Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back To Look Ahead

December 31st, 2012. New Year's Eve. In about an hour it will be 2013 here in Nicaragua.  Instead of making resolutions that I won't keep past January...I'd like to look back over 2012 and set up 12 stones, so to speak. When the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River, God told Joshua to pick 12 men to pick up 12 stones and make a monument in the middle of the Jordan be a sign of God's faithfulness and provision for the people of Israel.  So, here I am on the 'other side' of another year.  Looking back, here are some "12 stones"(one from each month) from the past year.  May it serve to remind me of God's love and faithfulness and provision as we move into 2013.

December's Stone: Memories
Creating memories through traditions like  'tree-trimming'  or Friday Family Nights is something that leaves our family with a heart full of precious memories.
November's Stone: Nature
Experiencing the depth of God's creativity in nature here is amazing.

October's Stone: Community
We have the amazing privilege of being part of a greater community here.  We have the community of  foreigners who are believers AND we have an amazing community at the school that our children attend.  

September's Stone: Humor
Humor is necessary to survive...and thrive here.  This baby green iguana was hanging out on the top of my curtain rod. I am surprised my scream didn't scare him right off!

August's Stone: Fun and Family Time
We have experienced some sweet and laughter filled moments as a family here.  We are grateful for these special times.

July's Stone: Celebration and Love
This summer, Jeff and I celebrated 15 years of marriage.  What a crazy/wonderful journey it has been and we pray will continue to be as we look forward to many more years together!

June's Stone:  Provision
Just when the heat seems unbearable...the rain comes.  There are so many times when we see the provision of the Lord in our lives and the lives around us. 

May's Stone: Faith and Prayers
As you may have read several months back, this is Junie B. Cortez Blue...Noah's parrot.  He prayed for a year and a half for God to 'break a parrot' and send it to him.  His earnest prayers were answered.  Junie is our beakless parrot.

April's Stone: Friendship
We thank God for the amazing friendships that He has ordained here in Nicaragua.  We are especially thankful for the friendship between Andrew and his best buddy, Jesús.  They are a young example of "iron sharpens iron."

March's Stone: God's Above and Beyond Gifts
Our family loves York Peppermint Patties. A friend came to do some short term  work and brought us a bag of Peppermint Patties because she remembered that we all enjoyed them so much. Gotta love God's extra touches of love!

February's Stone: Adjustment and Acclimation
The kids jumped right into school this year.  They reaped the fruit of their perseverance.  This year, in comparison to last year, was far smoother in terms of feeling like life here is more "normal" in an abnormal kinda way.
January's Stone: Peace and Escape 
We found an amazing piece of God's creation on the coast this year.  It has served as a place of respite and refreshment.