Monthly Archives: January 2014

2013… A Bad Year? or Good moments….

In the past weeks I have seen so many posts on Facebook referring to what a “bad” year 2013 was and how 2014 will be “the year”. Things like: “I am kicking 2013 out of here!” “So glad to say goodbye to 2013, good riddance!”… you get the point.

One particular post like this made me stop and think. A friend wrote that she wanted to kick her “terrible” 2013 out the door. I know that she experienced many painful losses over the past year, but I also saw her rejoice in many victories that blessed myself and countless others.

It made me ponder… why are we so quick to allow the pain, the hard times, the struggle to define our life instead of the joys be our life’s headline?

I have a tradition of ending each year by reflecting personally, month-by-month on God’s blessings and recording them in my journal. When looking at the year as a whole, it is so easy to only recall the bad. Somehow pain tends to scream loudest.

But when we break down our year, month by month, looking at moments, recalling conversations, answered prayers, ordinary miracles, we are suddenly drowned in gratefulness.

I encourage you to take a moment, if you haven’t already, before 2013 slips too far away, and reflect on your life. See the gems in the midst of the fire. The triumphs that are truly larger than the pain. Look month by month, moment by moment and find the whisper of redeeming grace. May Love be the banner over your year.

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace”. ~Frederick Buechner

If you have a moment, allow me to take you on a photo journey of my monthly graces  from 2013…

January…

My mom and Aunt Marcia visiting us in South Africa

My mom and Aunt Marcia visiting us in South Africa

February…

A long time vision became reality...watching God

A long time vision became reality…watching God bring healing through creativity

March…

God took me back to Thailand after 11 years to show me how He makes all things new

God took me back to Thailand after 11 years to show me how He makes all things new

April…

Began Creativity and life skills course in Lavender Hill, a gang-ridden community.. another promised fulfilled.

Began Creativity and life skills course in Lavender Hill, a gang-ridden community.. another promised fulfilled.

May…

communitree

God opened the doors for the youth we worked with to have their art work displayed in a local gallery… here is one of the beautiful pieces

June…

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Bikes rides as a family through German parks

Germany summer: cake and coffee with friends, celebrating Ralph's birthday in the garden surrounded by precious friends

Germany summer: cake and coffee with friends, celebrating Ralph’s birthday in the garden surrounded by precious friends

July…

Celebrating the 4th of July with backyard fireworks and family

Celebrating the 4th of July with backyard fireworks and family

 

Sharing with Lancaster friends who surrounded us with love and prayers

Sharing with Lancaster friends who surrounded us with love and prayers

August…

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Family reunions…priceless

September…

Our kids dream come true... blessed with Legoland Germany tickets. Spent the day with some our best friends.

Our kids dream come true… blessed with Legoland Germany tickets. Spent the day with some of our best friends.

Globe Mission candidate school... truly one of the best things of our year!

Globe Mission candidate school… truly one of the best things of our year!

October…

Celebrated our 8th anniversary

Celebrated our 8th anniversary

November…

A surprise visit from one of our favorite people...

A surprise visit from one of our favorite people…

December…

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Celebrating and remembering a legend amidst the people of his homeland…

 

Happy New Year and New(s)letter

striding into 2014

This picture says it all: 2014 lies ahead, a blank slate, an adventure to be discovered. I was actually shooting a background photo for our newest letter (get the wordplay?) when these boys ran towards the beach, right across the big 2014 written in the sand. Funny…

Anyway, if you haven’t seen it yet, here is our Oct-Dec 2013 newsletter, check it out and see what we’ve been up to.
Happy striding ahead!
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