Ephesians 1:18-19 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
In some ways, it’s hard to believe that 2021 is almost over. In other ways, I’m glad it is! It’s been a mixed bag of a year for many of us. These are certainly not times for the faint of heart. But when I think of the sweet blessings and how God has taken care of us, the rough places aren’t so rough at all.
In 2021, I didn’t get to go home to East Texas nearly as much as I’d have liked, but was blessed to have ended the year there, sitting on the deck of our little lake cottage, writing these thoughts.
My husband, Ray, and I began 2021 sick with the dreaded virus. His case was somewhat light, but I didn’t fare quite as well. Even though mine was considered “mild”, this is not an illness I’d wish on anyone! Truthfully, it was scary!
For over 6 months, after I was officially negative, I continued to have issues related to the virus. I didn’t talk about it, just kept going forward. Living life. Trying to stay positive. Doing the things I needed to do, just struggling a bit more to do them. Most people would never have known.
During this time, among other things, I was doubtful I’d ever write again—to any extent. That was a sad, sobering thought for someone with a passion for sharing her heart through written words. I soon became discouraged.
Praise the Lord, the fog lifted in July! I was so thankful to feel “normal” again!!
During my time of not being fully recovered from the virus, I was also working on The Resting Place. Were it not for my granddaughter, Heather, I would never have been able to realize one of my dreams. She was such a wonderful encourager, and I needed that desperately. Building a website is not an easy task, but Heather did amazing work. She took time to help me when she didn’t really have the time to spare. She is my hero—for so many reasons!!
After much struggle, we finally launched this site in early November 2021. With God’s help and guidance, I was able to finally post devotional articles—some new, and others from my collection, but rewritten.
I am so thankful that God has given me this small platform on which to share His love and my faith. Praise God that 2021 wasn’t the end of my writing story! I continue to pray for encouraging messages to share with my subscribers, and I look forward to what 2022 holds for us at The Resting Place.
During 2021, my family saw challenges & blessings. Highs & lows. Illness & wellness. Joy & sadness. Not nearly enough relaxation & laughter. We experienced change & have worked hard to make adjustments. We’ve faced other challenges known only to us.
This past year, I’ve realized once again that I’ll always miss my precious daughter, Shelly, who went to Heaven on November 13, 2016. Her battle with pancreatic cancer was hard fought. Her body lost that battle, but her spirit didn’t! More than ever, I am certain that there is no time limit to the tears I’ll shed. For the memories of Shelly that will always be carried deep within my heart, I will be forever grateful. That’s the price I’ll pay for loving her so deeply. And, it’s okay. I will gladly carry that part of mine and Shelly’s story for as long as I live here on earth. That’s what a mother does.
There have, however, been many bright spots for us this year. This past summer, we welcomed two precious great-grandchildren into our lives! Augustine Grace Mosby was born in May, and Clark Elliott Carroll was born in June! These two darling babies are such bright rays of sunshine! Along with another great grand, 2-year-old Hazel, my precious little playmate, I count my blessings that God’s love has come to me through these sweet children. I am rich in the love of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren!
What an honor & blessing it has been to continue to be active in my granddaughter Sophie’s life. Soon to be 10-years old, Sophie is growing into a beautiful young lady, with so many wonderful attributes, just like her mommy and adult siblings. With her mom, Shelly now in Heaven, I’ve been blessed to be mother and grandmother these past 5 years. Her dad recently remarried, and my predominant role as grandmother will be front and center as we go forward.
On October 19, 2021, during our devotional time, Sophie asked Jesus into her heart. A few weeks later, family and friends, as well as a super supportive church family, witnessed the sweetest baptism ever. To say that she was joyful, is an understatement!! I was humbled and honored to be the one who helped her prepare for baptism. What more could a grandmother ask?
Honestly, I’ve invested into Sophie’s spiritual health since she was a baby, laying the best foundation I can, but never dreamed that I’d live to see my prayers for her answered so soon in this regard. Yet, there are so many others within our church family who have invested into her life each Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. We will always be thankful for these wonderful friends! God truly is so very good!!
In 2021, we have spent time with adult grandchildren and have loved listening to them catch us up on how well their lives are going. We are so thankful and proud (in a good way) of them. These adult grandchildren are truly fun to be around!! We hope that 2022 brings us closer to all of our grandchildren and that we are able to share in their lives, as they also share some of their time with us.
In 2021, I’ve also felt the love of family & dear friends who have made my life richer. When my best friend and I embark on a lunch date, our husbands know that we’ll be gone for at least two hours, sometimes three. I’m thankful for restaurants that will allow two friends to talk unceasingly! What a gift it is to have a Christian sister/best friend for all situations—one who laughs, cries, and prays with me. And one who understands where I am coming from. One who has stood by me with unwavering support for nearly 40 years now. To have a friend like that is truly a gift from the Lord.
We’ve resumed meeting in person for church and serving in ministries that had been placed on standby in the spring of 2020. Fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters is such a wonderful encouragement.
I’ve always believed in new beginnings, and have been the recipient of such on more than one occasion in my lifetime. Actually, each new day that God grants us is an opportunity to remain hopeful for the days ahead.
Quite possibly, I have more hope for the coming year than I’ve had for any New Year in the past. Why? Because I realize that with each new year, time grows shorter. Whether young, or older like me, there is so much we can do to make the world a better place and to serve our Lord in such a way that we will accomplish much in His name. In 2021, I’ve shared God’s Word & my faith with others, but not nearly enough. I want to do better in 2022.
Challenges come to all of us. That’s life, right? But mixed together with the hard times, there are the ever so sweet times of life and love and dreams. It’s so easy to shift from the times we’d rather not have experienced to the many blessings God has bestowed upon each of us. There are many. Just look around. You’ll see it in a newborn baby, a beautiful mountain or the seashore. A sunrise or sunset. God’s beauty is all around us. And the neat thing is that no matter what season of life we are going through, His love for us will always remain the same.
This is my prayer for 2022: that God will show me things I have never seen before and take me places I have never been, all for His purposes, to use me as a small part of His plan. I pray that He will help me to see people as He sees them and to love them as He does. I pray to be the kind of person who makes everybody feel like somebody. I want to accomplish much, not for my glory, but for His and His alone.
Won’t you join me and pray a similar prayer, customized to your own uniqueness. While these may seem like lofty prayers, they are not impossible, because our Lord will be there to help each of us every step of the way.
May God bless you all! Happy New Year! 🎆🎆🎉🎉✝️