These words have been my focus words the past few years, with simplify being for 2016. I was thinking back on the past few years and how each word has had great meaning for the year it was focused on.
In 2013 I focused on grow. I did a lot of growing that year. Oh my did I. That year brought an immense amount of confidence. I learned a strength and self worth I never knew I had. Looking back I can see God was preparing me. He knew 2013 would end with my world falling apart. I would need all that growth to help myself through the next year of grief. When my brother died, apart of me went with him. I never knew the world could feel so dark. I'm so very thankful for my Savior who carried me much of the next year.
The next year, in 2014, I chose the word slow. We miscarried in February and that brought more grieving. I honestly think I was drawn to slow that year because God knew I would spend that year struggling. I would deal with anxiety and more sadness than I knew possible. There was also joy that year. I wrote a book, the kids flourished in their lessons, my testimony grew stronger than ever, and hubby worked toward a job in computers.
The next year brought determination. I decided on the word do. I didn't want to be the shell of a mom I was becoming. I wanted to let go of the grief I carried. I wanted to move forward and make new memories. 2015 is also when I found out about my fertility problems. I was diagnosed with PCOS. I can remember leaving that doctor appointment and driving to hubby's work. I wanted to talk to my friend. I needed my hubby's comfort. He took his lunch break and we sat in the parking lot and talked about our options and all that the doctor had said. We knew changes would have to be made. I left the lunch break feeling drained. I felt like my body was deceiving me. I've always wanted to be a mama and have many children. Yes I know I had two already, but in my heart I knew there were many other kiddos who were suppose to join our family. 2015 brought a road to healthy living. I worked hard and I lost 40 pounds. I also released myself from all of the grief I had been carrying. I began to heal. I was no longer weighed down by all the grief. Towards the end of the year, my cycles had come back and my PCOS symptoms were under control. Bring on December 3, when two lines showed up on that pregnancy test. What a celebratory moment that was! God had heard our prayers and was sending a sweet blessing our way.
Now we enter 2016. The year for simplifying. I feel like we are starting a new chapter in our lives. We have two not so little ones, who are absolutely amazing. I love getting to spend every day with them. They are learning amazing things and are becoming wonderful followers of Christ. Now we have a sweet boy or girl on the way, which means starting over with the baby season of life and I CAN NOT wait. I honestly feel that there are many more that will be joining our family and I am so excited for this new chapter. My whole family is.
So why did I write this post, reflecting on the past few years? Well I wanted to let you know that it is ok to have hard times. No one is immune from trials. Sometimes we go through seasons where we feel like the trials never let up. Through everything that my family has had to endure the past few years, one thing has been constant.....our faith in our Savior Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven. I have learned first hand that God does not find joy in our hardships. I know that all those nights I cried, praying for more children...he was right there with me. I know that when I was drowning in grief, my Savior was there helping me keep my head above water. I don't even want to imagine what going through these hard times would be like without that faith. No thank you.
I also know that after the rain, God always brings rainbows. They don't always come on our timetable, but they come nonetheless.
I pray that whatever you are going through friends, you turn to the Lord. He is there ready, with out stretched arms....He only needs you to come to him. God is truly amazing and can move mountains in your life. Stop focusing on what you can't do, but what you can.
I've started another year of #apictureeachsunday I love being able to snap pictures of my kiddos each week in their Sunday best.