This is one of my favourite time to reflect on the past year. I am a visual person and to be able to visually look back on our year always brings me back to that time and place. This year has been filled with turmoil, trying times, good times, great new memories and everything else in between. (Here’s last years 14 Favourites!)
It’s hard to summarize everything up into one small blog post but I think the theme for last year for us was struggle. At the beginning of the year we were struggling with finding who we are, with our ministry, with balance. And I feel at the end of the year we are still struggling with those same things. I’m hoping this isn’t a situation unique to us but that others struggle with the same things. Maybe its just this season in our lives.
I don’t know what next year will bring. But I keep falling back on to the opening words in Ephesians where the writer brings greetings of, “Grace and Peace” to the people of Ephesus. And I love how those two words go together. We are given grace and so we are given peace. I don’t think we often think that because we have been given grace we can be at peace. I know I don’t. I’m working on this day by day. And I want to heal, to be healthy and to have peace in my heart. I’ll elaborate on that more later! But for now – our year summarized in pictures.
January – this winter was once again ridiculously cold. We spent an afternoon on the sledding hill. This picture was prior to my son running into and hitting his head on a fire hydrant!
February – we had the great privilege of being sent to Keith Pines in Manitoba for a week of rest, restoration and relaxation. This was the beginning of Roelof’s sabbatical. This picture represents our time there but also so much more – being deeply rooted, growing strong and tall and letting yourself just to be still. I had this printed to a 24×30 print and it hangs above our bed.
March – wow! it was so hard to pick just these two from the month of March. We travelled, as a family, to Florida for our first trip down south. It was amazing. And so warm! The beach was one of my favourite moments. My kids loved it! And the Ponce Inlet Science Aquarium was amazing. Such a small little place but it had so many cool things for my kids to see. I love seeing the wondering on my daughter’s face as she looked on these cool looking fish. She was mesmerized!
April – my kids are growing up s quickly. I love seeing their interactions, how they help one another and love on one another. Its good to remind myself of these moments because there are some not so pretty moments when they fight and hurt one another. They are human- they aren’t perfect. But I will unconditionally love them for who they are.
May – my daughter is my muse. She is the reason I bought my first dSLR camera and graciously allows me to capture her personality. I love this one of her. I love that summer is coming and that the light is once again refreshing our souls.
June – Oh my little boy. He is growing up so big (he turned 4 this year!) but its in moments like this that brings me back to the littleness of him. So sweet and serene. So peaceful.
July – July was a glorious month! Lots of outside time, lots of sun, lots of warm weather and vacation!! The middle picture of my daughter was displayed at our local hospital and as I was hanging them up people would stop and linger at this picture. After looking at it for a bit, one lady said it reminded her of her daughter when she was little, the dirty face, the beads, the mischievous looks. And it really struck me how images can do that. They can bring others back to memories from long ago. That’s what its about – capturing timeless moments that others can relate to. We’ve all been there and we all have memories. It was so awesome that someone else was able to recall their fond memories from one of my fond memories!
August – If you are a mom and have young children you get this picture. This is my life. Every day. It’s overwhelming but beautiful.
September – this month was a bit of a whirlwind. The beginning of the month we buried my grandfather who unexpected passed away from a heart attack. It was one of the hardest times in my life. My grandparents have played a huge role in raising me and my many cousins. My Pake was an amazing man who always let us know how much he loved us and how important we were to him. We all miss him immensely.
At the end of the month we headed out on our annual Apple Orchard Trip! Its always a highlight of the fall for our family.
October – three kids in one shot all looking at the camera- its a miracle!
The last picture is more abstract but I love it. The last light of a warm fall day. It’s quickly fading and will soon be gone but this still reminds me of the warmth that I felt that day. There is warmth in each day you just need to look for it.
November – two of my favourite images! November brought us warm temperatures which mean prolonged time outside! This sand box has had great use this season and I’m so glad we built it for the kids. I love the bottom picture because my son had just tossed a ball to my daughter and it hit me instead. Awesome. Great laughter at my expense. But it made a great picture and memory so I’ll take it!
The top image was taken at my parents place in their basement. The light was hitting my daughter at the right time and was simply magical. I ran to grab my camera and captured this image. Always look upwards and reach for it.
December – we made cookies today and it was serious business.
Christmas Day we headed to my family get together. It was the first one I had been at in a number of years. This being the first year my Pake was not with us I really felt the pull to be with the family this year. The sky was gorgeous that night. Incredibly breathtaking. It was as if God sent this beautiful sky to remind us of his beautiful grace and his unending peace.
Thank you all for being here and reading through this post! I wish you all much grace and peace for the 2016 year!