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Reflecting on 2018: Specific Praises to Our God!

What a year 2018 has been! We began our adoption process, joined the mini-van club, and Isaac turned two, which means we officially have no babies in our house and are in full toddler mode around here. The Lord taught me so much. I want to end 2018 by filling this post with praises to my wonderful Jesus for all He did this year. This year wasn’t perfect. There were plenty of downs to go along with the ups, but the Lord remained faithful for each of these 365 days, and He is worthy of this praise (and much more). So, as we end 2018, here’s some specific reasons I want to praise the Lord:

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God’s provision. We kicked off our adoption process this summer, and the cost overwhelmed me (still does sometimes). We already made two of our payments, and the Lord provided exactly what we needed, exactly when we needed it! He also provided other needs that weren’t necessarily financial- a psychologist for our evaluation, time to get our paperwork done, and much more. We still have some big payments and paperwork looming, but I am remembering the Lord’s provision instead of being intimidated by those numbers and to-do lists.

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God takes brokenness and makes it beautiful. In April, my dad married Angela, and we all officially became family (I say “officially” because it already felt like we were!). We all have heartache and brokenness, but the Lord is making it beautiful. The Lord gave us abundant life as we played on the lake together, conquered Disney World, and most recently, showed off our bowling skills (I did not inherit the bowling gene from my dad!). Praise the Lord all of these people are a part of the “village” helping us raise our children. I know we’re all pretty ready for some summer 2019 lake days!

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Opportunities to write and teach the Word for God’s glory. At the beginning of 2018, I read Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson. There’s many lessons packed away in this book, but one of them was taking hold of and cultivating the gifts God gives us, and then humbly submitting to Him so He can use them for His glory. By His grace, God has given me a passion for His Word and attempting to string words together to point others to the gospel. He allows me to use this for His glory, and friends, He wants to use your gifts too. At salvation, God uniquely gifts each of us for the edifying of His Body. The Church is missing out when we don’t put these gifts to use! Friends, find out how God has gifted you, and then put them to use in the Church for His glory!

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Gospel-centered and theologically sound resources. To be honest, I can become a little discouraged with the resources that are out there for Christians. Some of them are shallow, and others just simply don’t line up with Scripture. However, the Lord is teaching me that’s not all that’s out there! There are tons of books, songs, blogs, etc. for adults and children where people are truly centering their work on sound doctrine. I try to share these things as I come across them on social media, but Tiny Theologians (for kids) and Risen Motherhood are just two of my favorites. Friends who are doing this good work of creating and curating, keep going! Thank you for your faithfulness!

God lovingly reveals my sin to me, and uses that to draw me closer to Himself. Lately, I am so aware of just how great my sin is. I am weak and weary, my heart is messy, and I fall short daily. As I know Christ more, I see just how unlike Him I am, and my need for Him deepens. These realizations are God’s loving kindness to me as they lead me to love Him more. They teach me that though I am a sinner, I am not condemned. When the Father looks at me, He sees me clothed in the righteousness of Christ! They teach me God’s love is greater than my sin, and lead me to praise Him for lavishing me with His grace upon grace!

The work God is doing in my children’s hearts. Motherhood has its hard and not so glamorous moments, but there are the times when Isaac sings “Jesus loves me” or when Hunter tells me why Jesus died on the cross, and those are my favorite. Hunter is 4, and he is starting to have a “head knowledge” of the Gospel and show interest in the things of the Lord. Our biggest prayer for our children is that this “head knowledge” becomes heart knowledge, and they live their lives pursuing Christ.

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There’s so much more the Lord has done in 2018. Jack and I celebrated seven years of marriage along with seven years in student ministry at New Prospect. We had fun and laughs but also experienced joy and sanctification on the not so fun days. I’m sure the Lord has even worked in some ways I have yet to realize. I cannot wait to see what God does in 2019. I’m praying 2019 is the year we bring our daughter home from India, but am also trusting the Lord’s timing. We’ll also have a kindergartener in 2019 which is crazy to me! Time flies, doesn’t it?

Friends, let’s celebrate what the Lord has done in 2018! Join me in praising Him! I would love for you to share some of the praises you have for all the Lord has done this year.

Happy New Year!

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