My Christmas holiday starts at the end of the workday today and I am ready for an extended break to rest and recover from an extra busy and challenging year. Last year I was seeking to find a rhythm to our lives. This year, the word that comes to mind is …
We have heard from many of you how challenging recent years have been through COVID, family issues, finances, work issues, and inflation. We have felt the increased pressure as well this year. So much has happened this year that Angie and I have had to endure, often to beyond our limits. We experienced a nasty ice storm early in the year that had us stuck in Texas a few extra days and a stressful drive home. Within a few months we transitioned Rachel from graduate school to home, to hosting her wedding in our home, to her and Sam moving to an apartment, to Rachel starting a new job, and then to them living in a different State. All this year, Angie’s Multiple Sclerosis has progressed significantly, impacting her physically and mentally, which has greatly increased my caregiving responsibilities. We have had private family challenges and work difficulties that stacked upon our busy lives and health challenges. We have been on our knees in prayer, talking deeply with family, and seeking counseling. Yet, this year has still be full of joyous and wonderful moments as well. Through it all, we fall back on these verses.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Romans 5:3-5 ESV
It feels hard, often times impossible, to rejoice in the moment of suffering. Yet, we pray for endurance and grace through the difficult times. We have grown as a couple and individuals this year and still experience joy and love in the midst of it all. These next two weeks we are going to use to reflect, rest, recover, and rejoice.
Thanks for running beside me on this journey. I have enjoyed your comments and questions throughout the year. What new things, changes, or challenges are to come in 2024 I do not know, but I do know my friends, family, and readers are here to help me along the way.