Christmas Promises and New Year Fears...

Welp, thanks to my favorite letter board and some lingering (ahem, the whole tree) Christmas decorations, I'm still singing Christmas carols over here...

Every year all the Christmas hymns make me cry, cry, cry. This past December was the same yet a little different as I really am clinging to the promise that lays beneath these words:

For me, the past year has been an intense struggle. I really battled for my joy. Ending the year, I can look back and say that I chose well and won that battle but looking up ahead to 2017, there is a great deal of fear because in my little world the war isn't quite over.

As I have processed through my feelings and emotions the last few months, most of my fears hover and circle around bringing a newborn to our home this January. I don't think I have to defend my love for my children-- and postpartum depression is certainly by NO MEANS an absence of love.

I adore each of my littles and truly love being their mother. For me, along with that intense bond and love, there are some shadows that follow the joy of a new birth. Shadows that have been amplified by the isolation and loneliness where we live. Raising toddlers and babies can give mamas a "groundhog day affect" and the fear of another year, waking up each day to a rhythm I cannot find the beat to-- at times gives me great anxiety. A sense of being trapped and suffocated by the extraordinary needs yet ordinary moments that each day and each child lays before me.

Thankfully, and there will always be this transition for me-- in my words and in my thoughts-- THANKFULLY, there is a great hope that keeps me from being pinned down by all my fears.

It doesn't matter much that it's a new year, each morning, I choose hope. Yes, I am totally loving the cluttered down house, the fresh pages in my planner, and the quiet whispers that GOOD THINGS are on our horizons. But if it wasn't newly 2017 I would be fighting for hope anyways because that's what I am choosing to do.

Last month I listened to a podcast where Jo Saxton talked about digging in deep to prepare for harder seasons of life. I keep almost missing this. I definitely missed it in December where I clung to my kids' paper Christmas lists, ambitious holiday traditions, over the top meal plans, and an endless stream of beloved houseguests to lay before me a foundation of joy. False! They were temporary joys. In every way, the food, the lists, the packages, the people-- are all gone. The Christmas cookies are very much gone-- all 5 dozen... that I ate by myself... in less than a week. The packages we'll keep coming thanks to my love for Amazon Prime and ordering things at 2 am like when I realized on Monday that I am 36 weeks pregnant and have no newborn diapers in the house!

The lasting joy is always Christ and the promise of Christmas tells me that He comes, He stays, and best of all-- He makes all things new, even this tired mama's heart.

Digging in deep looks for me like getting up a few minutes before my kiddos (only to have us still be the last ones to arrive at preschool!), clinging to promises in Scripture, talking to dear friends who know and love me, asking my husband for help in the kindest ways I can muster, and embracing in the last few weeks of a very sweet pregnancy.

If 2017 looks like it may hold some hard seasons and transitions for you as well, trust that the one who calls you will speak tenderly to you there.

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."-Isaiah 43:19

"Therefore, look! I will now allure her. I will make her go out to the wilderness, and will speak to her heart." -Hosea 2:14

He is good, all the time. 

"And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold! I am making all things new.' Also he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'-Revelation 21:5

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