It's crazy what a difference a year can make. Each year when the Christmas season comes around, I wrestle with myself to enjoy each and every moment as it comes as I am already dreading taking down the tree before its even put in place.
I challenged myself a few weeks back to be present, to practice a challenge we were given in a sermon series weeks ago, and one that I was reminded of in recent days.
That time really is the biggest gift we can give.
Sometimes we need to put down our phone, and be engaged in the conversation taking place in person. This can be hard to do sometimes, and I have realized the true need in my life to take time to disconnect.
But I'd be lying if I said this isn't a battle. 
Maybe it's just my wave of emotions right now, but I've realized since I've been pregnant I feel more aware of how important time is. 
It truly has been an experience being pregnant during this season.
I often find myself thinking ahead of what next year will be when we have an 8 month old crawling through our house.
I still can't believe, she's mine.
What a year this has been.

A short/quick recap of major events this past year include:
We moved into our new home in February/March.
I celebrated my first year being an ARNP in May.
Our college friends came to visit in July.
Beginning of August I found out I was pregnant.
We took a family vacation the end of August. 
(right into a hurricane)
We found out in October we were having a baby girl.
I lost my Uncle in October and traveled to Oklahoma for a funeral.
We took a family trip to celebrate Christmas early the weekend after Thanksgiving in Orlando.
Andrew and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. 
And Here we are at the end of December, celebrating the Christmas season and getting ready to bring in a new year. 

The Lord knew each and every day and what it would hold, every event, and every lesson that would be learned over this past year.
I am blown away at times by this to say the least. I wrestled with my fears before we started trying to get pregnant, but in His special way and timing, He made it known to me that it was time to trust Him, and Him only in this matter.
I still wrestle daily with my fears, concerns, and thought of the unknown in the coming months, but I am learning to rest more and more as I think back on The Lord's faithfulness up to this point.

I know none of us have ever arrived, and never will, but I am learning more and more about myself, and the love that He has for me as I have been carrying this sweet baby girl. While we have not yet met her, my love for her grows daily. With each one of the tiny images we have seen of her, wondering what exactly she will look like, I am amazed at this miracle that is growing and being formed into exactly who God's created her to be. To think that my Heavenly Father loves her more than I will, seems impossible. To know that He loves me the same, is humbling.

Even when I thought my plans could be better, or that my timing made more sense, He has proven Himself over and over to me that His plans for me are always good.
Even when I feel I don't deserve it.
When my anxiety has set in, (and I must say, being pregnant at times has increased this greatly) He has been faithful to bring scripture to me that reminds me He is in control. 
If anything in this past year, I am learning and working hard to allow my ability to trust in the Lord and all He is to me, to be greater than the grip fear has on my mind.

As I am enjoying these next few days off, as we celebrate Christmas and wrap up this year, I wanted to take a few minutes to say how thankful I am for all this year brought with it. While there were many obstacles and challenges that were faced that I would never want to tackle again, I am grateful for the refining that it brought/brings.
I am incredibly grateful for the gifts God has given me in the way of relationships over this past year as well. He has restored and brought healing in ways I never thought possible, and I am blessed beyond measure to have the Husband that I have and for my supportive family and friends.

I look forward to this upcoming year probably more than I ever have any other year.  I am excited to see all the Lord has in store for us. I am nervous and have my questions for how things will look exactly, but tonight, instead of wrestling with the questions, the what if's and the details of it all, I am resting.

My heart is full.
The Lord has truly given me my heart's desires in so many different ways. 
I am beyond blessed . 

By the way, I wanted to save some of the sweetest news for last. 
We decided on our sweet baby girl's name.
We can't wait to meet her in April!
Her first name means "Shining Light" and what a joy she is going to be and already is! 
Mae- this is after my Grandmother's middle name, one of the best people I ever had the privilege to know. 
April will be here soon!

Happy New Year everyone! 




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