I love the beginning of new years! There is something so incredibly refreshing about January 1st. I think it reflects the sense of renewal in us as humans that God gives so freely everyday. The fact that whatever happened last year or one second ago, His mercy is new every moment! When looking back on 2010, I am truly amazed at how blessed I am! Of course, there were hard times. Aren't there always? It is so easy to get bogged down on what was hard, and miss the blessing. But the last 365 days have been absolutely life changing!
To start, most of Hailey's life has been lived in 2010...and there are no words to describe that blessing. Not only in the incredible love I never knew I could feel for a human being, but in the way that God has grown me...the way that I have grown closer to the Father through the trials of parenting. It isn't easy, but nothing can show you the love of God more than raising children. You soon realize just how deep the words, "He gave His only Son" really mean. Just how much He loves His children. Even though I constantly question Him, He hopes for me...is patient with me...and sometimes has to smack my hand so I don't harm myself. Having a daughter has changed my prayer life...I pray that she will know God even now as a child, that she will serve the Lord with all her heart...that her strong willed personality will bloom into a strong woman of God. I pray for her husband, wherever that sweet baby boy is :), that he will love the Lord and treat her like my husband treats me. That she will find adventure and fulfillment in this life. That she will be raised in a home that loves the Lord truly and deeply.
2010 has grown my marriage...and what a marriage it is! Before Hailey, I literally thought to myself most days, "I cannot believe this is the marriage that I have! It's amazing!" I didn't think I could love Matt more. Seeing Matt as a dad, AN AMAZING DAD, has grown in me a new appreciation for my man. He is so hands on! So much so that sometimes I feel a bit guilty :) He gets up in the middle of the night if need be. He always makes sure I'm rested. He changes poopy diapers with almost no complaint. He does housework, he runs errands, he shows our daughter affection, and prays with me before bed. He works full time almost always until midnight and rarely complains. I couldn't ask for a better team mate...for a better person to raise children with...for a better man to love and be loved by. He is my best friend and my husband!
Crossroads is another blessing! In 2008 (wow it's been that long) Matt and I left everything we had known up until then spiritually, and embarked on an adventure to work alongside with God in establishing health in a church. It has NOT been easy, but God has been more than faithful! There is not enough room in cyberspace to explain all that God has done. Today in church, we shared testimonies. It was an open mic time where anyone could share. Usually, these make me nervous. What if no one talks? ha! So many shared...and everyone of them talked of how the ministry at Crossroads has changed their lives. How God has shown them that they belong...that they are loved...that He is with them. That no matter where they had been, he accepts them. I was moved to tears with gratefulness. I do not boast when I thank God for allowing me to be a part of this life changing ministry. To see people that did not know the Lord two years ago, and to now see them serving God and being used to grow the kingdom. I'm moved to tears even now. I have learned that Christ truly changes lives...lives that were so entrenched in sin...that Satan thought he had won...and Christ claimed the victory. I've learned that it's easy to "play church." It's easy to know the answers to all the right questions, but nothing will sustain you...nothing will fulfill you...and nothing will protect you like the love of God.
These are just a few of the blessings 2010 has brought. 2011 is sure to be an adventure...the year we celebrate 5 years of marriage, and welcome our second daughter into the world. The year Hailey turns two. The year Crossroads steps into it's vision for the future after building a foundation...FINALLY! The year I discover more of myself, and more of God than I have before. HERE WE GO!