If I’m being honest, 2015 hasn’t been the easiest year. My husband’s mother passed away in July. My grandfather passed away a few weeks later. With the holidays approaching, another wave of grief hits us, our family members, and others who have lost loved ones. Knowing that this year will be different. Experiencing things for the first time without the presence of some of the most precious people in our lives.
This is the only thing I’ve written so far on this blog that is truly hard to write. It is hard to let the world in on the difficult things, but I don’t want to be fake. I want to be real. And this is real. This is what 2015 has been.
However, when I look back at this past year, I can still find much to be thankful for. It is times like these that bring us together. Many of the items on this list will seem cliche, but when you go through a year like this, it truly makes you appreciate the most important people and things in your life.
- Relationship with Jesus.
When difficult times arise, it makes it so much easier being able to turn to Him. His peace truly passes all understanding. Yes, grief and mourning are still a reality. Questions still come. But at the end of the day…peace. I wouldn’t want to go one day without His presence in my life.
When we got married last year, there was no way for us to know that less than a year later, we would face something this difficult. That at twenty-seven years old, Jonathon would lose his mother. Jonathon had a special bond with his Mom. His Dad passed away when he was young and his siblings were all out of the house by the time he was 6 years old. So from the ages of 6-13, it was just him and his Mom at home. When I think about their relationship, I really do think of it as a special one.
I have seen him face this sad time in his life with complete faith in God. It has made me appreciate the person he is even more than I already did. I am so blessed to have him in my life.
I am thankful for both the family I was born into and the family I married into. The experiences that we have had to go through this year have only made us closer. I am thankful to have many family members that double as my friends.
My friends are a huge part of my support system. This year old friendships have been renewed and strengthened and new friendships have formed. I count myself blessed to have such a variety of good quality friends. Quality is better than quantity, but it’s great when you can have both.
- Our church.
We love our church! FPC of Lexington is a second family to us and we count ourselves blessed to be apart of this group of people. We have a wonderful Pastor, Pastor’s wife, and other leaders who pour into our lives.
We have a thriving youth ministry and children’s ministry that we are blessed to be able to help with. I can’t wait to see what’s to come!
- Our house.
After Jonathon’s Mom passed away, we moved into her house. At first, we (especially Jonathon, understandably) were unsure if we wanted to move in. The house had been a place of sadness (for the most part) for us over the last few months. But in the end, Jonathon decided he wanted to. He has a lot of happy memories there. It’s the house he grew up in.
I’m thankful to have a backyard for Sherlock and Watson to play in. And a space to make more happy memories in.
- Sherlock and Watson.
As I’ve mentioned before, our dogs bring us so much happiness. There are not many days that go by without us laughing at something the dogs did. Sure, they cause us to have to clean more and plan better before going out of town, but all the trouble doesn’t compare to the joy they bring.
- Our jobs.
Jonathon got a new job this year and it has been a blessing to us financially. I am still at the library, but I love being around people and books all day long. It is wonderful to both have jobs that we like and to feel settled.
- Our Europe trip.
We went to Europe for the first time this year. Maybe I’ll do a full post about this in a few months, but for now here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip. We went to Barcelona. Then we got on a cruise ship that took us to different places in Spain, France and Italy.
10. Books, books, books.
I believe I have read more this year than any year before. Whether it is a great fictional story I can escape into, a nonfictional story that grips my interest, or a nonfiction book that teaches me something, I love books! I can’t wait to finish the year off by reading a few more books that are at the top of my to-read list.
As the last few weeks of 2015 are quickly approaching, I reflect on what we’ve lost, but at the end of the day God is still good. He is faithful. We still have much to be thankful for. We are blessed.