It has been a year of amazement. I’ve once again been totally amazed by God’s faithfulness and grace. 2015 was the year of “decreasing.” I shared with you that God had laid on my heart that this year was to be a year of learning how to exalt Christ in greater ways. He brought me to a deeper level of dependence on Him as He challenged me to follow Him into new territory.
We started off the year by focusing on prayer here on the blog for the month of January. In February, I was blessed to be part of the first international True Woman Conference for women in Latin America, held in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. March brought the joy of a new little one added to our growing family! Focus on the Family aired our marriage story in March and we were encouraged by the response. God spoke to many couples and we’re thankful for the counsel and practical help that the FOF ministry provided for those who reached out during that airing.
In April, Paula Hendricks (Marsteller) and I spent a week sharing the Word in Sao Paulo Brazil. We had the opportunity for some incredible conversations and watched as students and women responded to His truth. Women confessed their great need for a transforming work of God and He met with us in life-changing ways. His work there is continuing, I am still hearing reports of how He is moving.
May was a sweet time with family. My daughter and her little ones came for most of the month and the time went far too fast. They live almost one thousand miles away and I treasure every opportunity to be with them.
June brought a new invitation. Moody Publishers asked me and LeRoy to write a book together for husbands of “fierce women.” I never would’ve imagined how much fun co-writing a book with him could be! I’m loving working with him on this project. We’re pressing hard to make it to our March deadline. Will you pray for us as we work?
LeRoy and I headed west in July. We drove across several states for me to speak at the Women Discipling Women Conference. God’s presence was evident and many women conveyed to me how He spoke to them, so grateful for those of you who were praying! After the conference, it was a huge treat for us to take a day to stop in at the Grand Canyon and hike for a few hours. We loved it. So blessed.
In August, we started a study in the book of Colossians here on the blog. And if you missed that, you can pull up the posts from the Archives and dig into the book with the questions from those posts!
In September, I spent a couple of days with some precious women in Ohio. It was incredible to see God answer prayer in specific ways as He met with us and spoke to women who were facing difficult struggles and challenges. We traveled from there to spend several days with my daughter’s family before heading to Indianapolis for Revive ’15. Thank you for praying for me and for the women during those events.
In October, our church body had a season of seeking God and He did a significant work in my heart. I didn’t blog about it until November, but I shared with you (in this blog post) some of what He’s been speaking to me about since that season:
I told you that intimacy with God hinges on this important point:
If I am truly committed to God’s glory—no matter what—then I will fully embrace every affliction He appoints for me.
He’s continued to burn that in my heart and it’s tied to the focus He’s laid on my heart for 2016.
November was a special month. We had the opportunity to spend time with several special women at the conference where I spoke in Peoria. God met with us and stirred my heart with excitement to meet women who are committed to digging into His Word. We traveled from there to spend several days in Chicago with the folks at Moody. What a joy it was to see their hearts for spreading the gospel. I loved it! That trip ended with a special weekend—celebrating one of my dearest friend’s wedding.
And today we close December. This month has been an intense writing month for me and LeRoy as we are praying and pounding the keys—pouring out the content for the book for husbands. It has been a sweet time spending our days together on this project. It has also been a month of sweet discovery—we have another granddaughter on the way!
Wow. It has been quite a year. It’s been full of God’s grace and His glory. It’s been a ride I wouldn’t have planned, but I’m thankful He’s taken me on it.
December is closing and I am smiling. I am smiling at the future—not because I think 2016 will be painless, it won’t. Not because I am assured of an easy ride this year, I’m not. In fact, this year will probably hold some deep waters. But I’m smiling because I’ve seen the faithfulness of the Father and I know the trustworthiness of my Savior.
I’m planning to repeat this to myself often in 2016:
If I knew all that God was doing, if I could see His ending from my beginning, there would be nothing in His plan that I would change.
I join my heart with the woman who voiced this description several centuries ago:
[box]“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.” (Proverbs 31:25)[/box]
Are you looking to the future with hope? You may be in deep waters today, but I pray you will find rest and stability in the presence of the One who is faithful to care for you.
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