1-2-13: Reflecting on 2012 and being struck by the thought that the theme seemed to be, "God is near." There were exciting and thrilling highs. There were painful and scary lows. Mostly there were lots of experiences somewhere in between. But through it all, God was near. And to be clear, he always has been. I know that. But last year I ran to him and reached for him and recognized him far more quickly than I have in the past. For that I am grateful. Praying for an even greater shaping of my heart in that direction during 2013.
1-9-13: John 1:16: "For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." So amazing.
1-23-13: TOTALLY surprising my Mom. She had no clue whatsoever we were showing up. (I had talked to her on the phone the night before.) She cried and cried and announced in a voice that made her seem like an 8-year-old at Disneyworld, "This is my best birthday ever!" Awesome to make her feel so loved when she spends her whole life making sure everyone else is loved. Precious memories.
1-30-13: My man is HOME. All is right with the world. :-D
2-6-13: Final proofs returned to publisher. Coming soon to a bookstore near you! So grateful. So, so grateful.
2-13-13: My amazing sister Jody and her pure gold husband Jon for taking in this sweet baby and treating her as their very own. I'm so proud of them and so grateful to be an aunt again!
2-20-13: Being married to a man who not only loves me but delights in me. I'm overwhelmed.
3-6-13: My friends Richard and Erin Scott. I could write a book. . . They are remarkable. BECAUSE OF CHRIST! (They would want me to say that. ;-) ) Richard has stage 4 brain cancer. It has been a difficult journey. By all medical predictions and expectations, he should be with Jesus by now. He had an MRI last Tuesday during which I'm pretty sure his doctors had pretty low expectations. REALLY GOOD news would have been his tumor hadn't grown at all. Guess what. It shrunk. God is so good (whether or not he continues to heal Richard--again, they would want me to say that.) So grateful for His hand on this family and the way it is bringing hope and joy even in suffering to an entire community!
3-13-13: I'll be snuggling with these little monkeys in 2 DAYS!!!!! CAN. NOT. WAIT!
3-27-13: Jared and I are going to Disneyworld! Since we're making a trip to Orlando anyway for TGC, it seemed wasteful to be there and not visit Mickey. ;-) Macy and Grace gave us permission to go without them since it's only a couple days and Grandmom will be with them while we're gone. We honeymooned there, so it will be an experience rich with memories and overflowing with gratitude for what God has done in and through and for us through the years. Also, this will be our first opportunity to spend some extended time with our new sister-in-law, Danielle, who will be attending with Jared's brother (aka her husband :-D). LOTS to look forward to!
4-3-13: Jesus is ALIVE!
4-17-13: The awesomeness that is giggling with 6 of my favorite little people on the planet, which Lilly sums up perfectly right here. I couldn't have "said" it better myself. :-D
4-24-13: Being struck by this thought as Jared and I waited for the bus to bring us to the airport to head for home-- Happiness is vacation. Joy is knowing that when vacation ends, I still get to do life with this guy. So blessed and grateful.
5-1-13: A sweet family picnic on a gorgeous day last weekend. These are some of my favorite moments in life. Thank you, Lord.
5-8-13: Baby Max, who was born a couple weeks ago weighing only 1.5 pounds, appears to be doing quite well! I love his Grandmother's words: "He is so fragile, yet complete." Indeed. Thank you, Lord! Please join me in praying for him as he continues on a long path to full health.
5-15-13: The sound of Macy and Grace working together on a project (currently a float for the Memorial Day Parade) and giggling at each other like a couple of crazy people. It's pretty much my favorite sound.
5-22-13: We have a contract on our house in Tennessee!!! I KNOW, RIGHT?!? Trying not to get our hopes up *too* high as we know there are still plenty steps in the process, any of which could cause the whole thing to fall through. But after a 4+ year journey, this feels like awfully big news. PRAY WITH US PLEASE!
5-29-13: We celebrated 12 YEARS of knowing and loving our sweet Macy yesterday. Can't believe how quickly time is passing. What a beautiful blessing she is to me!
6-5-13: Yesterday during Ladies' Bible Study, my friend Rita recited *almost the entire book of James from memory. I don't know how to describe how special that was.
*She recited all the way through the middle of Chapter 5 and is working on finishing the entire book, but yesterday was our last meeting before breaking for summer, so our leader asked her to go ahead and recite what she had and read the rest. It was pretty much awesome.
6-12-13: The rock solid testimonies of those who cling to Christ with all they have during the most difficult times in their lives. Grueling, painful, exhausting, frustrating, yet somehow also undergirded with steadfast confidence and eternal hope. Only by God's grace.
6-19-13: WE SOLD OUR HOUSE! I KNOW, RIGHT?!? Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU LORD!
6-26-13: On Saturday, I'll celebrate 17 years of marriage with this guy. By God's grace, I love him more every single day.
