Our family has been through a difficult chapter. Although we feel happy and blessed, the past 12 years have mainly been defined by financial hardship and serious health problems. About a year ago I stated getting that restless, discontent feeling that signaled God was getting ready to make a change, and He has. We are starting a new chapter. I became a new person. All things have become new.
The biggest new thing is my faith. You don't stare death in the face as much as I have without finalizing your beliefs. Most of my teen and adult life, I have fervently and steadily pursued God and His truth, longing to put to rest all my doctrinal questions, and longing to know exactly how to belong to Him fully, worship Him in a way that most pleases Him, and come to rest in obedience, submission, and mercy. And He has done that. I no longer feel I'm seeking or striving to discover more truth. Now I feel settled fully in His truth. Surrounded by it. Upheld continually by it. It is now in me and all around me, and I just have to sit back, relax, and let it wash over me, lead me, teach me, and grow me.
Hence, the new blog name for a new chapter. For over ten years I have blogged at "Growing in Truth," (first on the original homeschoolblogger!), which I always felt was the perfect defining phrase for my life. It is no longer perfect. Now, I will confidently say "Surrounded by Truth." The chapter that begins with me finally feeling spiritually at rest, complete in my soul, and full in my heart. It is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me! It really is peace like a river, flowing steadily and continually deep down in my soul.
How about another big new thing? My husband exchanging his small-town job in rural Ohio with a struggling company that couldn't always pay him fully or on time, for an executive position in bustling, beautiful, sunny Jacksonville, Florida. Not to mention the blessing of knowing God hand-picked this job, and my husband, who started this week, LOVES it. He loves the company and the people and the location and the hours and the dress code. But most importantly, he really loves the work. He finds it thoroughly interesting and even a bit fun!
Not to mention selling our blessed little homesteader farm and replacing it with a beachside home. Yeah. That's big.
And here's to a new chapter in health. I am going into this new year with a diagnosis I had been lacking, and a treatment that seems to be working. I am going to dare to throw off the fear of ending up in ICU at any given moment. I'm going to quit worrying about getting over-tired. I'm going to walk again, run again, build muscle, play, and go do things. No more hiding away from germs or being paranoid of overdoing it.
It is time to LIVE. Hence, my "word" of the year. I want to wake up each morning, claim God's mercy, restoration, and healing, and then glorify Him in good works using the health He has restored to me. I'm going to love, cherish and support my husband, train my children for Him with joy and passion. I'm going to experience, fellowship, serve, give, relish, do, try, go.
This is what I read just before planning this post, and it is perfect:
"But this every one is sure of that worships Thee, that his life, if it be under trial, shall be crowned; and if it be under tribulation, it shall be delivered: and if it be under correction, it shall be allowed to come to thy mercy. For thou art not delighted in our being lost, because after a storm thou makest a calm, and after tears and weeping, thou pourest in joyfulness."
"Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us and let us grow old both together in health."
Tobias 3:21-22, 8:10
Two prayers of Sarah, the wife of Tobias.
And in closing, how about this? Our precious blessing, Millie Jewel, now nearly nine months old, survived the first few months of her life without her mommy, but it blesses me to know that my new chapter is her FIRST chapter! What's the title for the 2015 chapter of your life? I'd live to hear it! Yes. I just caught that typo. It's appropriate. I'm leaving it that way! I will live to hear it!
|Yes, she IS a Florida girl!|