It is the last day of 2015. It's the time of year for remembering and resolutions. We all look at what we are leaving behind in the previous year and the to the hope of a new year! As I sit and think about this past year....I find myself with both smiles and sadness.
God has taught me many lessons this year....some not so easily and others quickly.
1. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. As our family of 4 continues to grow up...we continue to grow in our parenting. It definitely takes work and prayer.....I have learned I don't pray enough for my kids. They face a world that continually challenges them to give there hearts away to so many things. This privilege and responsibility calls for more of my time and energy each day. 2016 must me a year of increased intention to each of my kids.
2. " I am not defined by what I do" This idea was a reoccurring theme for me in 2015. My job, my marriage, my kids, my choices don't define who I am. They may explain about me, but they don't define who I am. My identity is found only in Christ. I am His child, I have been saved because He chose to die for my screw ups and sins. I desire to continue in 2016 making choices each day to that reflect my identity. I want others to see who made me who I am today!
3. People Matter. Whether it's our family, our church, or even my employees.....people matter above things. I am driven to get a list done and deadlines met, but God is showing me that people matter. Stuff comes up in each of our lives and His agenda doesn't always match mine each day. I have learned but have not yet arrived at making sure each day I put God's agenda first. When I do, I get to take part in some really great stuff and see peoples lives light up and change. When I stick to my agenda I miss out on being part of something greater.....I don't want to miss out in 2016.
4. Transparency is valuable. 2015 was a year of sharing my junk on a much more public scale. It is scary to say the least. When Andrea and I decided that we have a call on our life to share with others, we knew it wouldn't be easy. People may be shocked and not know how to react. Others may pull away because it was messy. God showed us that no matter what TRUST HIM! By being real we have seen the door unlocked for others to be real. We have seen our story give hope to couples that felt trapped and alone. We have seen husbands and wives fight through some terrible brokenness in order to find God's healing and restoration. It's not easy to share your "stuff", but God is so faithful in creating new from the ashes!
It has been a year of so many joys and successes.
It has been a year of tears and heartache.
2016 will have the same again, but I am praying that I don't have to learn the same lessons over again. I hope that I am going to be working on new lessons. I know some will be easy and undoubtedly some will take a knock over my head. I am human just like you. I just keep asking that I am moldable and teachable...that I trust His love and discipline to continue shaping me to be more like Him each day.
What have you learned from 2015?
What are you leaving behind?
What is ahead?
Happy New Year!