May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As I pondered this verse and read it many times over many weeks I realized that I had lost the joy of parenting and teaching somewhere along the way. It is hard to function in life when what you are doing is not accompanied with joy. Without finding joy in your journey your journey becomes a huge mountain that your can't climb. A chore you don't want to take care of. A meeting you don't want to have. Oh the list can go on and it did this last year. So we took a break from homework for a few weeks and spent time just being together without the added teaching stress. It was a huge blessing to be my kids mom and not their teacher for those weeks. We then brought the homework back but slowly and with less on my plate. Sometimes in life you still have to go forward but for the emotional health of all involved you have to not take as much baggage with you. Less on my balance beam if you will.
We then took a much needed vacation. Time to tent camp and sleep real snugglie with each other. Eat food cooked over the fire. Visit with some dear friends. See some amazing places that we had only learned about. Laugh at each other. Spend hours driving in the car. Eat new foods. And help find the joy again. And It did amazing things for my worn out spirit. Not only did I find the joy coming back but with it came a feeling of Gods never ending peace. He put me on this journey and I was fighting his decision because I was so tired of it and needed a change. Well by taking a step back, and many many hours spent in prayer, I not only found joy but the peace that he promised as we trust in him. I have felt many times the peace falling away but that is because I am fighting in another area of my life. James and I have always said that whatever God needs us to do and where ever he needs us to go we will go willingly. If it is good for his kingdom then it is what we need to be doing. Many times it has been accompanied with tears and heartache. But He has always replaced it with greater joy! Always! We just have to muddle through the heartache part to get to the new growth.
I started 2015 with pain and heartache and I am starting 2016 with new growth. With the hope that He promised me. Overflowing with the power of the holy spirit. I hope and pray that you find new growth this year. 2015 seems to have been a draining year for many of you. There is joy in the journey. I just had to find it again. Here is to a much better year! We are going to get through 2016 with flying colors. Going where ever we are asked to go. Making memories. And laughing together. Its the best thing about the beginning of the year.... it is fresh... hasn't been touched.. full of possibilities! .