365 days ago we were preparing to welcome in a new year. Out with the old, in with the new! Each year we hope and pray it will be a good year, maybe even a better year than than the last. The end of a year gives us a chance to pause and reflect on our struggles, challenges, accomplishments, joys and sorrows as we ponder the past. A new year fills us with hope as we anticipate the future and the new opportunities that are waiting to be discovered. Personally I like new year’s resolutions. It means I have paused and evaluated where I am at and what I am doing. It means I have resolved to do some things differently, make some changes and set some new goals.
As I reflect on this past year, I remember….
- …the life and death of our 4-1/2 month old great-nephew, little Truman Heatwole. He died from the same genetic disorder, Werdnig-Hoffman Disease, as two of our children. More can be read in my “Truman” blog. It made me pause and ponder life, death, and eternity. Maybe this year I can write some about our experience with our children.
- …extended family get-to-gathers. The Heatwole family (my family) enjoyed a family gathering over Labor Day. It is fun getting together with my parents who are in their 80′s, siblings, nieces and nephews and now the “greats”-the next generation. Our family of six has grown to an ever- expanding family of 47.
- …starting this blog. A friend (Karen Estep) kept encouraging me to start a blog with the assurance that she would read it! It was something I had considered briefly but just didn’t seem to have the motivation to start even though I love to write and frequently put my thoughts on paper. I never thought anyone would want to “follow” what I wrote or would be interested in what made my life tick. Because of her generous compliments, I ventured into the blogging world and became “hooked” before I knew it. It has been a fun adventure this year. I am humbled and amazed when I look at the stats and see that I have written 75 posts and have had 27,000 hits in my first year from dozens of countries around the world. Thanks to all my blogging fans!
- …participating in the local farmers market. It was work but it was also fun to be a part of the “shop local” movement by selling our farm produced Angus beef and fresh brown eggs, along with the friendship cakes that I make.
- …the gift of family and the ”specialness” of our own children and grandchildren. We loved their visits, phone calls and friendship. To be called “mom” is an honor and privilege I cherish. To be called “grandma” is simply divine!
- …the treasure of walking with my husband as we help, encourage, and support his 94-year old parents. I love my in-laws and it has been very special to share this past year with them.
- …reading my Bible through from beginning to end in chronological order. I was challenged as a young adolescence to read my Bible every year. I have done this approx. 40 times. My faith journey is precious to me and I love to incorporate faith in my writings. I enjoy reading, studying and teaching The Word. It has been a privilege and joy to be a part of the teaching team in the ladies Sunday School class at our church.
- …taking pictures; hundreds and hundreds of pictures documenting my canning procedures for my blogs, flowers, farm happenings, sunsets, sunrises, family, business and church events. Sometimes I think my camera is permanently attached!
- …the tragic, sudden death of Gene’s older brother, Oliver Jr. This was a difficult time for the Hertzler family but also a special time of experiencing love from extended Hertzler cousins and family. Again it makes one pause and reflect on God, life, faith, choices, and death. Again we were reminded of the frailty of life and the permanence of eternity.
2013. The future looks uncertain and there are enough economical, political, and moral woes to make me fear. Only God knows the future. Only God can grant us another day or another year. I am reminded that it is in God I put my trust.
2013. I know in my journey with God I can have hope, whether for another day, another year, or for an eternity with Him.
2013. I know in my journey with God I can face uncertain times without fear.
2013. I know in my journey with God I can survive tragic events and experience peace.
2013. I know in my journey with God I can enjoy good gifts with gratitude for His gracious goodness.
2013. I know in my journey with God I can have faith for the journey and strength for the day.
2013. I know in my journey with God I will find grace in the midst of my struggles.
2013. I know in my journey with God I have found forgiveness of sin because of His Son Jesus, and have been adopted into His family. I can called Him “Father”.
2013. On my journey this coming year, I anticipate seeing and experiencing God at work.
“In God’s presence is fullness of joy”.