Kneelin’ in the New Year

Well hey there, 2016.
We’re happy you’re here! And we’re ready to take your blank squares and color them in with more adventures in love and life.

But before we look forward to all that it is to come, we can’t help but give our proper adieus to 2015. It was a beautiful year. I wouldn’t call it “easy” or “comfortable.” But we look back and recall grace upon grace and we feel so blessed. New Year’s Eve, we were recounting some of our family’s favorite memories of 2015. Among those mentioned…

– Saída da Liderança {our yearly getaway with the leaders of Peniel}
2015-11-20 19.36.09
– Rodeo with cousins
2015-06-20 14.19.47
– Surprise visit from fam
– Riding our bikes to Winona Lake
– Birthday celebrations
2005-01-22 03.53.07
2015-06-12 18.24.50
2015-07-03 20.45.18
2015-07-14 23.01.58
– Hugs from grandparents
2015-07-11 13.12.23
– Activities with students
2015-09-15 21.03.40
– Escaping to the ocean that is less than 4 hours away!
2015-09-28 10.11.30
– Encontro {New Tribes of Brazil’s Conference for Missionaries}
2015-01-16 20.28.50
– Candlelit dinners {AKA power outages}
2015-11-13 19.23.30
– Sitting in on Prof André’s classes
2015-08-14 11.17.23
– Graduation {the chance to be a part of these students’ training to become tribal missionaries}
2015-12-12 10.56.05
– Celebrating our 15 year anniversary in Rio
2015-12-13 09.50.30
– Christmas Eve with grandparents

Looking back, the moments I cherish just as much are when the camera is put away, and my little boy hands me a fresh-picked flower or handmade card “To know. I love you”, the hugs in the kitchen and the prayers before bed, the exchange of apologies and forgiveness, a note or call or visit at just the right time, knowing we are exactly where we’re supposed to be when I witness my love do what he was made to do, those moments when there’s no other place to turn than the throne of Mercy and the grace He has given, the week everything seemed to go wrong and the Lord kept painting rainbows in the sky–5 in one week!

As we close out 2015, I’m keeping close my verse for the year: Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, You inspire shouts of joy. {Ps. 65:8}

There’s just something about a New Year.
Whether or not last year ended as we hoped, we get to turn the page and start another chapter. It’s a chance to put the past behind us and resolve for things to be a different, better, happy new year.

Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18-19

The weeks proceeding the New Year, I take some time to consider what I want my life to be characterized by. One word that I want to describe my living and being and going and doing. Last year, I chose JOY. {hence the verse above}
Not just superficial-laughter, smile-on-the-outside, happy-when-things-go-my-way–JOY.
But deeply-rooted, my-hope-is-in-You-Lord, can’t-touch-this, regardless-of-circumstances–JOY!

Since I’m now a master at all things JOY, it’s time to move onto another word.
{Or something like that… 🙂 }

I’ve really had a hard time deciding on my word for this year…
Shine * Believe * Love * Engage * Laugh * Hope * Cherish * Courage * Peace
I want it all!

New Year’s Eve, we fondued it up {tradition}, rang in the Paris New Year {at 9:00 🙂 }, tucked in our boys, said our prayers, turned off the lights, and spent the last moments reflecting on 2015. I felt both relief and uncertainty. That moment when you’re thankful you made it, but aren’t sure you really have, and you wonder how much you have left in you. Give me a few weeks or two and I’m sure we’ll be back in the “mustering up all we got” and “sucking all the marrow out” business. But this New Year’s, we’re tired. I don’t think it’s an accident that we feel this way. I think this is exactly what I needed to resolve not to muster up, but to kneel.

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Psalm 95:6-7

Not just “be in a position in which both of your knees are on the floor” kneel.
I’m talkin’ the posture of our heart regardless of our position, because we were created for purpose – KNEEL. As in. You want to shine, believe, love, engage, laugh, hope, cherish, have courage and peace….well, in His presence you can have it all – KNEEL.

I’m hopeful about 2016. I really am! We’re already marking in our calendar squares with classes and visits and dreams we’ve always dreamed. Regardless of our goings and doings, our living and being, if there’s one thing I hope to accomplish in 2016, it is to kneel.

No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared for those who love Him.
1 Corinthians 2:9


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