2016 Year of Trust + What’s in Store for 2017

Sitting here in this very spot– my white Ikea desk and chair covered in pen and marker thanks to my kids– one year ago I knew God was going to call me out of my comfort zone. I knew He was going to call me to trust Him no matter what, and so that was my word for 2016.

Trust.

One year ago I wrote this:

“I constantly feel God whispering when I want to take over control, Do you trust me? So this is me claiming I trust Him. I trust Him with our finances, our family, our parenting, our jobs, our friendships, and whatever nooks of my heart He is asking me to release to Him.”

I envision this past year much like Peter and Jesus in Matthew 14:28-33:

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

If you’ve been around reading this year, you know I’ve talked a LOT of about trust as He’s dug deeper into my heart asking me to release my control, grow my faith, and surrender to His best plan…

When we found out a new baby was on the way.

And I struggled with having “my” plans changed and accepting that I am good enough for this task He has given me, because HE is in me.

When some writing jobs ended and I was waiting (and waiting…) for new ones to open up. I had to learn to keep trusting Him to provide for us financially. And He did!

When I really really thought this baby was a boy….but she’s a she. Once again, letting go of “my” dreams and plans in exchange for trusting His grand plan.

Sometimes I sunk down because of my “little faith,” scared of drowning in my own doubts and frustrations. Doubts like weights on my ankles in the water when Jesus only asked me to trust and hold on to His hand. Doubts in myself as a mom. Doubts in myself as a writer. Doubts that things finically would change.

Learning to really trust God has been hard, but a year later I’m sitting here filled with gratefulness as I do with every lesson He’s brought me to the other side of. I’m grateful for the journey, I’m grateful for the lessons and that my God stays true to His promise. I’m grateful for the whispers of peace to my heart and that another layer of righteousness is unpeeled. It will forever be a process on this earth, but it is a beautiful refining journey.

We’ve had some really exciting times in 2016 as well though!

Like sharing our open adoption story in film thanks to Talk About Adoption. Have you seen it yet? Go watch and share!

Speaking at the first ever Pro-Life Women’s Conference with some other amazing birth moms. The connections made there, the renewal that time away brings, and the sense of purpose I felt was all God.

Having a whole week to spend with my birth daughter this summer. I don’t write much about our relationship now out of her privacy, but just know our relationship grows deeper with each passing year. It is amazing and fulfilling. 12 years later I still know I made the best choice for her and I see the fruits of our efforts of creating a lasting bond from the beginning– built on honest communication and friendship as her adoptive and birth parent side. I am so humbly thankful for how God works in our lives, how He continues to bless our relationship over the years. Here’s all my babies together (plus Lylah still baking) for our Christmas tradition in 2016.

Growing and preparing for our Baby 5 has been super exciting too, even if I’ve been full of emotions and doubts! I feel blessed and amazed that I get to do this all again. My kids are all giddy that we are adding another baby to the family and their happiness is contagious. I love birth and babies, it’s like preparing for a marathon for me and I can’t wait to see how this story unfolds! I also went to a Birth Without Fear meet up for some self-love encouragement and getting pumped up for a healthy delivery and postpartum. I met January Harshe, woo!

What’s in store for 2017?

Well, obviously, I’m having a baby! Like, next month. Currently 33 weeks plus some change, but it is approaching quickly. Now, I have always gone late— closer to 42 weeks– so I’m setting my eyes beyond my due date to keep myself sane. I’ve got most everything ready though for our home water birth, birth team all lined up, and currently much of my energy is being spent nesting (I also fell down the stairs cleaning railings and walls….oops…). My belly is huge and people think I’m either due yesterday or having twins. So fun.

The biggest news is that I recently was added as a monthly contributor over at Big City Moms! Follow the end of my pregnancy journey closer over there and into the newborn fourth trimester season. Once again (as God tends to work) this amazing opportunity landed in my lap unexpectedly but at a very needed time. He is so good. I’m still writing over at YourCareEverywhere monthly as well about all things motherhood. Can we get a praise Jesus for providing for us financially and that I get do this job I love from home with my kids? Love writing? You can do this, too!

I’ll be at the Pro-Life Women’s Conference again this June in Orlando (with my little side kick Lylah) manning the Talk About Adoption table (truly my favorite part of last year). Come meet me!

My word of the year for 2017? Present.

As my schedule gets busier as a writer and as mom of almost 5…I feel God whispering to me to be present in the moments of each day. When my son wants to give me a kiss just because, I want to stop and treasure it, not just keep washing the dishes as he does so. When my oldest daughter wants to share her heart with me at bedtime, I want to stop rushing bedtime to get to my quiet time and listen to her even more closely. I want to do more crafts and actively squish playdoh with my littles, not run off to browse Facebook while they are content for 5 minutes. God has gifted me this children for a reason. I want to be present in their lives, not just survive. Not just meet their physically needs of food, but emotional needs too.

I also feel God saying to be more present with Him. I’ve slide lately in focusing my heart and time on Him– seeking His word and truths. So, I want to be more diligent with that. I want to feel His presence even more– both within me and within our home.

2017 is going to be a great year, I can feel it!

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