Well, it is that time again where I sit down and I write my thoughts down regarding the year we are finishing out. 2011 marked the year of social media. 2012 was the year of love. 2013 was the year of marriage, and 2014 was the year of the home.
It has been quite an incredible journey, all chronicled here on the blog. The journey of meeting Mark, moving to North Dakota, getting married, and building a home. Phew. 2015 should be the year of let’s take a breather.
As I sit here and think about this year as it wraps up, I honestly hate that one thing comes to my mind. This year marks the year we tried. And God didn’t answer our prayers. If you’re wondering what I am talking about, you can find previous posts on the subject here. We have been trying this year to grow our family. And what a whirlwind, rollercoaster learning process that has been. It quite frankly was a journey I wasn’t prepared for when it began.
But when I set that aside and I think back on all the things God has blessed our lives with… I can’t help but end this year, not with sadness for what should have been, but with a huge exhale and a sense of peace. Maybe these months, this year. 2015. Served as a break, a breather year. And maybe, it was a breather we didn’t even know we needed.
Certainly, a lot happened for a “breather year”… I traveled all over the nation doing speaking and blog related stuff, we finished our house, we moved into our house, and we traveled as a couple across the country on the Harley. My parents visited three times this year, we visited them twice. We visited friends in Montana. We took a trip to Vegas. We worked, we farmed, and we lived.
We added new friends to our network and built deeper friendships with old ones. We welcomed new life into our circles (both family and friends) and there is soon-to-be new life in our circles as well. We said some hard goodbyes to people we loved who were taken long before their time.
If there is anything I have learned through the joys and the sadness of this year, it has been that God’s timing is perfect. But God’s timing is also such a mystery to all of us. So many times this year, through deaths and through our own journey towards having a child, I’ve yelled with God. I’ve asked questions as to why life was taken and why life hasn’t been granted.
As I sit here today, I can tell you, it has taken me a lot of tears and months of heartbreak for me to finally find myself in a place where I am OK with God’s timing. I am okay with the fact that I got to spend this year growing closer to my husband but most importantly the Lord through not understanding his timing.
I spent a lot of time in the air, by myself, looking down on God’s creation of this Earth and just thinking. Lots of quiet time with Him, asking Him why he has not yet granted us our wish of new life. And it took until early December, when we were flying to the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas, before I finally got an answer. The answer didn’t come in the form of booming words of God coming down from the sky, but more so in the form of quiet peace. A silent little thought in my head, reminding me of all of the blessings in our lives this past year, the good times had by my husband and myself, the friendships we built and nurtured, the times we spent with family.
Through this journey, I’ve met so many friends and even family who have shared this path with us. And my number one piece thing I can give as encouragement to any and all who are trying and I am sure those who have tried will agree… Don’t let it run your life. The stress of what could be or what should be, will kill you and your spirit if you let it. I’ve seen this in people close to me, and it breaks my heart.
2015 taught me the reality that life is short. Life can be taken from us any minute. So enjoy the little things, the beautiful things. The things we miss when we are so pre-occupied with whatever stress may be in our lives. My goal for 2016 certainly includes a path towards a healthier life with better eating and exercise as most people do. But ultimately, my goal for the year is just to be present.
To tell those close to me how much they mean to me and that I love them more often, to truly enjoy every moment spent with those people, and to make memories with them. To grow deeper in love and friendship with my husband versus stressing him out over this journey towards new life. And most of all, to continually be present with God and push harder into Him on the days when accepting His timing seems to be impossible.
I hope that you set some aspiring goals for 2016, but ultimately, I hope it is the ones that matter the most in this life that you will succeed in accomplishing. I may strive towards a slimmer body and a perfect diet, but in the end, I would rather be left with a deep relationship with my God and friends and family whom I love. I hope my reflections of this year challenges you to be a better spouse, parent, friend, child, or whatever else you are to those around you. Life is full of hardships, trails, failures, unanswered prayers, and sadness but it is because of our faith, our tribe, and those special moments together that we make it through. Make 2016 the best year yet!
Happy New Year my friends! Have a wonderful and beautiful beginning to this New Year! Here’s to more love and more faith in 2016! And maybe, if we are lucky, new life…
Huge thank you to those of you who are continually praying for us… Your encouragement and prayers are appreciated more than you’ll ever know.