And a Happy New Year…

We’re already a full week into the new year – how’s 2024 treating you so far? Time flies right on by with no concern for our readiness, doesn’t it? I will admit making it through the busy holiday season as a mom of six was quite a feat. My workshop was busy with scribbling on lists and wrapping and sorting [hiding] all the things. Here’s hoping 2024 gives me a tiny bit of a breather before the spring busy-ness ramps up.

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Summer in the “country in the city”

Summer is my favorite season – I’m team sunburn and snow cones, all the way! This past summer we were blessed to move into our new home tucked away in a beautiful little “forest in the suburbs.” We call it our “country in the city” and we adore it. When we moved in, the grass was green and the trees were gorgeous in their foliage providing us much needed shade while the kids played in their inflatable pool and had water balloon fights as I monitored closely from our screened in porch with a cold drink in hand. Making these memories and enjoying our new home was the best!

Backyard Fall jpeg

Cold and barren fall

But only a few months after moving in, those beautiful green leaves began to change colors. At first, it was a novel process to observe. The oranges, browns, and yellows of fall was a change of pace for sure. And then, those used-to-be-green-now-dead leaves began to fall and cover our beautiful green grass, transforming our summer safe space into a dead and barren waste land where all the leaves came to their final resting place. Womp womp.

The view alone was depressing… no more lush, green forest backdrop; now we were watching bare sticks and empty trees replace our favorite view each day. Plus it was COLD. And dark so early every day! Yuck. I may have fallen victim to a bit of S.A.D. (Seasonal AffectiveDisorder) this fall/winter season.

All of these factors played in to my case of S.A.D. And when you’re sad, sometimes you forget that happy is waiting just around the corner. That light is coming and that green, lushness will reappear one day. We’re not always comfortable in cycles and seasons, are we? Of course, we all have our favorites. Maybe you thrive in the darkness of winter (weirdo. jk!) Maybe it’s the rebirth of spring and creation coming back to life that lights you up.

The thing is, our lives have their own seasons. We can’t always exist in life’s highs; the ride of life is that there are ups AND downs. And the downs can be hard to deal with. One thing I’ve been asking the Lord to remind me of is that light is coming. Creation will wake again and the green grass will reappear. I need the Lord to sustain me in those dark moments and let me hang on to Him [oftentimes by a thread] while I wait for the season to change.

2023 allowed me so many incredible highs – a trip to Mexico with my husband to celebrate our 18th anniversary, my first book, Reckless Yes, was published, our family moved into our dream home in the perfect location, I began speaking and sharing the good news and hope of Jesus. But 2023 brought me some lows, too – immense heart break and grief by a close relationship failing, feeling distance and silence in my walk with God, a weird health scare for someone in our family, and the constant attachment struggles adoption brings with it.

I bet you had some highs and lows last year too. And guess what, you’ll have a little of both in 2024, as well. That’s what it means to be human. To experience all of the feelings, all of the good and the bad, to live through the seasons and cycles of life…the flourishing beauty and the parched wastelands, yet remembering that everything has a time and a season.

In my lowest of lows, I began to fear that the green, flourishing life would never return. But it will. God’s word tells us He will not abandon or forsake us. He will not leave us. Even when He feels distant and quiet, He’s there. Where could I go that He’s not there? He’s there, He’s with me, He sees me, He knows me. He’s our only hope and His light is coming.

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