2018 Year In Review

It basically feels like the last month of 2018 didn’t happen, December was such a blur. Maybe it’s the build-up to Christmas, especially with young children, that makes it feels like such a whirlwind, because I’m looking back and wishing we could have added a week or two to the season! Just to slow down and savor the moments. There were many special ones to remember, and probably a few that I missed, but I’m taking stock now so that I will be more conscious of enjoying them more fully in the future.

2018 was a year of much joy, much change and growth — even though it may not have felt that way at the time. I think of it as “the year of Reagan” because, although she was born at the end of 2017, the majority of her first year of life was during 2018. I spent a good portion of the year adapting to having three children, and how that changes the routine of our young family. Things change quickly in the first year of life, and sometimes the hurdles feel nonstop (feeding and sleeping schedules, teething, crawling, walking, the list goes on…), and the growing pains are constant. It felt like every day there was a new challenge with mothering three (needy) children while balancing work, keeping up with homemaking and maintaining other relationships. More often than not, I felt myself severely lacking. Lacking patience, lacking wisdom, lacking time… there’s not enough of me to go around. And the only thing left to do was go to bed, and hope the next day would be better.

Although I didn’t post about it, my word for 2018 was “Grace”. I knew at the beginning of last year I would need a lot of that to get through. But, in looking back, there were too many moments when I was looking for it in the wrong place. I kept thinking of it as giving myself grace — letting things slide when it seemed like time wasn’t on my side, just pushing to 90% when 100% felt like too much, hoping my grace for self would overflow into grace for others. But it doesn’t really work that way. True grace comes from God alone, not from within myself. I see God pushing my SELF to empty because only He is the one with enough grace to go around. The moments when I feel most lacking, most weak, are the moments God’s grace abounds.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

I started this post thinking I would share a collection of my favorite things from 2018, but it’s taken a different direction. I can’t even think of a favorite song, movie or book that I read in the last year (although I did listen to music, watch movies, and read books…). Maybe because those aren’t the important things for me to remember from 2018. I’d rather remember that Jesus was near me in my insufficiency, ready to comfort in my moments of mourning, strong to uphold me in my weakness, and able to redeem even the bleakest moments. If I remember nothing else from the last year, let it be that. And as I go forward to 2019, let that be the foremost thought in my mind: when I am weak, He is strong.

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:10-11

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