Monday, December 31, 2012

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

I started thinking about the fact that it's new years/2012/all of it while I was working in the toddler room today. 

It's a lot.


Was a year of mourning. Of beginning to learn for the first time, what that means, what it feels like, for me.

As the year comes to a close, I'm still mourning. It's painful. I don't want to be. And it's too much. It's too much that I just don't even want to feel it or to think. It's sad. and it hurts. And just when I don't expect it to, it brings tears to my eyes again, or just plain makes me cry again. It happens more often than I expect. It's raw and deep, and I guess there's a lot of hurt there that I somewhat wish wasn't but even more-so would never want it to not be.

I am broken in ways. and there are things I am more saddened by than I want to admit to myself or let myself feel, but I obviously am. 

Though I am saddened by things, I am thankful for them even more. With every tear of pain or feeling of sadness or hurt, there's even more feelings of thankfulness and beauty. joy. Feelings of thankfulness over what God is doing and Who God is. I deeply trust that God's piecing together every piece of every puzzle perfectly

yes, in 2012 I lost a lot and am still missing and mourning that.

but no matter what, when I think of all God is: the fact that He died on the cross in my place and all He's doing in my life...  when I think of who He's making me and what He wants me to do for Him and with Him, all the things I get to do each day... all I want to do is bow down and scream "I don't deserve any of it."

In 2012 I sure as heck gained a lot.

This year my health and sleep has improved 100-fold.
God has brought me out of and into places I can't even believe.

I gained unshakeable confidence that God has my life in His hands. That I don't have to fear about anything because of that.

This has been the best year of my life with my family and God.
Times with family keep getting better and better and better. I miss the times with grandma. I'm thankful that the good times with her were part of when this special time period started. Like I said, times with family, on both sides, and I'm talking immediate and extended, are just getting better and better. I am so excited for what is yet to come, and the times we've had lately just leave me smiling. I feel so blessed by my family that it overwhelms me, and I want to give back to these people who have given me so much that I could never deserve. Time with them has become more important to me than almost anything. 

I also gained so much love from kids and coworkers and friends (and love for them too). More love than I could've ever imagined and can ever get over. The pictures all over my room and piled high everywhere from the kids are only a tiny bit of the proof. I am loved and needed. and man is it beautiful. I can't even get over how excited I am to continue loving on kids and being loved by kids forever. I also am way too blessed by the best coworkers and workplace ever. ya... I have people who show me God's love in my life big time. Starting with my family and extending to my friends, coworkers, the kids, the cooks at Kise... so many amazing people.


In 2012 I learned more fully how to love and forgive myself.

How to forgive myself as I constantly do or say things I wish I wouldn't of, as I continuously am just immature, speak too quickly, or act out of selfishness. I'm learning to forgive myself, knowing the best thing I can do, even if it is always the hardest thing, is forgive myself and move on.

I'm also learning to not be afraid to be me.

Instead of trying I'm learning to just let go.

Be me.
Confidently and bravely be me.

Let God use me as He made me. Be me, and let God shine through my weaknesses and shine in the ways only He can.

I'm coming out of this year more thankful and confident in God than I've ever been.

I'm excited to be me.Someone who is devoted to taking care of myself the best I can so that I can love on kids, my family, and all who I see each day. Someone who spends the alone time I need with God, who dances with Him (either literally or in my heart), and who lets God romance me and cover me in His mercy and grace. Someone who works. Who works as hard as time/God allows each day and does as much as time allows each day with kids and coworkers at my job, spending time with family and others, and then spending time making things for people! Editing photos, making people discs of music, putting together presents for people etc. ... This is who I am and who I am excited to be! This is me. :)

Most of all coming into 2013, I am excited to let God continue to break me, to remake me, to make me new, and make me who He wants me to be. I can tell, thanks be to God, that I've grown up a lot this year, but I still have a ginormous amount of growing up to do, and I know God will help me.

I'm interested to see what 2013 brings. I truly have no idea what's in-store. Each day always takes me by surprise so much as I learn to just let go and let God write it. Each day is exciting and beautiful.

Now, I'm excited to go home. To ring in this new year as we always do, with our family's annual night of playing games for prizes! :D

It's time for one year to end and another to start.
All I can say is thanks be to God for everything He's done, and thanks that I'm too blessed to ever deserve even a tiny bit of. I hope I can learn how to love Him and others better. That's what I want to work on this year. Truly loving and giving, unselfishly.

Thanks be to God for His grace and mercy.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

things I love.

Christmas time!

Sitting there beaming my face out watching the preschoolers completely steal the Christmas program (though the school-agers had a really cool Alphabet about Christmas time... "A is for Angel, Z is for Zeal..."). The two songs they sang completely stole the show, and they finished with their big, "Merry Christmas!"

Man... I won't get that day out of my head. Them so excited in their fancy red dresses. More excited than I've EVER seen them!!! Having me read them Christmas books and just so so excited...

then after the program we decorated cookies and made crafts with all the families of the kids at Hope. So much fun. ... And I even got to babysit two little boys I really love that night. ... And got my first Christmas card and letter from them!

... Ya,

what I love are the Christmas praise parties with Kaitlyn Nelson.

Going Christmas shopping with friends.

The feeling of having SO MANY THINGS I WANT TO DO AND GET READY AND GIVE to others that I can't possibly get even a tiny smidgbit of all I wish I could done.... but what I can do is work my fastest and hardest and take advantage of every shopping opportunity to make and find things for the many people I really want to give to this Christmas...

I love the excitement of the chance to just be with family. To play games with them. Sing with them!!! Decorate with them!! Watch them open their gifts. Watch movies with them. Make cookies with them. ... And just sing sing sing...

I love dancing to all the Christmas songs to Jesus, worshiping Him and imagining the story. The crazy and beautiful story of His birth. The great wonder and mystery of it all. The way He came... I can't even comprehend it or why... but it's fun to imagine it each day.

I love caroling at nursing homes!!

Ringing bells for the Salvation Army with my grandparents.

Going to all the Christmas programs and concerts!

Making crafts with the kids...

Making cards for people!

Finding little things for those cooks who spoil me with hard boiled eggs (just for m) every day!

Driving around looking at the lights (especially in Bismarck!)

Watching kids play in the snow....

Okay, I love it all.

And I also love how this song almost makes me cry. I can never comprehend how great His grace really is and how much I am blessed by God.

I can never thank Him for coming the way He did 2000 years ago.
A baby. To save us all.

Friday, December 14, 2012

nothing compares to what is to come

Today I've been thinking about my life and my life story so far and currently. All I can say is I don't deserve any of it. I can't even believe it's real. To me it's just too much. Too good. Too blessed. Too beautiful.

All that I've gotten to do and get to do each day has been so much. Every day is packed and special in it's own way, even if some were and are painful. All are special in different ways between me and God.

The people I've had or have in my life. Now that I just can't get over. I just can't get over how me, I, ever deserved any of it.

Any of this. ...

And I can't even imagine what's to come.

I am more undeserving and blessed than I can comprehend by how much God cares about me and how much He saves and helps me in every single thing and way.

The biggest blessing I have in this life and biggest thing that takes away all reason to fear or complain is His grace. And the promise of what is to come: Heaven.


Thinking about all this, all I can pray is that I do a better job at giving Him thanks and loving.

I am too blessed by God's love, grace, and Him being here. By what I have had, have, and by the anticipation of the unknown goodness yet to come.

How can I ever thank God for His love?