What has made your heart come alive in 2019? My heart matters and this year has been an adventure in trying to find what makes it sing, what makes it come alive. As I have struggled with sleep, I have realized that grace and beauty speak into my heart and I need more.
November is a great month to focus on what this year has brought and set a focus on how the year could end so that the next year can start off right. To make it through the last of November and into December I need my heart to come alive. But life can’t be all adventures. Life is lived in the dailies and doesn’t have to always be fantastic.
2019 has had plenty of fantastic things take place in it, but it has also been a daily grind. If I want my heart to come alive I need to remember to search for beauty when I am stuck at work or when the unexpected comes my way.
I need grace when things don’t go my way. I need grace for when things do go my way.
This year plenty has gone my way. My heart came alive when April and I walked into the home we would buy. God’s hands were all over us being able to buy our home, but as many of you know, owning a home is not easy. Owning a home is a beautiful adventure, but a home needs much from its owner. We’ve already needed to replace all of the windows and gutters. God has provided April and me with a home and I know I cannot take care of it without him. When I feel anxious about all my home needs, He reminds me He is in control and gives me the grace to remember that He will provide, He will protect, and His presence will rule in my house even if I have to spend more money on my home. Right now the oven is hardly working and if April’s baking adventure is ever to take off, we need a better one.
In July we finally went on our honeymoon to Europe. As we boarded our plane, all of me was ready for a holiday.
My spring semester at school was stressful and then because I am a glutton for punishment, I decided to teach summer school. So, I needed to be refilled, but I was nervous about how my sleeping problems would mess with our trip. On the first night in London I was exhausted (I hadn’t slept on the flight over and then it took us five hours to travel from Heathrow Airport to our hotel over in the Docklands). This was an adventure, but even though my eyelids were weighed down I struggled to fall asleep.
I was terrified I would be too tired to do anything and ruin our honeymoon. Before we left for Europe, I didn’t take the time to work on my sleep problems. Now I was sure it was going to ruin the trip. And then in a quiet whispered moment, April reminded me to be gracious to myself. “Jet-lag is a very real,” she said and that I should just give my body grace when I couldn’t fall to sleep because it was just trying to figure out its new rhythm. This saved me and helped make for an incredible month in England, Scotland, Amsterdam, and Ireland. The sunset that night was God reminding me that he would take care of us.
And then we returned to Colorado, I started back up at work, and now we are at the end of November, and I’m thinking about how I need grace for my life. I’ve had quite a few beautiful moments this semester, but some hard ones too.
As November came I didn’t think we would need a new car, but her completely paid off Ford Focus died and we could no longer rely on it to transport her to work and back. We really needed a new car, but buying cars doesn’t make my heart come alive. We bought a Honda C-RV and I love it, but I had not planned on making another big purchase this year (The house, the trip to Europe, and a couple things for the house were all I wanted to buy, but not the car). Buying the car could have stressed me out, its drastically changing our budget, but I am remembering to give myself grace and I am choosing to remember that providing for my wife is truly an awesome adventure. God is in control and even in the daily grind he will provide fantastic elements to my day.
God providing for me is what makes my heart come alive and that is what I need. He knows my heart matters and he will take care of my finances, my house, and my job. With our new car I have the ability to go up into the mountains. With my house I can invite friends over for a movie. And with my job I can share my love of stories. These are all things that make my heart come alive and that is what I really need.
My goal for December 2019 and into 2020 is that I slow down and meet the needs of my heart so that I am able to live a life fully alive, but I know I will mess up and there will be bumps along the way. That’s why I am thankful for grace!