I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Did you make any resolutions?? I haven't because I never keep them so why bother. I have however been reflecting on the year that was.
2013 has been an interesting year - actually that might be understating it a bit. Although there have been times of great sadness there have also been plenty of times of happiness and blessing.
We were blessed to be able to attend all the markets that we had booked in for even though Roy had at the time become quite sick because of his radiation treatment. We were blessed to be able to make a few trips up to Hastings including one to celebrate Inge's 2nd birthday. We were blessed with the arrival of a second grandchild - a little boy named Noah Christopher in honour of his Opa. We were blessed to be able to spend a family weekend together in celebration of my parents 50th wedding anniversary and have time with my aunt from Holland and good friends from Aussie. After this we also had a week where Inge came to stay and although Roy was by then becoming a lot sicker he was still able to spend time interacting with her.
In June sadness and loss came when the Lord called Roy home to glory and yet even then there was also comfort and joy. Comfort in the knowledge that Roy was now safe in the arms of his Lord and no longer had to suffer the ravages of the cancer that had taken over his body and the joy of family time spent together and that we were all able to say a proper goodbye to him before he left us.
Since Roy's death there have been a great many blessings too. I have been blessed with the on going love and support of family and friends - I wouldn't be where I am today without you all, thank you so much. I was blessed with a job - albeit part time and still not confirmed for this year. I am blessed that at the moment I am financially stable and have even been able to afford some house improvements. I have been blessed to be able to spend time looking after Noah and watch him grow and develop. I am blessed with good health, a positive attitude and a ready smile. I am also starting to come to terms with the new normal that is now my life and even enjoying it.
The biggest blessing of all is my strengthened walk with the Lord. I trust Him completely with my life, I feel at peace in the knowledge that He is in control. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 I love that word 'hope'. What a comfort and what a joy and what an awesome God we serve.
So you're probably wondering how my Christmas and New Year went - they actually went better that I have thought they might and I can tick another set of firsts off my list. I must admit I was a little bit apprehensive about going to the Christmas day service as I expected plenty of tears, but the Lord surrounded me with His loving arms and I felt very much at peace. I also really appreciate my youngest son Joel coming with me. Joel and I spent the rest of the day with my parents before Aimee, Richard and Noah came for the night. On Boxing day we did the extending family Christmas thing and again it went really well and we had a lovely time catching up with each other.
The days between Christmas and New Year were very busy - Noah came and stayed for the night so his Mama and Papa could both work in the bakery as just before Christmas they had suddenly received a HUGE catering order. I also had my 15 year old niece come and stay for a couple of nights which was lovely. Jess really enjoyed coming with me to look after Noah.
I must admit I actually found New Year harder to face than Christmas - it's the suddenly loneliness of not being part of a couple and having no-one to share that first New Years kiss with anymore - it sucks!!! (as my sister in law Helen would say) I wasn't planning on staying up for New Year, but that changed and I ended up having family over which was really nice and it all went better than I thought it might. I'd made a big batch of Olibollen which were really, really yummy and went down a treat.
As I write this it is almost the end of the 2nd day of 2014 and I can't help wondering what this year will bring. There are already some plans to look forward to - family get togethers, a BIG birthday for me, family coming from overseas, the birth of another grandchild and probably plenty more that I don't even know about yet.
My prayer is that this year I continue to grow in the Lord, that when the time is right He will show me His plans for my life, that I am can find true contentment and be comfortable with the person I have become. I also hope that this year will go a bit slower than last year did, but my guess is that won't be the case.
May your New Year be blessed with peace, love and joy. I send you my heartfelt best wishes with joy that never ends and I wish you God's blessing for 2014.
Till next time.