Happy New Year!!! How excited are we for 2014!? Before kicking off with resolutions, like the rest of the world, with a new beginning I’m forced to look back the old. Glancing at 2013 I’m hit with two opposites. Two polar opposites:
My default side of optimism kicks in first, looking back– it was awesome! The new countries I visited, the people I met, the food I tasted, the miracles we saw, projects we started and growth we witnessed in our kids…. It was a fast paced year that had nuggets that amazed me and left my cheeks in pain from the size of a smile they wore.
And then, well then there’s the other side… A little bit of reality that reminds me that 2013… kinda kicked my butt. Let’s be honest, we all have years that you pull at the gold and are so thankful they happened, buuuut couldn’t be more thankful to see them pass. This was mine. 2013—you gave me battle wounds.
It’s been a fun end to the year. Coming back to rest and thankfully, trauma counseling, I learned to see more of the beauty in life’s imperfections. The things that didn’t work or didn’t turn out like you thought they would. The moments that hurt, (like really really hurt) and the moments that knocked you down. Pile it all on top of a 12-month calendar and you get to see what you’re made of. What comes out? It’s not what happens to you but how you respond that defines you.
As I ended this year my stunning Jesus started romancing me with poetry that left me giddy like a schoolgirl.
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight…”
And as we sat together in a puddle in a prayer room, I shrugged my shoulders while in the middle of my process, and to my complaints and questions he whispered me sweet love poems:
“That girl upon a rocky shore-
you saw? – in white against the ocean,
amidst the storm-blown breaker’s roar,
with land and sea in wild commotion-
time and again a reddish light
illuminated her as lightning flashed,
and as the tempest reached it’s height
her flimsy veil was twirled and lashed.
Awesome, the breakers’ crash and roar,
Sky, lightning-gashed and overcast;
More awesome’s she, though on the shore,
Than sea and sky and tempest blast. [Alexander Pushkin]
I could only giggle. Oh the storm’s that blow and rage around us. Though forever is he that romances us, that trumps it all. I love how he sees me.
Going into 2014 we look at more war zones. More hard places. The worst of the worst. But first we step back.
For years it’s been ingrained in me “Stop for the one” We always come back to this: Love lots. Love loud.
But for the A type personality, as I looked around the mission field and ministry bases I see it a lot, why is it so hard for the one we stop for, to be ourselves?
In my process, I saw more than ever how important self-care is and how often it’s neglected. And I’m not just talking gluten-free enthusiasts. ;) Rather, what about taking time to be raw, vulnerable, and real with ourselves. Sorting through the hard stuff. Stopping. Resting. Letting people speak into our lives, keeping updated with “heart checks” and living from a place of wholehearted health.
Since coming back initially and slowing down all over again–It’s been amazing. Turns out refocusing and realigning works in your favor. The more you invest in yourself, the better you are to everyone else. Intentionally or not.
So with all that, goodbye 2013- I’m pretty excited for the next one.
Stepping into 2014, January starts off in Canada! I’ll be speaking and preaching and getting the word out for what we’re gearing up for in War Zones and brothels this year. With the dreams welling up inside of our team and the hope crashing over from heaven—we are in awe of what we’re being set up for.
So cheers to another year! A whole year. A happy year. A gut-wrenchingly raw and vulnerable year, as I believe that’s what real love looks like. And the opposite of war isn’t just peace, I believe the opposite of war is love. As love takes in no regard for ones self but rather lays it’s life down for another. So let’s do it. Let’s bring love to war zones and see what papa does from there. :D
Happy 2014 everyone!!