May 15


I guess that it’s not always typical to reflect on a past year in the middle of May, but if you have school-age children or are in school yourself, you might be like me, and your years run more August-May than January-December. (As a child of two teachers, the summer months have always been a strange timeless zone, not really in one year or the other.) Anyway, so here I find myself, in the second week of May, looking back on a year.

At our winter getaway in Estes Park, CO

At our winter getaway in Estes Park, CO


It’s been a challenging year. Hard, with a few unexpected trials. I know that everyone has their own trials, so I hope this doesn’t come across as a “My-Trial-Is-The-Worst” post or something. Please, let’s not have those comparisons. But for the sake of honesty and reflection, this has been one of the hardest years of my life.


We, as a family, faced my first major health crisis when Bethany was born and I suffered a PPH. We then faced financial trials when our home in Alabama required all-new flooring and interior paint on all walls and ceilings, along with several other repairs, after our tenants moved out and left it in a mess. And I’ve faced emotional health challenges for the first time, dealing with some anxiety and fear.


Besides all the big things, the regular day-to-day has been harder for me this year, than ever before. I joke that “I’ve never worked so hard and had so little to show for it.” Yes, Bethany is my 5th child and so I was used to having a larger family before she was born. (Incidentally, when did 4 kids suddenly become a Large Family?) But I have never had 3 kids under the age of 5 before! It makes quite the difference! And I have two older kids, ages 8 and 11, who are capable of actually helping out in practical ways. NO idea how you moms–and several of you are friends of mine–have multiple little kids and no big helpers! Infant feeding schedules, infant napping schedules, toddlers that get into litter boxes, preschoolers that no longer take naps, approximately 15-18 loads of laundry per week…My days are a blur of constant motion from child to child, laundry room to kitchen, table to sink, in pursuit of that one blessed hour of naptime that I just might be able to grab hold of in the afternoon, if I can manipulate Bethany’s and Jojo’s naps to coincide, and if I can convince Sarah to settle down in front of a Disney movie.


Jojo: my sweet, affectionate, kind, tiny tornado

Jojo: my sweet, affectionate, kind, tiny tornado


ah...finally naptime

ah…finally naptime

But while this has been a hard year, “hard” does not mean “bad.” There is much I’m thankful for. Many of those blessings only came through the hard times and the hard work. Primarily, Bethany herself. My labor and childbirth experience with her may be the single most exhilarating moment of my life, and in the past few weeks I have found that I am now able to look back happily at that experience without also unnecessarily dwelling on the resulting trauma. And when we were in the middle of financial stress over the home repairs, we opened the mailbox one day to find a substantial gift from a lady that Tim had known over 12 years ago, who simply felt that the Lord wanted her to help us out. Beyond the real practical assistance she provided, that check in the mail encouraged our souls. I clung to this tangible reminder of God’s provision. And a few months later, we were able to write our own check to cover the entire cost of all the repairs, free of debt.


Over the course of this year I have spent more time in Scripture than in the past. Yes, I am a pastor’s wife; but I have never read the entire Bible. That’s changing now, though. Starting around the first of January, the Lord gave me a nearly insatiable hunger for His Word. I read through the New Testament by Easter and have since started over from the beginning in the Old, with a goal to finish by Christmas. I know that this desire couldn’t have possibly come from myself, but only from God.



Naomi has been such a big help this year

Naomi has been such a big help this year

We are facing yet another challenge now. This summer, we must move out of the home where we’re living now–a rental–as our landlord is selling his property. At this time we are not able to purchase a home here in Colorado, and rental options in our small town are almost nonexistent. We have a few promising ideas, but in the end, where we will go is in God’s hands and He has not fully revealed that to us yet. I am yet again learning to trust. I look back, not just over the past year but over all my years, and I know that God has been with me, and with our family,  all along. Sometimes that makes it easier to trust Him for the future. Sometimes it doesn’t make any difference! Sometimes I am like the Israelites, who would see the Lord’s miracles and then just a short time later, get thirsty, or hungry, or just tired and hot; and they would start grumbling…again. How I can relate! I thank God for His grace. Grace which covers my sin, and grace which gets me through the day. Grace which reminds me of His love, and grace which keeps me in His hands. He knows where I will be in the future, and His grace will get me there.

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