Well, last year is over and it is a New Year! We all look forward to it as a new beginning and fresh start, with hope and a sense of moving forward. We all want it to be different then the last, better than the last... I don't believe that that is ever different. We may have good years but we always want the new year to be even better than last. It is the same for me, I so want it to be better than the last. But in order to know if it is better we have to look back and see where we were, how far we came, and how God's hand was in the midst of it all, so that is what I am doing.
Last year for me was a year of turmoil, good and bad. We started off rocky, Mark was new at his job and money was extremely tight after him being off work for 8 months. We didn't know how we would make ends meet with what he made at work and that stressed us both very much. But we believed God would provide, He always had, and behold, Mark was promoted 4 times in the next 6 months with 4 raises. Unheard of with the state. God truly blessed us, He took care of us. We still struggle making ends meet because of the crazy gas price issues and the fact that food and essentials are so much more expensive than ever before, but we are sure God will make a way for us, He has proven faithful every single time.
We bought a house in the spring and with that came more stress. It was the 5th move in 2 years and it was enough to almost drive me batty. But it is a beautiful piece of land in the country/mountains and I love it. It has been a challenge to fit our stuff into our new home since it is much smaller than we were used to, but that too is a good thing. What is really important? When it comes down to it, not much! One of the biggest struggles I had with living where we do this last year is making it into town. It is 30 minutes to the nearest place, and 45 to most and with gas prices outrageous it was a juggle to do what I needed, all in ONE day with a 3 year old in tow.
Mark worked through the summer in Seattle on union negotiations 2 hours away, so he would leave at 4 in the morning and not be home till 6, 7 or 8 in the evening, sometimes not making it home till after 10. For me those were extremely lonely days. I was only going to town once a week, so my contact with real people other than my daughter was limited and for me it was almost like being help prisoner by my own home. But, Mark is working from Oly again and so he is home before 6 every night. He is my best friend and I adore having him around.
My daughter this year has been a blessing to us, we can't imagine life without her in it, or what it was like before. She gave us a few scares this year with her asthma issues, having to go to the hospital. But God has kept her safe and she loves life, even if she hates treatments.
We started our business this fall and have a ways to go before it is what we want it to be, but it is started and for that, Yahooo! Now, we need to make the time to work on the site, and on Mark's art. He has hundreds of drawings/paintings to upload, which takes hours. Each painting has to be changed to a different size when uploading for every single product. So if I want to sell a cup, the graphic has to be such and such size, while the shirt is a different size. It makes it very time consuming. But what a blessing it will be if we continue to persevere and make this work the way we want. My hope is it will bring enough money in to pay for extras like vacation, school things for Charis, and fun stuff for her like dance or music... whatever she falls in love with.
My relationship with God isn't where I want it to be at all, but if it was I think I should be scared. I don't think any of us will ever be where we need to be when it comes to our relationship with God until we are fully in His presence and this world is washed away. But my longing is to get closer to Him, to feel Him in my life, to rely on the Spirit and to long for My KING. I read a blog the other day, and the man was talking about his Papa, and how amazing he was. He was so loved by his Papa that nothing else mattered. His Papa was God and for me God has never been daddy, Papa or anything so endearing. Father and God yes, but not Papa. Father and God seem very formal, revered, and authoritative, but Daddy, Papa seem so loving, devoted, cherished, and deeply caring. That is how I want to see my God now, as my Papa, and I will ask Him every day to show me that part of Him.
So I look forward after looking back, knowing that God will provide me and my family with health, a place to live, food to eat, and love to share. He will become all that we need, making everything else less important, even our own agendas. He will increase, I will decrease. My next year will be better than the last, deeper than the last, more beautiful than the last. And if the world continues to get worse, fall apart, move into upheaval I know that there is One who will sustain my path, calm my fears, and protect every step I take because He loves me more than any imagining could congure. And for that I am grateful and I can say, Happy New Year in my Papa's name!