Another Year Gone By

2014 is quickly coming to a close. In just a few hours we say goodbye to another year. It's always a time of reflection and I would be remisce if I didn't stop and count the many blessings and lessons of the year that's coming to a close. But first some of 2014's highlights:

January brought a fourth member to the family. 

Remember that fury little fluff ball? All 7 deceiving pounds of him that melted our hearts. It was the first week of January and the beginning of the Polar Vortex and a harsh, snowy 3 months of winter (even for Virginia). Now this 65 lb Oompa Loompa is a permanent fixture in the Wright Home and we wouldn't have it any other way. 

February brought my 35th birthday, more snow and these infamous shots. 

Oh how I love these photos. Yes, it was freezing. Yes, I had on snow boots and leggings underneath my gown. Yes, it was worth it!

Fast forward to April and Mikey's birthday, then May and a dino-mite 6th birthday. We also took our first vacation of the year to Nags Head. 

June brough the official start of summer and a trip to DC. So many sights to see, so much history. 

July was our first trip to Williamsburg & Busch Gardens. We have determined we love amusement parks. So much so we would return again in September. 

August began Elijah's first grade year, which has proven to be a lot more challenging than Kindergarten but we couldn't have been blessed with a more loving and devoted teacher. So many of you have prayed for this little boy and knowing he is bathed in prayer is the biggest blessing of all. We still have challenges ahead so as we look toward 2015 it is a reminder of having to seek the Lord for guidance and knowing how to best parent and advocate for this little life we are entrusted with. I know you will agree - this is one of the biggest lessons we face as parents, having to surrender our children to the Lord ALL the days of their lives and seek to do what's best for them, even when it's difficult. 

The first of September we learned we were expecting. We couldn't contain our excitement! This was truly an answer to prayer and something we had been hoping and waiting for. We celebrated and embraced this little one. It caused me to look toward 2015 - specifically May - with a whole new perspective and plan. It wouldn't just be a new year, it would be a new baby, a new beginning, a new life, a growing family, a fulfilled longing and an answer to prayer.

In October we were forced to say goodbye. I cannot deny the months since have still brought grief. I've also had newfound friendships as I've connected with others who have walked this same journey. I can't yet fully understand God's plan in all of this.

We close this year out in Florida enjoying time with family and vacation. 
Magic. It never loses it's luster. I've determined that the Christmas holiday and Disney World allow me to appropriately act the age I feel. It's been a weird time for me, though, because we planned this trip with the knowledge that we'd be marking our "halfway" point of pregnancy. I admit that at times I still struggle with this and as I look forward to 2015 this is so much a part of what I must face. 

This year God has brought me deep, meaningful friendships that have come to be a lifelong answer to prayer. I've watched God supernaturally step into situations that were simply beyond my control. I've seen Him work things out according to His plan even when I simply could not see any resolution. This year I've seen my own faith rise on wings of eagles and soar to mountaintop heights. And yet I've also felt my hopes and dreams plummet to the valley of the shadow of death. 

Now I look toward next year with a completely different meaning and perspective. Yesterday I was reminded (by one of those kindred friends) that I cannot just pull together my own plan and ask God to bless it. (Ouch! That one hurts.) Rather, I must seek His plan and follow His will.

There are two words that have come to share deep meaning in my soul: hope and joy. 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 

Hebrews 11:1

God is my strength, my shield from every danger.
I trust Him and He helps me.
Joy rises in my heart 
until I burst out in songs of praise to Him
Psalm 28:7

This is the reason I sing. This is the reason for faith. This is the reason to look forward to 2015 and a new year. The hope I have is faith in Who He is. The joy I cling to is what rises within me as I trust Him no matter what I face. Another year comes to a close and a new one offers hope and joy with full confidence in a Sovereign God who holds each and everyday. 

Happy New Year. Happiness is relative, right? Relative to the perspective we choose when we realize Almighty God holds not only each of our days but each of us in His Sovereign hands.

I pray you feel His presence in your life and I pray for His deepest blessings on your new year. May your faith increase. May your hope be ever present. May your joy be deep. May you burst forth in songs of praise to Him. May you rejoice and trust in a God who is good, even when you may not be certain of what tomorrow holds. 


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