a thank you note

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The world is full of change and possibilities, not to sound naively optimistic just because it’s almost the New Year. Everyone makes goals they want to keep- to be better, do better. The slate seems wiped clean so why not? But before we take a fresh start, let’s look over our past year. What did God teach you? How have you grown? Do you have new friends, family members, interests or hobbies? Life usually changes little by little when we aren’t looking. So here is to looking back at 2015 to see the steady, slow rhythm of life.

In January I participated in the One Word challenge through the (in)courage community. I chose ‘Grace’ for my word to think about for 2015. I turned it over and over in my mind until the deep multi-layered meaning of such a word became a favorite gem to savor. I wanted to know what it looked like for myself, how I extend this toward others, and most importantly how it relates to what Christ did on the Cross -for me, a sinner in need of overwhelming grace. From this one little word birthed the beginnings of a discovery. I found out I really enjoy encouraging others through writing, so I created Redeemed in Grace in May. This also took courage for me to become a little vulnerable and lay it out there for all the world to see. But it was about courage to become more fully myself as well.

I am deeply grateful to anyone who has read anything I wrote. You are one of the reasons I write. I hope it helped someone not to feel alone and that you were uplifted too. Some of the posts written were personal but also the most widely read and well received. Part of the reason I decided to share about secondary infertility and what life is like with a special needs child was for my own version of therapy (and it was free). It really helped to sort out my thoughts and emotions by putting pen to paper. Thank you reader for handling with care. That means the world to me.

Life is often unpredictable and messy. It is also a great adventure as a Christian to witness God’s faithfulness displayed in small and big life events. It takes a little bravery to become transparent, sharing struggles and pain. When we take off the shiny veneer and open our hearts the walls begin to come down. And then we realize that we are all just people with everyday weaknesses and trials. God intends for us to love one another in such a way that we become a tangible Jesus, the Living Church.

Through writing in 2015 I also had to overcome a lot of introverted tendencies (still working on it). Writing gave me a voice, which is great even though I’d rather hide behind the curtain like the Wizard of Oz. A true wallflower that is way more comfortable behind the scenes (unless there is a stage with a fabulous character to play, but I digress). As an extroverted introvert I have to work at this. I absolutely enjoy being around others, but I need time by myself to recharge too. I have to force myself sometimes not to stay there too long just because it’s more comfortable and safe.

Courage. That is what happened this year. I received courage to share and be open. I read something recently that said when we allow ourselves to open up only then can we be filled up. I want to fill myself with the work of Christ so that I can pour out His truth treasure onto others. I want to have open hands and a receptive heart for 2016. Whatever the Lord needs to teach me in the coming year I hope I can be an eager and attentive student.

Thank you for your time spent here, it is valuable to me. Keep an eye out for 2016. There are things I look forward to sharing with you. What would you like to see on this blog? Any subject in particular? I cherish your feedback. Blessings to you and a very happy New Year!

Grace upon grace,

April

 

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4 thoughts on “a thank you note

  1. Thank you Jena! I’m looking forward to reading more of your writing as well. I think also I’m learning so far in 2016 is to take time to be still, and not feel guilty about it. I sometimes feel the pressure to produce, produce, produce! But when I allow grace for my heart to listen instead of keeping my hands busy God can cultivate beauty from the quiet. That is generally where He speaks and I’m longing to listen.

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