Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011 ~ Welcome 2012

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind here, and it seems like the coming of 2012 has taken me by surprise . . . can tomorrow really be the start of a new year? How 2011 has flown by! Looking back on this past year, the central theme that comes to the forefront is God's great faithfulness. As mentioned in a recent post, there have been many trials and testings for us this year, including one of the most difficult things I have ever gone through. Yet, I look back on this past year with thankfulness . . . it really was a wonderful year.


~ I learned in a deeper and fuller way how very near the Lord can be.

~ I learned that His peace truly is one "that passes understanding" . . . when human fear
s try to overwhelm, when things look so dark, His peace can come in like a flood surrounding, filling, and encompassing. There are no words to describe how beautiful, how restful, it is.

~ I learned in a so much deeper way that He is truly faithful. Over and over and over. All the time. No matter how many times 'bad' things happen, no matter what sorrows or pains are suffered . . . He is faithful. And I have realized that in a very real and personal way this past year.

~ I learned, in beautiful ways, how special, and what a blessing, the body of Christ is
. Our church family especially this past year . . . I never knew that people outside of physical family, could give and love and serve and help and support and be there in times of need like what our church family has been for us. It has been amazing . . . and several times, I couldn't stop the tears, when yet again, such love and care was shown to us. How beautiful is the body of Christ! And how thankful I am for these dear ones that we are blessed to know here.


Outside of all of these, there are the physical blessings that the Lord has given . . . our little farm has grown significantly this past year (dairy and meat goats, rabbits, and bees), so many of our goals and dreams are coming to fruition, our garden produced abundantly despite the long drought, and so much more.

And the definite highlight that marks 2011 for us was the precious, precious blessi
ng of Adelyn. Words fail me to describe how very welcomed and loved she is, and how very thankful we are for this special gift from the Lord. She brings such joy to our lives, and it will be exciting to watch her grow and change over this coming year!

The Lord has indeed been good to us . . . in so very many ways.

"The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I have hope in Him.'" (Lamentations 3:22-24)


And now the chapter of 2011 is coming to a close, and a whole new empty year lies before us . . . it reminds me of a book with blank pages. Each empty page is just waiting to be written on . . . and what will fill its pages? What joys and sorrows and blessings will be written in it?

I am looking forward to this coming year, excited to see what it will bring for us and what the Lord will do in it. And ever longing that this next year will continue to be one of learning, growing and deepening in my relationship with my Lord and Savior. My prayer is for not only myself, but for all of you as well, that we will seek the Lord first in our lives, that we will hunger for His word, that we will ever seek to bring our lives more into harmony with His word, walking in obedience to Him and bringing glory to Him. Living lives that are fully, completely, and unreservedly consecrated to Him and for His use.

May the Lord's blessings, guidance and wisdom be yours in this next year as you seek to walk in His ways!

"For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:8-10.)


*All of the photos shared in this post were ones taken during a much enjoyed afternoon walk today in the beautiful 60 degree, sunny weather that marked the close of 2011.

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures and reflections my dear! I also posted some pictures from today :o) Happy New Year! Can't wait to see what God has in store for us in this new year!

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  2. I've enjoyed so much getting to know you this year.

    ..how you share your heart here on this sweet blog.
    Your family.

    Your photos.

    Most importantly your faith.

    May God bless you even more in 2012!!!

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  3. Happy New Year to you as well, Sarah! I would say that you are well-prepared--physically, emotionally, and spiritually--for whatever 2012 brings. Especially since the Lord has already ordained your every step, and walks ahead and alongside you all the way!

    ~ Betsy

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  4. Blessings to you and your family in this new year, Sarah! What a beautiful testimony your blog is and how you must make the Lord smile!

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  5. Thank you, Nabila! I look forward to stopping by your blog and seeing your photos. :) I, too, am looking forward to seeing what all God has in store for us this year!

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  6. Thank you for your sweet comment, Amanda! And likewise, I have very much enjoyed getting to know you through your blog as well. It is always an encouragement and inspiration!

    May the Lord bless and guide your family in this coming year!

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  7. Thank you, Betsy, for your encouraging words! It is a comfort knowing that the Lord will direct my/our steps as we seek to walk in the path He has for us. And I look forward to seeing where He leads in 2012!

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  8. Thank you so much, Rachel, for your encouragement! It warmed my heart to read. Already it has been a blessing 'knowing' you, and I look forward to getting to know you better through your blog!

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  9. A much belated happy new year to you, Sarah. This post was encouraging for me to read – a reminder of what a great God we serve. It is always wonderful to remember that He IS faithful, and to trace His faithfulness in the past.

    I also would like to thank you for your friendship – it has been such a blessing and encouragement to me over the past year!

    Blessings in Christ,
    Anna

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  10. Why, thank you, Anna! And thank you for your comment . . . what a blessing and encouragement it was to read. I am so glad that this post was encouraging to you. As you shared, how wonderful to remember that He is faithful!

    I am thankful for your friendship as well . . . you have been a great blessing to me in many ways!

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)