Can you believe it?! We have been successfully blogging for an entire year! Today, we thought we’d share some of the things God has been doing in our lives over the past 365 days as we’ve continued this journey of blogging.
This time last year we were just getting ready to launch Hearts Refreshed. We had been working on it for several months: brainstorming the name, making a schedule, figuring out sources for pictures, and setting up the website. Once we officially launched, there were even more areas to work on: figuring out a system for editing each other’s posts (and being gracious in doing it); learning what mountains to “die on” (and what mountains are insignificant in light of the Gospel); and even thinking through how to handle specific subjects (at one point, we had an in-depth theological discussion concerning a particular post which then resulted in heavy revision before it could be posted).
These things all seem rather routine and matter-of-fact–simply a part of the package. No big deal, right? However, it was these things that God used to do a lot of work on my heart: I had specific ideas of how things should be and I wanted to cling oh so tightly to those ideas. After all…they are the best ideas, right? It was one of those “I know what I’m talking about in this area” kind of things. But even as I struggled, God began to chip away at areas of pride in my heart and show me that this isn’t all about me. In fact, it’s not about me at all, but about Him. And so, even while I thought that we were doing this blog for other people, God was doing a work in my own life. Isn’t it interesting how God works in the most unexpected ways? This heart-work hasn’t been easy or fun; however, I am thankful that He has been good and gracious to do the good work in my life that He has promised to do rather than leaving me to my own ways. As I look forward to another year of writing here at Hearts Refreshed, I pray that God will keep me humble and dependent on Him so that He gets the glory for it all.
A year ago I was jumping at the opportunity to be a part of Hearts Refreshed because I loved writing and felt like I could use a creative outlet in the current season of life. We had added our third child only a few months before, and while I was hoping that my writing might encourage other women along the way, I was mainly looking at this as being my hobby: A place where I could think about things outside of just dishes, diapers, and feeding schedules. What I didn’t realize is how God would use writing to really imprint certain lessons on my own heart and mind. As I was taking time to write down some of the things He was teaching me, I found myself mulling over certain truths with a deeper intensity than before. I also would find those same truths resurfacing and convicting me at times when I would have otherwise forgotten them. “You wrote about this, remember?” my brain would say when the child was crying, my husband wasn’t measuring up, or the to-do list screamed louder than my desire for the Word, etc., etc., etc. And then I would be forced to choose my own way or the way God had already previously laid out for me. I still have many days where I do not remember the truths God has been teaching me, but I’m grateful for every little step forward and it’s neat to see how God has used writing as a tool in my journey over the last year.
Over the past year I’ve also enjoyed the kindness of God through family vacations, evening walks, kid snuggles, park days, church gatherings, volleyball games, neighborhood get-togethers, camping trips, freezer meal parties and, most recently, a move to one town over.
As we launched Hearts Refreshed one year ago, my heart’s desire was to uplift other women in their day-to-day walk with God, as well as share my motherhood journey with other moms with the hope of being an encouragement. Whether or not that mission was accomplished, I have been encouraged, challenged, and uplifted by Chrystal and Angie as we have blogged together these past 12 months. God has also used Hearts Refreshed to build a strong relationship with my sister-in-law (Angie). I am truly thankful for the friendship God has built between us!
Much of this past year drug by for me but in hindsight, it was a whirlwind. God guided me through undiagnosed illness, a difficult pregnancy, the loss of my dear grandmother, traveling across the country 5 times, adding another precious baby girl to our family, uprooting and moving across the country, and parenting during the toddler years. It has been a lot, but there have been many sweet moments intertwined.
Time with God has been hard but His Spirit continues to prod me and give me a driving desire to know His Word and commune with Him in prayer. God has been faithful to grow me: He has humbled me as He exposed my pride, selfishness, and attempts at self-sufficiency. Yet he has also reminded me of the love He has lavished upon me through His cross and the good gifts He has given me in my husband, children, church family, and many other undeserved pleasures in this life. All glory be to Christ!