December 31, 2013

2013: Looking Back

I can hardly believe another year is coming to a close.  Though it seems like most of the year went by relatively slow and steady, somewhere along the way the last few months caught speed and now here we are so quickly at the end.

Over the past few days, I've been looking back on the year and reflecting on all that's transpired in our journey and in the life of our family…  All the ground we've covered.  Where we were.  Where we are.  It's been a really good year but also one marked by great change and transition.

Our girl turned sixteen in January which called for a fabulous and memorable mother-daughter trip to New York City to celebrate.  She got her driver's permit, her first real job, her very own bank account, and she started her junior year of high school and began looking at colleges.  Our son grew at least twelve inches it seems and went from looking like a little boy to a rapidly-maturing young man.  He started his eighth and final year of middle school and gave everything he had and then some on the football field this fall.  This summer, we spent a week basking in the sun on the beach in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and enjoyed time with family at a reunion in South Georgia.  We also took in a few awesome concerts and sporting events and went on several fun day trips throughout the year… kayaking, snow skiing, hiking and more  And we reconnected with many dear old friends, and began to find our little niche in the social media and blogging world.

But the biggest event of our year by far and the one that stretched us the most was our move.  This time last year, as we prepared to ring in the new year, we had no idea of what was to come… no clue that we'd be buying a new home and moving in 2013.  Just a few days after the start of the year, we learned that our landlord wanted to move back into our rental when our lease expired in June.  This unexpected news immediately sent us down a very long and winding road of praying, searching, dreaming, asking, and big-decision-making. Those of you who have followed my blog over the course of the year, know the anguish we felt over this move… how it was, once again, another giant leap of faith and trust in our God.


photo credit: Pinterest


And now, here at the end of the year, as I look back, I'm amazed at all the months have held and feel such a sense of peace about where we are.  I feel rescued and relieved and some sort of whew-I'm-so-glad-that's-behind-us.  Though it was hard and it took some time to find our way, we're completely in love with where we've landed.  Our new home suits us perfectly and has so quickly become "home" that it's hard to believe we ever lived anywhere else.  God has been incredibly kind and faithful.  He knew what we needed, knew how this home would bring us rest, how it would be a shelter from the storm, a place of life and love. The tides seemed to turn with this new house.  Heaviness lifted.  Light came in.  Our story grew larger.  We've tasted fresh hope and joy and ease since we moved.  We've found more courage and strength.  We're all so deeply grateful.

Near the end of every year, as a family, we pray and ask God what the year ahead will look like, what he has in store for our hearts.  We look and listen for a word or two to give us perspective and guide us in the decisions we make throughout the year.  The word this year couldn't have been more appropriate or fitting. Like a compass, God used it to lead us and give us hope and direction as we looked for and found our way.

The word was freedom.



Happy New Year, dear friends!
May 2014 be marked by the freedom that comes from knowing Jesus and resting in his love. 
Blessings on your year ahead… 
I can hardly wait to see what God has in store!



"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to
me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me 
when you search for me with all your heart."
~Jeremiah 29:11-13


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4 comments

  1. So glad your year ended in a place that shelters your wonderful God blessed family Jenny...I love you and love your writing...Happy NY Barkers! Linda Hinson

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    1. How kind… Thank you, Linda! I appreciate your loving, affirming words. Happy New Year to you as well and blessings on the entire Hinson family!

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  2. Love this and so glad to have met you all in 2013!

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    1. Thank you, Margaret… We feel the same way about you! Happy New Year to you and Josh... May it be filled with blessing and promise!

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