and his wife, and their adoption of a precious little boy, our only nephew.
And in 2013, I have no doubt that the Lord will bring many more blessings. Our family will be welcoming a new little niece this summer, and I'm delighted to pick out sweet little pink things for her.
But none of us knows what God has for us this year. It could be some very sweet things, some very difficult things, or an abundance of both. I know for my family, there will still be many sad times as we have continue to figure out what life looks like without my step-dad. I want those joys and trials to all bring me closer to the Lord. That is my goal for the year.
Do I want to lose weight? Yep. Do I want a more organized home? Sure. Do I want to come up with a solid gameplan for homeschooling my children? Absolutely.
But the past two years have shown me how short life can be, and more important than a checklist is character improvement. The fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:16). I want my children and family to know that they are loved. I don't want to lose my patience with my 4 year old. I want to be more disciplined in every area of life, not because it's good to do, but because by denying myself, I'm relying on Christ. More of Him and less of me. I want to grow closer to the Lord and I want others around me to grow closer to Him too, not in spite of me, but because they're encouraged by my walk with God. And if these things aren't true of me now, then I want them to be in 2013.
By growing in my walk with God now, I can have an even more solid foundation for the days to come. And as for those unknown joys and trials that are sure to come in 2013, this much I do know:
Whatever my lot
Thou hast taught me to say
It is well
It is well
With my soul.
Today, I hope that it is well with you, my friend.
What are your spiritual goals for 2013?