I’ve been “silent” for a while. I’ve felt like a very empty vessel. The waves of grief are smaller and farther between but I was left feeling very tired and unable to form many sentences. But even in that, God is good.
I’ve been spending the few quiet moments I have reflecting on this past year. And the main difference from last is – things are looking up. Dare I say, hopeful? I can actually say I’m looking forward to this next year. A black and white difference. Here’s a recap:
Towards the very end of last year we had decided to move back home from Florida to Delaware. No jobs lined up, no real direction, just knew our time in Florida was coming to a very quick end. We were exhausted, weary and very discouraged. Justin didn’t find work right away, but piece by piece we were making it. We thought he’d be heading to the police academy in the fall but at almost the very last moment they chose someone else. I can’t tell you how stressful this year has been, how many deadlines we felt pressing. How may times we thought “if we can just hold on till this date, we’ll make it.” I spent hours one day tearing up my garden bed, my hands blistering, my back throbbing but it helped combat the stress of and heartbreak from another rejection… another closed door. I kept repeating over and over “Steph, you can’t lose it, you can’t give up.” The hardest part was knowing your spouse was in the pits of despair and not being able to help him. We both need to both choose to move on and trust God.
That was a few months ago now, and since then, Justin has started a full time job. It doesn’t pay much but it’s enough. I’ve also started waitressing on the side and this has been a blessing financially but also mentally I really enjoy is and it’s nice to have a set time out of the house. The coolest part is how God is continuing to provide in other way. A random scolarship given to Justin recognizing the kind of guy he is and how hard he works. What a sweet blessing after so much rejection. Gifts from people, cloths dropped off, generous tippers at work, etc. Our hearts have continued to be blessed and we feel God’s blessing in this messy, less than perfect season.
Our goals for next year are:
– Justin finishing his bachelor’s online (6 classes per semester 😫.)
– I am just over 10lbs from my goal weight, I’ve lost 65! So far!
– Teach my older two to read.
– Get out of short-term debt.
– Love on our church family, neighbors, and friends better/more deliberately.
So why persistence? What’s up with that?
To be persistent means: continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
Justin has already completed three years of school, but it’ll take a very hard final push to finish.
I’ve lost the majority of the weight I want to but I can’t get lazy with it now.
My big kids are slowly learning the steps to read, but with 4 kids yelling all at once it’s been very hard for me to be motivated to make this a priority!
We have finally been able to make strides to pay off our short term debt. For a long time it had to sit on the back burner. But as a spender/gift person it has taken being brought down very low to help shift my mindset. It’s been humbling but good. Im looking forward and trusting we’ll be debt free outside our mortgage by 2020.
We love people, they’re messy and beautiful. With four kids it’s easy to make excuses and not take the time to bless those around us. This is something we want to make more of a priority this year. We want to set this example for our kids. My parents always had a revolving door, I’m not sure I want to go that far, ha! But I know I could do better.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
We don’t have anything really “new” coming up. We’re not moving (hopefully…) No new babies, Lord willing no major crises, I’ve been through a big physical transformation. In some ways it seems borning to me. Slow moving goals are hard for me. But with age I’ve learned that the year will fly, and if we press in and have patience we will hit our goals.
Happy New Year, friends!
May it be full of God’s grace. 💕
2 thoughts on “– per·sist·ent –”
Happy New Year, Stephanie! Good to hear from you again. Congrats on all the goals you have reached personally and as a family. You all look beautiful. God is so good. He has brought you and Justin and your family through so much! Thank you for sharing about persistence. I have questioned this past year why I should be so persistent about getting better at things, like playing guitar in the worship band for instance, or all the effort I am now putting in to making Stephanie’s costume for drama, when I could just be lazy, do less, and think no one would really notice or care about the difference. I have to keep going back to Colossians 3:23, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men.” It reminds me to keep being persistent at the jobs God has given me to do and the goals He helps me reach, always with much grace. Honestly, I wish you could just Venmo me those last 10lbs. I could really use it. But I know you will reach your goal weight, and I will try to be a little more persistent about gaining a few pounds in the New Year.
Praying God’s richest blessings for you and your family in 2019!
Thank you so much for reading and writing a reply. I always appreciate your encouragement and input. I’d Venmo you those pounds plus some in a heart beat!
That verse in Colossians has helped me a lot with being a mom to so many messy littles.
Miss you guys! We plan to be in Florida in March for a week! I hope you’ll stop by 🙂