One year of countless big and little DIY projects to renovate a neglected 70s diamond in the rough. We're far from finished, but it shines so bright to us. We lived here in IL a decade before God gave us the clear message of "now" instead of "wait" on buying a home. This year has given us roots, joy, ownership, renewed faith and satisfaction. REDEEMED is boldly and ENORMOUSLY displayed to be the first thing you see when walking in, because that's the theme of our lives and our home.
Life is lived here.
Love is lived here.
Grace is lived out here.
Mistakes are made here.
Forgiveness is offered here.
Joy overflows here.
HE lives here.
But, one other great thing lives here more than ever.
In our home and in our hearts above all else...
Not just one day. But an attitude from deep within.
This year is rapidly coming to a close on the calendar as well and today as I reflect about HOME in the little green house, I began to think of so many great things He's done in our lives this year.
Not a full list, but some of the astounding, most precious things:
- turning house into home
- neighbors we love and that give us a true sense of community, from various walks of life
- a new grandson that has a smile that lights up a room
- our youngest giving his life to Christ and making a public declaration through baptism
- a daughter about to begin her last semester of college with honors and paramedic licensing that is excelling while working multiple jobs and serving constantly
- a son that has matured in countless ways this year and uses his multiple talents to serve at church
- a marriage of 22 years that has reached the place of being a rare treasure and brings so much daily joy as we live out "stronger together, anchored in Christ"
- Though it looked different than expected or initially how we wanted, some changes at work have greatly reduced the heavy stress on my husband. Still difficult, but much more manageable
- seeing both of Kevin's sons and their families IN PERSON, a true rarity and special gift this year since they live on opposite ends of the map
- bringing my younger brother back multiple times from the brink of death and through two unexpected heart surgeries and providing their needs time and time again
- though we could never share details publicly, a dear loved one protected in some very volatile, dangerous situations thousands of miles away
- HEALING of some deep wounds and some needed broken chains
- RENEWAL of the belief of power in prayer
- some amazing, priceless opportunities on multiple book launch teams that strengthened my faith in deep ways
- news of a family member soon to be home together long term with his family after many, many months apart multiple times
- multiple situations where God protected, healed or provided in dear ones' lives
- a priceless gift of time in person after many years apart with my dearest mentor
- multiple renewed relationships or development of new ones through Bible study groups
That list may be some of the big things, but there are countless others both big and small. This year was hard in so many ways and some days of doubt hung on with a death grip. Even with all the goodness of this year, we are still in the midst of some changes and uncertainties that can only be managed through Him.
However, one thing is for certain...
Gratitude lives here.
Hope outshines every darkness.
He's trustworthy and sovereign.
Nothing else matters.