Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - A year in review

When a new year comes around I like to look back and reflect over the past 12 months.  Here is a selection from each month, a sort of highlight of the last year of the Suvar's (you can click on the months to read each full post).  God shows his faithfulness throughout it all - all praise goes to Him!

So many of my regrets come from my REactions.  Many of my victories stem from thoughtful actions.  I am challenging myself to put this into practice with my own 3 little ones.  I often react in impatience, frustration, anger.  I would like to instead act with patience, long-suffering, and love.

I want my kids to remember me as their mom who, instead of griping in anger about what they did wrong, speaks to them with gentleness, helping them to see what they did wrong, and what they can do better.

That probably sounds all idealistic and a little bit like kum-by-ya, but I think putting it into practice will reap rewards.

I have to admire my Grandparents for their ability to hold on to those memories that mattered - there were so many things that their children and grandchildren would love to  reminiscence and smile over.  But yet, they didn't hold on to so many things that their home was a huge cluttered mess.  Looking back, I can always remember Grandpa and Grandma's house (first at the farmhouse, and them at their condo) to be a place of uncluttered calm. 

And yet, I kept coming back to the thought that although all these things are great and wonderful and fun to look through, we ultimately cannot take a single thing with us.

What will stand is how our lives were lived for Christ.  My grandparents have been following Christ for well over 60 years and they have shown by their lives Who (not what) they are really living for.

God asks us for our EFFORT.

Our whole heart, soul, body, and mind effort.  When we get knocked down or get those proverbial stones thrown at us - we keep giving that sold-out effort for Him.

Because while WE were yet SINNERS Christ died for US.

We too are those people who need His grace and salvation.  We are the ones that throw the stones and would rather be doing something other than what God wants us to do.  But while we were yet in our sinful state - Christ died for each one of us.

He didn't have to.  But He did.

And so, despite all those questions that keep coming back to haunt me while I lie in bed at night...

I'll keep giving the effort, Lord.

How many lies I have let myself believe over the years?

"I can do this on my own"
"If I just do enough good, then God will love me"
"Me first. God second."
"I have to earn God's favor, just keeping working,working,working"

We have the following verses on our white board this week:

You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set you free.....Everyone who sins is a slave to sin...So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.  John 8:31,32,34,36

How often are we allowing ourselves to be enslaved by Satan's lies?  My prayer this week is that God would open my eyes to the lies that I am believing.  Lies I have been telling myself for so long, that I believe them as the truth.

I am disappointed in myself when I treat the children in my life like they are an inconvenience.  Someone who is in the way of what I want to selfishly accomplish.

Ugh.  I cringe with what I just wrote, but it is the sad, pathetic truth so I will leave it there.

But I also know another truth.  One that outweighs the lie that my kids are a nuisance to my already crazy day.

The truth that all of these children were placed in my life for a reason.  My three little kiddos were born to me because that is exactly where God wanted them to belong.

These teenagers were placed in our house for a reason.  Their young lives have been through some tumultuous stuff, but God brought them to this place and for this moment, this is where they belong.

And that is a privilege for me.

But lest I get too boastful about how I am here to raise them up to know Jesus and His sacrifice for them,  I remind myself that I am learning just as much from them as they are learning from me. 

We have seen countless times how drastically affected a child's life has become when there is no father in the picture.  I understand some circumstances cannot be helped.

But that is where those 'father-figures' can step in.  Every child needs a 'dad' to look up to.

Boys need to learn how to be great men.

Girls need to learn how to be treated - and loved - by great men. 

Ten years ago, when we were enjoying our short little 3 day honeymoon, we discussed about going out on a longer trip someday.

After 10 years of saving and planning, Paul and I got to see it all come to fruition.

It.  Was.  Wonderful.

I want you, Owen, to be sure of yourself, knowing God has created you as a unique individual, with unique qualities and tastes.  The best person you can be is YOU, not an imitation of someone else.

People's valuation of you should not matter, only God's valuation of you should.  Measure yourself by his ruler, by His Word, not by the measuring stick of your peers.  

OK, I thought I would make a post up about this for all those family members of mine who live a ways a way and don't know all the nuts and bolts of what we do from day to day here at Gateway.  I have thought about doing a post about a typical day for awhile but always had the thought that it's going to come off a bit arrogant - who really wants to know what I do all day?

But in the end, I am deciding to do it most of all for me to look back on some day.  Because someday this will all be past and I am going to think I was pretty crazy to be doing all this.  But blessed, oh so very, crazily blessed. 

So for today I will snuggle her, and breathe in her sweet scent of her hair, and read her just one more book.  I'll enjoy her sweet giggle and the sound of her little feet padding across the kitchen floor.

Because we know this life is but a vapor, and it's going by quickly.  But God gives us these glimpses of heaven through His little children to remind us Who, and what, we are working for.  To make this journey a bit more bearable until we finally make it home.

My heart hurts, weeps, for what could have been.  We've made room for this boy in our family, and he has found a place in our hearts.  Despite his attitude and belligerence, he's grown on us.  My prayers go with this boy, that the seeds that were planted in his 14 weeks here could find fertile soil in his young heart.  That he would not forget the time spent here.  That he would know that we are not abandoning him like so many others in his past.  That our thoughts, and prayers, and a bit of our heart goes with him.   

Jesus knows my need.  My weaknesses are no surprise to Him.  In fact, His strength is made perfect in my weakness!

 I'm still tired.  And I will most likely cry at some point yet tonight, but I have a Savior who knows all about it.  I don't have to be strong, I have a Jesus who is strong for me.  I don't have to conjure up some Christmas cheer, I have the joy of salvation year round.

 Just like winter is just a season, so is this time of life.  I don't want to miss out on the joys because of the frustrations.  Because, no doubt, those frustrations will be there to greet me in the morning.

 It's just very clear to me that I am inadequate and weak.  But that is OK.


Because I have Jesus who is not.    


1 comment:

  1. Nicole I just got done reading your blog. It was very inspirational. I loved it!! As a mother I can relate in so many ways. Have a blessed 2013. A friend, Margaret