I spent some time reflecting on the past year as I made my Life Plan for 2014 and our sermon yesterday was a review of some of the congregations blessings over the past year. I’ve had “Count Your Blessings” stuck in my head all day. So here are some of my favorite memories and blessings of 2013 (in no particular order):
- The birth of my third son. What an unbelievable experience! He is 7 weeks old now and has made such a seamless entry into our lives.
- Hiring a close friend to work with us on the farm and having him and his wife and kids move just down the road. I love having a friend 5 minutes down the road and their whole family has been such a blessing with the extra help on the farm, support for when I had Baby Bear, and friends for my own boys to play with.
- A bountiful harvest. There is something to be said for irrigated fields. We have never, in all the years we have been farming, seen such an amazing harvest. And God protected our fields from the crazy weather too!
- A new brother-in-law. It wasn’t the prettiest process but my sister-in-law’s new husband is a wonderful addition to the family. And he brought with him two incredible new nieces, who I hope will learn to love our family as much as we already love them.
- The best family Christmas in the last decade. After many years of … upside down Christmases, Hubby and I both truly enjoyed spending time with both sides of our family as well as having more intimate celebrations with our own three boys.
- A new vehicle. I can’t say enough how much I love our GMC Acadia. Not only is it perfect for our family’s needs, it is a truly beautiful machine on the inside and the out. It is the first new vehicle I have ever owned and I feel so blessed to call it my own.
- Miracles and progress on the farm. We went through quite an adventure with moving a whole herd of cattle plus all the machinery last winter and much of this year was spent trying to figure out the new system and farming rhythm here. It wasn’t always easy and it was a steep learning curve but God answered our prayers and we are finally feeling like things are headed in the right direction.
- A church family that completely enveloped my family into their fold. We weren’t able to attend regularly throughout the year (partially due to farm work and partially due to our own fatigue after a long, hard week) but the congregation continually greeted us like we were old friends, with no judgement. It is very exciting to be at a place in our lives when church attendance can become more regular and we are able to leave feeling refreshed in both heart and spirit.
- Growth in my marriage. After 9.5 years of marriage, Hubby and I are closer than we have ever been. It is truly a God-thing to grow closer in spite of the busyness of the last year. Or perhaps it is because of it. I love being on the same page as him when it comes to goals for our family and the farm.
- My own spiritual growth. I’m actually excited to read my Bible. My post partum depression (from after my second son was born) has been defeated. I’m singing in worship again. But most importantly, God has convicted me of the importance of pursuing Him, for both my own sake as well as my family’s.
This year had led our whole family on an adventure of ups and downs and has taught us, once again, that God is in control and the only way to make it through any season of life is to fully rely on Him.
What are some of your favorite memories or blessings of 2013? How are you allowing the lessons you’ve learned in 2013 shape your 2014?
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