2022 was a very good year for us. It flew by with a lot of family time, work, travel, and fun. Here are some of my highlights: a girl trip for matching tattoo’s. We each got the word “Beloved” on our arms. One of us decided on a panda. My life is richer with the addition of my daughter and daughter in laws. My daughter being our youngest is such a joy, and each daughter in law a true blessing.
I also visited my dearest friend Bunnie in Tennessee. There are a lot of people that have deeply impacted my life, she is at the top of my list.
The big event in February of ’22 was the celebration of our anniversary. We, along with most of our family, went to Hawaii. It was amazing! Our kids stayed the first week with us in kauai, then as they traveled back home, my husband and I went on to to the Big Island for another week. Being with my family is a favorite for me, so when we got to experience Hawaii together I knew it would be a lifetime highlight, Our son, Brent, is a professional photographer so we have a lot of beautiful pictures from this trip.
In March I was invited to go on a mission trip with Bethel church. We went to Asheville, NC. I loved this trip and the people I spent time with. There were many connections with my team that changed me. I deeply admire the leaders of this trip and the way they were able to honestly speak about their own lives and share from the heart. They did not shy away from conflict or challenges. They were encouraging and supportive. Never did I feel like they thought of themselves as better than the team, but as co-workers in Jesus all with the mission to spread the Good News. I’ve had many negative experience with church leaders, this was NOT one of them. I witnessed the love of Jesus through this team of people, and it touched me,
Spring was slowly making an appearance in April, and I felt ready for some sun. My husband and I went to my high school alumni weekend. We also stopped in the town we lived in when we first got married. We had a lot of fun thinking back all those years ago and recogizing the beauty God has created in our lives. He has been there every step of the way, the difficult times and the good. This picture is in front of the jewelry shop where my husband went with the intention of asking me to marry him way back in 1982.
In May, I graduated from my first year at BSSM. My friend traveled with me to California and watched me walk across the platform and receive my diploma. It felt good! I met up with many of my classmates with whom I had shared a year of learning of the goodness of God. Even though this is an online school; our time together was like meeting up with old friends.
Also, in May my husband and I drove to TN to celebrate the life of my heart mom, Bunnie. She passed away peacefully, with a talk to me before hand about meeting her under a tree in heaven. I have missed her fiercely. I think about her everyday and because of her I live a better life today. She brings a smile to me and tears too. She inspires me everyday to live a life of adventure and to surrender that life to Jesus.
June was unusually warm for our town and we enjoyed a couple trips in our motor home. One of our weekends we took two of our grandchildren camping. We explored a new campground with them and determined it would be a regular place to visit in days to come. We had s’mores, went biking, and hung out at the playground. It was a lot of fun.
In July we had a late anniversary dinner in our sons backyard. A few close friends came and afterwards we took some family pictures. The Grands were silly and the adults too! When I was younger never did I imagine I would be so favored by God to have a family like this. His kindness towards me proves so many things, and I will remain grateful for the rest of my days.
August greeted us with more camping and a different set of Grands. We loved riding around the campground on our bikes (until one grandson took a topple and hurt his foot) At that point our camping turned into movie watching in the motor home. We did get in some time at the lake too and loved the beauty God set before us.
We ushered out summer with a garden tea. My daughter, daughter in law, and granddaughter enjoyed learning about how tea is really done and then picking our own lovely bouquets of flowers to take home with us. I loved this; it was a hot day but still the garden was so pretty, wild and free. It inspired me to be a flower gardener; it didn’t last but was a fun thought for the day 🙂
My team and I invited all the ladies that had once been on our team and had a “reunion retreat” We worked hard to make this a special weekend, and it was. Agape’s tag line is -renewed, restored, and revived- and I felt like this weekend experienced all of it. God’s hand was everywhere in the relationships bringing renewal, restoration, and revival. We were all able to speak into each others lives and remind each other that the real value and beauty in life is friendship with each other. I felt encouraged after this weekend together and supported.
In September I launched a clothing line designed from the artwork I’ve done over the years. It hasn’t really gone anywhere and I haven’t invested a lot of time in it, but it has been fun. It’s been one of those adventures that I felt inspired by God to just step out and do it, He will take it somewhere if it’s meant to be. Sometimes it’s just the step that matters, right? It’s believing in yourself enough to do something and then believing in God to boost the task.
September also took us to the Washington and Oregon Coast in our motorhome. We covered a lot of territory in a short amount of time, it was beautiful and fun. Next time though, we will take it a little slower when we motorhome it. Our motorhome suffered a couple of accidents in 2022, and just after this trip it went to the auto body shop for repair. It is still there, but will soon be released back to us in full repair!
October is one of my favorite times of year, I love the Fall colors and the sun is still warm. My friends and I took a day trip to Montana and did a little hiking. Then a couple weeks later all the girls in my family did a similar trip for the weekend. It was the first time just us girls went away to play, shop, and discover new territory. I’d like to do that again, for sure.
All the Grands came for another sleepover in early November and we took them to some of their favorite places when they were younger. They have fond memories of the mall, candy machines, parks, and special foods. They are all growing up so fast and I’m very proud of them.
And, just like that, it’s December. I jumped from one restaurant to another with my friends in an afternoon of good food and great company. My family blessed me with a fun birthday party. We travel to CA for an annual work trip, visit the beach, Disneyland, the zoo, and other fun activities. It’s a delightful memory making trip, I enjoy it a lot.
Christmas was a total joy with scavenger hunts, fun surprises, new foods, and family. It was a gift all around with the fullness of love, hope, and peace through and through. God is a God of abundance, I see it more all the time through my family, friends, church and life. When things are difficult, and yes things do get difficult-God wraps us in peace. This entire year was great, even with the hardships such as: a broken foot, an infected foot, a very sick friend, long hours, wrecked cars and motor homes, broken lap tops, God is always good and always there.
And now it is New Years Eve. We had dinner with our two youngest and talked about goals for 2023. We feel thankful for all the moments together.
So, why have I shared this whole year with you? It’s because I need to see it recorded right before my eyes. I need to reread the beautiful testimony of my life and those around me. There are times that I fall prey to the lies of the enemy. I hear him tell me that I am not loved, or that I’m alone. His words still try to pound me with insignificance, worthlessness, and the fear of His promises never being fulfilled. There is an enemy that hates me. He does not want me to believe that God is bigger than Him, and God always knows the answers to every lie he tries to bring my way. When I think about the places God has rescued me from, I am surprised that I sometimes struggle with any of this, then again the enemy is relentless. Thankfully, God is far more relentless than him. God has already won the battle, and the truth remains. Love. Significance. Hope.Worth. Faith. All this and more is mine, and yours too. Not just that, but so much more. Abundance. I’ve seen abundance in WHO HE IS. When I focus on that, I experience abundance in life. When I shift my focus from myself, others, pain, or the “what if’s” I experience abundance in overflowing ways. Abundance.
This is 2022 for me.
God is so gentle in His ways. So very gentle. What has 2022 been like for you and how has God wrapped you? What are your dreams for 2023? When the enemy comes after you, what will you believe?
Happy New Year, dear Ones!7