2012 was the worst year for our family. We buried a son, and with him many hopes and dreams of what could be. I was very depressed for the last half of the year, and living with me was no easy task. As the year closed, I was thankful to survive and looked forward to the hope of a new start. I truly believed God would give us a baby in 2013. I found a Pinterest post about a Blessings Jar and decided our family should start one for the new year. I used an old Gatorade jar and we began filling it with little slips of paper, counting our blessings.
I've taken several pictures throughout the year, but this is the only one I can find right now. As you can see, it's almost full! We can't wait to open it up tomorrow night and literally count our blessings! I'm going to play the old hymn, and we're going to write them down in a notebook so we can look back over the years at the ways God has blessed us. I will admit we weren't perfect at keeping up with the jar. There were many months when it was literally lost in the chaos, and many times we would write five or more blessings at once. If you decide to incorporate a Blessings Jar in your life, take comfort in knowing there is no right or wrong way to do it. Have fun!
So 2013 didn't turn out the way I'd hoped, we don't have a baby and there is no indication our family will be growing anytime soon. I'm not going to say I'm okay with that, because in my heart I still want another baby. But I know God's timing is best. Everything works out for His glory. A few months ago I made a visual reminder of this truth. The women's ministry at my church takes trips to Pottery Hollow, a place where you can paint pottery. The first time I went I made a plate for Hope with a Bible verse that has her name in it and has encouraged me through the years. The second time I really wanted to make something for myself. I chose a coffee mug (to drink my morning tea in) and searched my Pinterest boards for the right quote. I finally settled on this one:
"Faith in God includes faith in His timing"
When I showed my small group leader, Amy, what I was making, she practically jumped with excitement. "And just think, every day while you're drinking your tea and having your quiet time, you can have this as a reminder that God isn't finished with you!" Amy is amazing. I made it in early November (or late October...can't remember which) and as the pictures show, it's already begun to chip. There's a huge chunk of paint off the handle, and there were a few nicks in it when I got it. I wasn't really disappointed though. I knew I wanted to write a blog post about the potter and the clay, and I figured that would fit perfectly. I drink out of it almost every day, and it has been so encouraging to have a constant reminder that God's timing is perfect.
So, what does 2014 hold? Shaun already has a promotion, so hopefully the bills and the paychecks will balance out. Hope will start her last year of elementary school in the fall. As for me, well, God knows. I plan on reading more books, and continuing my personal Bible studies. I'm hopeful we can watch less TV and eat healthier. Beyond that, I don't know what the future holds, but I know who's holding it.