Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: My Year of Grace

(picture by beach baby kisses, found on etsy.  Love my print.  Check her shop out!)

Grace: unmerited favor.  A gift that you don't deserve.  God smiling down on you, and you feeling Him all around.

His grace is sufficient.  Enough. Always.  His grace makes a bad day good, makes us realize our blessings, makes us look ahead to the future.

All reasons I chose grace as my one word for 2013.  I embraced 2013 as a year of grace.  Celebrating His grace given to me.  Celebrating my blessings. Thanking God for His gifts.

I learned that grace isn't just about me... in fact, because He has so freely offered, I must offer it, too... yet it isn't as easy for me.

2013.  My year of grace.  And oh, I learned so much...

I learned that absence really does make the heart grow fonder.  In the three months that Wallace was in Texas, I realized just how much I like having him around.  And how much fun it is just to hang out.  And why I fell for him in the first place.  I also learned just how good someone looks when they are waiting for you at the gate at the airport.

I learned that family and love will make a man who has never flown hop on an airplane to accompany his daughter in law and grandson across the country. I learned, too, that sometimes, I can do things that I don't think I can.

And on that note, I learned that if you put your mind to it, and work hard, you can do what you need to get by.  Pursuing my doctorate degree has proven to be one of the most difficult things I've ever done, and I'm still not finished... but by the grace of God (and I've learned there's a lot of it), I'll finish.

I learned that difficult decisions have to be made, and sometimes no one understands why you choose to do what you have to do.  I've learned that sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and trust God if He opens a door, regardless of the backlash.  And I've learned that change can be good, even as we miss parts of what we left behind.

I've learned that family is always the most important.  Caleb has grown up so much this year.  The three months Wallace was away made me see him in a whole new light.  While he still sometimes thoroughly gets on my nerve (like right now, when I'm trying to type this and he just.. won't. stop. talking), he is the love of my life.  He's become my concert partner.  We've watched Toby Mac twice, and Chris Tomlin.
I've learned that time with family doesn't have to be complicated. Some of my favorite memories every year come in the third week of July, when my "Michigan" cousins come down and hang out.  We sit around and talk and catch  up, and I count down to July the rest of the year.

Family is about an extension of yourself.  I've always loved my cousins, and as I grow older, I'm learning that the bond of family is important.  As my grandparents are growing older and struggling with health problems, 2013 taught me that time with those you love is most important.

And speaking of family, family isn't always blood. Family is about those who stand behind you, regardless.  In a rough summer, one week at the beach was much needed, and those days in the sand and sun brought about a whole new meaning of family.

2013 also taught me that kids are the best.  Watching Will grow has been a true treasure.  He's slowly learning to talk, and makes life interesting.
I learned that just because you've never met someone, doesn't mean you can't love them.  My Online Bible Study peeps are awesome, and I am so honored to get to do life with them, even though it is through a computer.
And I learned that His Grace is Enough.  That you can overcome if you keep persevering. And that in the end, He's there to hold you up.
Thanks, 2013, for all the memories. I'm looking forward to all 2014 has to offer.  God bless you and yours!

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