It’s not quite 8am, and I’ve already slipped back out of my church clothes to stay home with a sick kiddo. This parenting thing proves to keep us on our toes, always.
It’s the last day of 2017, and I find myself in a contemplative mood. The new year tends to drive us to remember. And to hope.
In His wisdom and grace, God instructed the Israelites to erect altars of remembrance; one particular example is found in Joshua 4. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the Israelites had finally passed over the Jordan River to take the Promised Land as their own…As soon as the whole nation had crossed, God told them to take 12 stones and construct a monument, so that when their children asked “What do these stones mean to you?”, they would tell their children of God’s great faithfulness. They would remember all He had done for them.
Oh, how forgetful I am and how I long to remember His faithfulness.
This year, we have experienced God’s goodness in countless ways…and I want to record a few here so when life might seem darker and harder, I can look back to this memorial and remember.
At the top of my list is Lilah’s adoption.
We are forever grateful that God chose us to be her family. She is a precious treasure to us; she undoubtedly has our hearts. Reaching the point of permanency with her was a sigh of relief. She’s officially ours. Forever. Praise God for His amazing, undeserved gifts! I can’t imagine our life without this amazing child, and I trust that He has good plans for her future.
Next…we were so blessed to be able to take a family trip to visit Luke’s sister (and fam)…in Italy. You can imagine the preparations for 8 people to travel to a foreign country: passports, packing lists, entertainment for the kids for a long flight, diabetes supplies so 2 of our family members could stay alive…you know, that sort of thing. 😉 God was so gracious to work out getting Lilah’s passport in time (which involved a new birth certificate, a new Social Security card, and lots of prayer). Our Jehovah Jireh provided the funds, the vacation time, and surprisingly inexpensive tickets (relatively) for us. (If you’re a Michigander, check out flying out of Toronto…It was less than half the cost per ticket than flying out of GR.)
I could fill up a whole, long blog post with details and pictures about that trip, but let’s just suffice it to say that we had an incredible time visiting family, visiting missionary friends, and exploring an enchanting country. It will go down in the Rumley record books as an amazing experience.
Third…Just over a year ago, my friend Amber and I were so privileged to help lead a friend to faith in Christ. Of course, God did all the work in drawing her to Him; we were just there to help her to do what she knew in her heart she wanted to do. What an amazing experience to see an adult acknowledge that life is void without Him, and over this year, to watch her learn more about Him and His Word, and ultimately fall more and more in love with Him. Some of you out there are discipleship pros…but for those of us who have essentially only discipled our own kids or church kids, this is incredible. There’s no other word I can come up with to see a rebirth before my very eyes. I praise God for reminding me that He still works to draw people to Himself, even people that no one would anticipate coming to faith. He is SO GOOD.
I want to remember His goodness to us.
I also look forward with expectant hope.
I don’t know what 2018 holds for the Rumley family. I know that we have plans, but if I’ve learned anything in this crazy life, it’s that God’s plans aren’t always the same as mine (though they always prove better). We plan to continue homeschooling. We plan to keep parenting our six (not much choice there, ha!). Luke and I plan to go on another missions trip…
But here’s what I HOPE…
I hope that, by this time next year, I’m a more godly woman.
I hope that He shapes and molds me into His image more and more.
I hope that He works on eradicating my sin, showing His awesome light into the dark places of my heart – exposing anger, selfishness, unfaithfulness, pride, etc, etc, etc…I need His light to battle my dark. I hope that He goes to war with Satan for me.
I hope that 2018 brings us more unsaved friends who are yearning for life lived to the full – only possible with Jesus. I hope that I will seize opportunities to share Him with people who are longing for Him, even if they don’t know it.
Let’s face it – I’m not getting any younger, and I’d love to drop a few pounds (a common resolution, no?)…but I hope that this next year, I become more beautiful because I’m more like Him. He makes me beautiful when He radiates through me.
Jesus gives me hope. If you don’t have His hope, there would be no better way to start a brand new year than giving your life to Him. You will not regret it, friends.
Tell me – what are the things that you want to remember from 2017? And what things do you hope for in 2018?