Closing with Joy
2019 has just a few hours left in it. What a year it has been. There is much to reflect on but this morning as I catch up on the tasks of the day and think of what is next, I have a thankful sense of joy for what I have experienced in 2019 with my family and our church. Hopefully joy found you this year as well.
Family time has been a rich treasure for me this year. While we still have the chaotic sports schedules, school activities, therapy sessions, and so on we have had tremendously valuable time together. The kids are growing in personality and character. Each expressing love uniquely and being excited about different things. Iona (10), loves to bake and create. Ewen (7) has sparked a love for reading; he is now the only in the house with more books in progress than me! Adia (5) has gained mobility and loves to savor every bite of food!
We traveled to Nebraska for an epic dance party at my niece's quinceanera. Smiling from our time with family there and hoping for Thunderstorms. We took a couple days in the desert in our RV hiking to a palm oasis (boys) and had an otherworldly experience with a bighorn sheep (girls). Staring at the Milky Way gives you a sense of your smallness and God's care. Then we spent a week in Mexico for my brother-in-law's wedding, being tumbled by waves in the ocean and spending hours in the pool. Of course there was another dance party there as well.
Stacy and I celebrated 12 years of marriage. I am so amazed by her and excited to see that she has been tackling things outside of her normal comfort zone for the glory of Christ.
There is just something about this group of Shradars that brings me great joy!
The year for Reservoir Church has also been one that I look back on with joy. There has been a deepening of relationships and overall 'health' for a church that just five years ago was on the brink. We have joined a great church network and look forward to a long partnership with like-minded churches. We finished our study of Isaiah, which was a long one! Such gospel richness in that ancient book and much of it pertains dramatically to our day. We are poised to continue building together in 2020 and that is exciting.
There is so much else that has brought joy to me in the last year, and even that you would take time to read this is stirring to me. For the end of 2019 I am clinging to Isaiah 55:12 "For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
Happy New Year!