Happy New Years Eve, Friends! Wow, I can't believe we are down to the very last day of the year. This year has absolutely flown by for me. If you asked me to say one sentence about this year, I would say this: 2015 has been the absolute best year of my entire life. That's because 2015 is the year I became a mama. If you had asked me however many years ago where I would expect to be by 2015, I would have never guessed all that has happened. About a year ago, I announced to you all on here that I was going to have a baby girl. At the time, that seemed so scary, because I really was afraid of what everyone would think. I was actually at a crossroad, trying to decide whether to end my blog all together or to continue it. I am so glad I made that decision, and I could never begin to express my gratitude for all of the support I have received from my friends and readers of my blog. I have always loved this little space of mine on the internet, and something I have learned about it is that it's not truly yours unless you choose to completely be "you." As I was making the decision a year ago about what to do with my blog, I had to think about what was really me...disappearing from it or sticking to it, running the race that God set out for me. I would get a queazy feeling in my stomach thinking about what everyone would think, but I had to overcome that (so much easier said than done!). But I had to grasp what was really happening. This is the conclusion I had come to: God gave me an assignment. He had appointed me to be the mother and care for a precious life...created in HIS image...a precious life that would grow up to do wonderful things. I also decided to keep this blog running for one more reason, for Madeline. I never ever wanted her to think that I ended something I loved and enjoyed because she came into the picture. I want her to always know that she should never give up and always continue to "run the race marked out for her" (Hebrews 12:1).
I also can't begin the express the faithfulness that has been shown to me from my Heavenly Father throughout this year. God giving me my sweet Madeline has also brought me closer to Him that I ever imagined I could be. He has been my light and my salvation. He has been my strength. He has brought me so much joy. HE is faithful. He has brought me to a place where, at times, all I could do is trust as I felt I was walking through a dark tunnel. In 2015, the Lord broke my heart, a heart that seemed so hardened, and showed me that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." He has shown me not to be anxious for anything, not even for tomorrow. And He has shown me to "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." I feel like this year has been one leap of faith after another, and each time, He has proven Himself to be faithful and true. It truly is amazing to watch the Lord work in your life and lead you from one place to another. I have seen prayers answered and have truly been amazed by the Lord's timing, knowing that His timing is perfect.
Also in 2015, I am so grateful for my friends and family who have proven to be there for me and Madeline every step of the way. I never understood the deep love and support that I have through my family until this year. I especially am grateful for my Mother and Father who, through their examples, have helped me learn to be the best parent I could possibly be to Madeline and who have shown me care and compassion and loved my at my worst. To my brothers and sister who are nothing short of amazing. To my grandparents who have been here every step of the way. To my best friend that I have known my entire life but have grown close to through college and especially over the past year (although she moved to another state this year, she is still just as much here for me and Madeline as she has always been). And lastly, I am so grateful for each and every one of you who continually come back to my blog, as it has evolved over the past year. I could't express my gratitude for the kind emails and comments I receive. Some of them, I have read at just the right time, when I needed to read them. Even in little ways like that, I have seen the Lord's hand at work.
Lastly, to Madeline...who has brought me more joy, smiles, laughter, and tears (I think that describes motherhood right there, haha), than ever before. Oh what a joy it has been to watch her grow and see this beautiful life created by the Lord discover the world around her. Because of her, I have become a better person. Because of her, I have grown closer to the Lord. Because of her I have had the very best year of my entire life.
So, for 2016, I encourage you to give your life to the Lord. May the love of Jesus fill your heart. Give Him your life and allow Him to work within your heart. I pray that He will reveal amazing things to you during this new year.
I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for 2016.