Wednesday, January 1, 2014

happy new year...

every december as the year draws to a close, i start getting all emotional-oh, who am i kidding? i'm always emotional....beginning, middle, and end of the year. but as december ends and january begins, i do tend to reflect on the year behind and start to look forward to the year ahead. there's something so exciting to me about a new year. maybe it's the hope of a fresh start, or the idea of a clean slate, or just the sincere gratefulness of more time on this earth with the ones that i love. either way, i'm always thankful for the new year and the promises it holds. 

as i look back on this past year, it's hard for me to narrow down top moments or favorite events. mainly because i have so many, which is probably because i'm quick to say everything is my favorite. :)

just when i think i have it whittled down to a few select moments, another comes to mind and i want to add it to the list, too. and soon, my list is no longer a list, but a book of our lives. that's why i'm so thankful for this little ole blog of mine - it is essentially just a snapshot of all my favorite moments of our lives. sure, we have hard times and struggles and heartbreaks just like anyone else, but for the most part - i choose to document all the triumphs and goodness and joy that fills our every days, because when it's all said and done - those are the things i want to remember. 

things like...


when i look back over my pictures from 2013, i am struck by the number of photos i have of libbi and laney. together. and they're always smiling, laughing, or getting into trouble. together. i love that i can literally see their relationship blooming through the photos of the year. and i pray that this coming  year liza will join in as another partner in crime.  libbi, laney, and liza - the tippins trio.

new beginnings. 

in 2013, laney started mother's day out (and then preschool in the fall). libbi started 4 year old preschool, i joined a new small group, and of course one of our biggest "new beginnings" was adding liza to our family in july! and with each new day came the gift of a new beginning, because Lord knows that i needed new mercies and new mornings each and every day. i'm so thankful He gives them to me even when i don't deserve it. 


and not just the adjustments i had done on my back the last three days of 2013 ;-)
with all the new beginnings throughout the year, came lots of adjusting - for every one. some adjustments didn't come without growing pains, but we all survived. and i'd like to think that in most situations, we not only survived, we thrived


i know this world can be a dark place. there are scary things and scary people all around, but i'm so thankful for the good that's still there. i'm thankful that the Lord allows the goodness to creep in during those dark times. like sweet friends that i know only through blogging that graciously sent gifts for my girls and me! after liza was born. neighbors that will watch my girls if i'm not feeling well. parents and grandparents that say, "yes" no matter the request. and the list goes on and on. we were so blessed to be touched by many acts of kindness this year- from friends, family, and strangers alike. 

joyful noises.

our home has been full of noise this past year. but it's been a joyful noise (mostly) ;-)
sure, there were times i wanted nothing more than a single moment of silence, but then i would hear the girls laughing together and i'd think,.... this.
this is what i'll remember years from now when they're grown. not the silence. 
in 2013 we went to a mother's day performance, a patriotic celebration, and a christmas program for the girls. all three events were some of the sweetest things i've seen in my life. and of course, one of the greatest noises we heard in 2013 was the first cry of our sweet baby liza june.  

and if i'm being honest, there are a few things from 2013 that i want to remember mainly so i don't repeat them in 2014. things that were strongholds in my life this past year that i want to overcome in the next. some big, some small, but each is something that keeps me from being the best wife/mother/daughter/sister/friend that i can be. and i want to be intentional in recognizing these things in my life so i can kick them out like an unwanted roommate, before they have the chance to move in again.

so in 2014 i'm making it my daily prayer to say goodbye to....


He's never failed me yet.  not for a moment. and yet, i still find myself getting carried away with all the "What if's" . i want 2014 to be a year of faithfulness. and not just a surface only- God is good when times are good-kind of faith. 
i want to be rooted in a deep, groundbreaking, straight to the core, unshakeable faith. 

whew! 2013 was an exhausting year. in so many ways. for the first half of the year i struggled with pregnancy insomnia, then the latter part of the year i was met with a nursing newborn and a two year old that never slept which meant that neither did i. and even though i think i can function on little sleep, i know that it's not what's best for me (or my babies!) 
in 2014 i'm praying that the whole tippins family can sleep.... and sleep well! 

worry and doubt seem to go hand in hand. to me, it's similar to the age old "chicken or the egg" question. which comes first, doubt or anxiety? no matter - neither one of those should have a place in my life. i spent too much time of 2013 worrying. sometimes about big things - liza in the NICU, health issues, my children, finances. other times i worried about more insignificant things - clothes, the cleanliness of my house (or lack of), what other people were thinking about me, and the list goes on and on. the point is, too much of 2013 was spent on worrying and being consumed with anxious thoughts. my prayer is that in 2014, i will learn to trust. have faith. and allow the Lord to calm my anxious heart.

looking back on 2013, there is no doubt in my mind that God is good. despite any heartache, hard time, or struggle we may have faced i can still say, "God is good."

at my best, at my worst, He's been there. He's carried my family and blessed us with so much more than we could ever deserve. i'm looking forward to what 2014 will hold for the tippins family and i'm praying that we will follow His lead in the year to come. 

Happy New Year! 

    "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making away in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19
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