Adventure.

That was my word for 2018. Let me tell you, it was quite appropriate. My life is a grand adventure with God, as He leads me through unfamiliar paths and often out of my comfort zone. He’s taken me to amazing places and has helped me experience more than I could have ever dreamed of.

Some days I follow well and on other days, well, I stray. I get distracted. My gaze turns to the shiny things of this world instead of on my Guide of this adventure. I’m thankful He loves me enough to continue to gently turn my face toward Him, as well as forgive me when I stray.

But, most days I find myself clinging to Him for dear life in this adventure. Yes, that was me in 2018.

Through it all, however, He has taught me much.

The year of Adventure and what God taught me in 2018

I’m not in control.

In the wee-hours of April 3, I woke to the symptoms of a heart attack. Thankfully, the E.R. doc said otherwise, but this led to months of medical tests, scans, and procedures. This girl likes to be in control, but once again, God reminded me I wasn’t. I couldn’t control anything… my heart, nor the test results. Only God could. As I was forced to rest in His sovereignty, I found a peace that surpassed my understanding.

Bloom where I’m planted.

God prompted me to continue the local bi-monthly events I began from His nudging in December 2017 called, Bring Your Own Bible and Beverage (BYOB and B). Designed just for women, we held six events in 2018, and each one grew in impact and in physical numbers. So much so, we had to move to a larger venue. God planted me here and I’m to bloom right where He has me. The grass is always greener in the center of His will, isn’t it?

BYOB and B

God is good at making dreams come true.

God is the giver of all good gifts, and He knows the desires of our hearts. All year long we planned and prepared and planned some more for our daughter’s wedding that took place on a beautiful, sunshiny day in October. We saw God in every detail of her dream-come-true kind of day. In everything from the weather, to our son standing up as a groomsman after having an appendicitis three days before the wedding, to the peace and calmness and beauty that filled the entire day. Our daughter married the man of her dreams, and Bill and I have another amazing son. God is very good at making dreams come true.

Life is precious. Don’t take one moment of it for granted.

I don’t mean to, but I can take life for granted. I can get caught up in the ho-hum, hum-drum of every day life and forget how special each moment of it is. Until God uses something to wake me up. Like a cardiac ablation mid-November. Having no control, God taught me to trust Him to bring me out of the procedure safely and to bring good from it. It was a frightening experience, but one in where I knew my Guide was with me. I’m still healing and have had some bumps in the road, but I have a new appreciation for each moment I’m given on this earth.

After a heart procedure, I'm thankful.

Be open.

Bill and I ventured out often on our tandem bicycle in 2018. Not only were we out on familiar trails and roads, but we explored new areas in Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. We rode in our fifth RAGBRAI and were caught in a scary storm mid-week that broke our trusty tent (while we were attempting to sleep in it). When all I wanted to do was panic in those moments, God asked me to remain open to the adventure. To not focus at what I saw, but to be open to what I couldn’t see. That’s something daily I continue to apply.

RAGBRAI

Brokenness may feel unbearable for a time, but God uses it for His glory, for our growth, and for the good of others.

The subject of our October Bring Your Own Bible and Beverage event was “Beyond Brokenness.” I spent hours preparing for it, pondering how to make it a transforming event for those in attendance. Little did I know my preparation would open the door for God to transform me that evening–and beyond. God lead me to face my brokenness, my struggles, my faults and yes, my failures. It’s been trying and challenging to face these, but I’m beginning to catch a glimpse of how God is using it all for His glory, for my growth, and for the good of others around me.

50 is amazing!

Yes, I turned 50 just a little over a week ago. 50. How can that even be? I’ll share more in a future post, but friend, 50 is just plain crazy. It’s also just a number, right? My pastor, who is my age minus a few months, reminded me this week that “I’m at the top of my game!” Okay, if he says so. God isn’t done with me yet, and in this year of 50, I trust Him that it’s going to be amazing! So far, that’s been the case.

50 is amazing!

Friend, what did God teach you in 2018?

I’d love to read any lessons you’ve learned along the journey last year. I’m thankful God doesn’t leave us where we are. He loves us too much to do so.

Thanks for journeying with me this year. Praying your 2019 is filled with His goodness, His love, and His presence in your life!

Much love,

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