Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, as you sing psalms, humans and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
As we look to a new year, I can't help but look back at 2014 with a heart of gratitude. It was a good year for our family. I was able to "retire" from my job to be a full time stay at home mom, Benjamin continued to enjoy his job while being able to teach, Winston grew into a terrific two year old and Luli remained in good health. Our families are all doing well and we even gained a niece! We joined a church and are leading the newlywed class. Winston is enjoying school two days a week and I have had fun being room mom!
It's amazing how fast a year goes by. Three hundred and sixty five days. You'd think it takes a little longer than it actually does. This was Winston last year. And this is him now.
Winston is energetic, vibrant, a character, lovable, and full of joy. I have never met a kid who enjoys life as much as this little guy. He loves adventures, trains, the zoo, playing make believe and crafts. Man, oh man can this kid craft! He is sensitive. He loves to give hugs and encourage others. He is a high-five, fist bumping, "good job!" giving little guy. Winston enjoys McDonald's, broccoli, green beans, and goldfish. Also those squeezie packs. Those are fantastic! Favorite animal these days are giraffes and when you ask him what they eat his promptly replies, "Salad." Winston continues to be an all around great eater and sleeper. My hope for this year is that he will continue to be sensitive to the Bible stories that we read, that as his little personality continues to develop I can find ways to nurture his curiosity and equip him to love others well.
Instead of creating a list of goals for the year, which to be honest is always frightening to me, I have decided to do things a little differently. Before the beginning of each new month I want to take some time to write out a wish list of activities or projects that I would like to get accomplished during that month. I have set up a few categories: Social, Winston, Family, Dating, Personal. Social includes attending Sunday School outings, being intentional on doing lunch with other moms or dinner with friends. Winston's category are crafts that would be fun, outings for us to take or books that I'd like to start reading. Family would include zoo day, monster truck rally, bike ride and picnic (when it is warmer!). Dating would be to make sure that Benjamin and I have one evening that we do something together. Personal - well that's for me. It's where I want to stretch myself to complete projects I need to finish, clean out closets, learn something new. I think this new way will be more manageable for me and both Benjamin and Winston can participate in contributing ideas!
But more than any of that, my hope this year is that we would continue to savor each moment together. That we would be mindful of the wonderful word of God, that it will fill our home and our hearts. I pray that this year I would be more intentional and brave in loving others. And above all, that thankfulness to the Lord would cover everything.
Benjamin continues to work as a real orthodontist. I am proud to say that he does a wonderful job each day providing for our family. He not only straightens people's teeth, he encourages the staff, takes on all responsibilities that are asked of him at work and comes home full of love for Winston and me. My heart swells each evening that Winston runs to the door, Lulu at his heels, welcoming Benjamin home. I love that Winston asks each night to go to the garage so that he can help Daddy with projects. Benjamin is patient to teach Winston about tools and being safe. Benjamin continues to teach at the school and he enjoys every moment of it. This year we will continue to do projects around the house which means opportunities for Benjamin to be out in his garage creating!
Lulu continues to do well. She loves that we are home more during the day and is never far away from us. We take her once a month for laser treatments to keep any inflammation in her back a bay. She gets lots of pets and hugs from Winston and is really looking forward to pool weather!
And as for me, I love being at home with Winston. There are days when it is exhausting but always rewarding. I know that there are books to read, meals to cook, new fads to try but mostly this year I just want to be more intentional in everything - in Bible study, in being present when I play with Winston, in loving and encouraging Benjamin, in connecting with others - and to do it with gratitude to the One to has given so much.
From the bottom of my heart, may you be able to find gratitude in the minute to minute and day to day. And when you do, rejoice!