2014 was a year with many things I wish weren’t part of my memories, but also many, many more which brought happiness. Since I choose to look at the positives rather than the negatives, I feel as if God blessed me.
The pictures above were taken on Christmas Eve at the Candlelight Worship service. Two of my children and their families joined me at church. The first picture is my youngest daughter (dressed as Mary) and her husband (as Joseph). The three children, along with their parents, were in the children’s singing program as part of the scripture reading about the birth of Jesus. After the service, my family gathered around me in the Narthex for a picture. This was a wonderful Christmas Eve and I was so blessed. I spent Christmas morning at the home of my youngest daughter and participated in their gift opening. What a joy, especially being part of surprising the grandchildren with a new puppy!
God provided tools for me to look at my writing as a business, and blessed me with the words and wisdom to write and publish two books.
Deeper friendships were cultivated and sister-in-heart bonds were strengthened. He provided opportunities for me to “pay-it-forward” and to use my gifts to help others. Many prayer shawls were completed and given to bring comfort to those facing treatments, illness, and recovery.
He gave me a new great granddaughter to love and cherish. We had family dinners on Sunday afternoons once a month where we shared laughter, love, and support.
He opened a possibility for a new ministry to begin in 2015 to bring a smile and friendly visit to people who are unable to come to church, although they had been faithful in years before arthritis, illness, and age-related deterioration took away that means of congregational worship.
The loss of a dear son, a stroke and heart problems for a daughter, surgery for a grandson, hospitalizations of family members and friends, and the loss of family pets were heartbreaking and brought tears, but out of the sadness, He continued to show me that I am never alone. He brought good out of these times of grief in a way only He can provide. The kindness of strangers and random acts of kindness brought tears of joy and hope.
As 2015 opens, I look back with some heartache, but mostly joy. My faith and trust in God bring a promise of a beautiful plan, one He has already set in motion. May you look back on your 2014 and find the blessings, grace and mercy given to you and yours.