7-3-13: The striking reminder of redemption God gave me yesterday. Over dinner last night, Jared was telling me that earlier in the day, he had written about our miscarriage in the manuscript he was completing. He didn't even realize that yesterday was Angel's "birthday." It gave me chills to think about how God continues to use that experience for his glory and remind us of the many ways he redeems our brokenness. In the words of my sweet friend Hannah, "God doesn't waste a thing. He uses every bit of it." Indeed he does, and I'm so grateful.
7-17-13: Jared's recent mission trip to Honduras. Such a blessing for so many reasons. He traveled with 3 other men from our church. They met up with his Dad's church team there. They built a church, established a soccer field, provided meals and resources to families throughout a nearby shantytown and shared the Gospel with everyone who would hear. So grateful for this opportunity. Hoping to bring our whole family some day.
The MSCC team:
The whole team:
One of the recipients of Gracie's carefully selected puppies:
Pastor Jorge prays a blessing over the completed church building:
Food for the shantytown:
Thunder and Lightning indeed ;-) :
7-24-13: Looking forward to our annual church baptism event/picnic on Sunday.Last year, we saw 6 adults baptized, including 2 couples whose husbands baptized their own wives. That's a special kind of awesome to me. The year before that, Jared baptized our very own Gracie among others. This yearly event is easily one of my favorite things about being a pastor's wife (not that you have to be a pastor's wife to enjoy such things). The family of God grows! Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!
7-31-13: On Sunday, our church welcomed 9 new members and celebrated 5 baptisms. And then a former member of our church, John Blanch, who pastors his own church now, baptized several as well. Sad that I had to miss it to be home with a sick kiddo, but what an amazing day!
8-7-13: God keeps giving us new friends across the globe. Every time we travel, I'm blown away by the people we get to meet and partner with and learn from. (And yes, I know that isn't exactly a grammatically perfect sentence, but it would sound super pretentious and weird to say "with whom we get to partner" and "from whom we get to learn", don't you think? ;-))
8-28-13: A visit today with one of my favorite friends, Anne. She learned early yesterday morning that she has a rather large brain tumor behind her left eye. (Please note this is not the good part.) The *good news* is that it is operable, but because of where it is and how it is positioned, that is really about all they know about it at this point. She is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. Won't you please pray with me that it is COMPLETELY AND UNQUESTIONABLY BENIGN and that the doctors are able to remove every single cell that is any threat whatsoever to healthy brain function. (Side note: Rather than perform a biopsy, which, as you can imagine, is extremely invasive when the brain is involved, they are going straight to surgery to remove as much of the mass as possible. This is due to the fact that even if it is benign, it is large enough to be causing pressure and damage to healthy surrounding brain tissue.)
Anne, my friend, I am praying and praying and PRAYING for you! And I'm bringing hugs again soon!
9-4-13: A visit with our friends the Scotts today. These are sweet, but incredibly difficult times with them. But God is good. Grateful for the gorgeous ways he continues to work in and through this precious family. Please continue to pray with us for Richard, his wife Erin and their children Miley and Judah.
9-11-13: Romans 5 and all that it means for those who are suffering.
9-18-13: This. I love this. My friend Jesus. My friend Richard's friend Jesus. My friend Erin's friend Jesus. My friend Anne's friend Jesus. And my friends Jeff and Mark and Ally. My friend Kathryn's friend Jesus.
9-25-13: Richard is with Jesus! We are sad, but he is not. Indeed he will never be sad again. Raised to walk in newness of life.
10-2-13: Seeing this on facebook this morning from one of our most treasured friends in all the world. Made me cry.
10-9-13: This is one of the best moments of joy I think I've ever seen. Beautiful Arabella. Daughter of our friends Heather and Joel. Gorgeousness.
10-16-13: The resounding, lavish, gleaming kindness of God in the midst of difficulty. Over and over again these last few months, waves of grace and mercy crash into me and press me to my Rock. (I LOVE that word picture from my friend Lore!) He is everything.
10-23-13: My friend Anne had her second brain surgery on Monday. Today I got to spend some time with her. We held hands, strolled around the hospital hallway (even climbed a few stairs during PT), had prolonged sweet conversation, and shared several hearty laughs. This felt like a miracle to me, and it was all kinds of awesome. Maybe even *every* kind.
11-6-13: After an incredibly difficult week, which included a THIRD brain surgery and several days of near-comatose condition, yesterday Anne was feeling strong enough to walk to the hospital chapel. This photo was taken by her son Mark. OH, my heart!!!
11-27-13: Packing every room of the Miserocchi home with prayer warriors on Sunday. This was gorgeousness.
12-4-13: Anne is joyfully home. I miss her, but I'm so happy for her!
12-11-13: Meal planning for our epic WHOLE FAMILY after-Christmas getaway in Tennessee. My parents, all of my sisters, our boys and all of our kids. I'm already giggling just imagining the shenanigans.
12-18-13: In just 10 days, all of the crazy people will be together in Tennessee for a huge Methvin family (after) Christmas week-long party. Good times. Can't wait!