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A lil' blog about 2023

I cannot believe we are in 2024 already. This year has both flown and at moments, felt so slow all at once. As I take time to reflect on this year, I am always blown away by God’s faithfulness. Through the harder moments, and through the days that I feel like I am living my wildest dream, He has been right there every moment. But like always, there have been some key growth opportunities throughout the year that I’d love to share with you.

Faith - Faith was my word for the year and it sure was accurate! One of the biggest challenges of our year (but also the biggest blessing) was buying our first home. We put an offer in less than 3 weeks after beginning to look for a house which was a huge blessing in itself. God had individually given us both a specific number to offer, and when they came back trying to counter offer, we felt like this was our number and chose to have faith that if this was the house God had for us, then we will still get it if we stuck to it. That was the longest hour of praying and waiting before we got the call it was accepted. The whole financial situation of this house is an absolute miracle and gift of God and we were so excited and grateful for God's goodness. But then proceeded a whole lot of errors, miscommunication and stress around the settlement date and I had to keep choosing to trust and put my faith in God, not in the house, even if it all came crashing down. I had to keep choosing to focus my eyes on Him and not just on figuring out a solution to our problems. While it would have been nice if everything went smoothly, I am grateful that it happened this way because it gave us an opportunity to see God’s hand at work and do it all in God’s strength and not our own. And we are even more grateful for the blessing and our faith grew because of how it all played out. 

Another area of faith that I have been more proactive in this year is sharing my faith. Working in government, it’s very daunting even saying the word church but now that I have been there almost 2 years and have been building relationship with people there, I am beginning to feel more and more confident sharing my faith and I want to continue that into 2024.

Time - The finite-ness of time and energy is a constant battle. I never anticipated the big jump from working full time living with parents to working full time and running a home. Learning my limits, keeping strict boundaries and prioritisation has needed to go to a whole new level. And in the extra busyness like around our move, and when I have had changes in responsibility at work which has taken extra mental energy, I noticed how important it was to make space for quiet time with Jesus. Coming up to October, my first week off since our honeymoon the year before, I thought all I needed to do was switch off for a week and I would come back all restored. However while there was some improvement, feeling relaxed but not fully at peace showed me that my soul was actually craving time in His word. Once I started a routine of starting the day reading my physical Bible in our new God room, I noticed a huge shift in deep peace and refreshment to my soul to sustain me back into the busyness. It was a good reminder that time or lack thereof is never the issue, it’s how much time we spend on ourselves compared to how much time we are giving God that can make us feel stretched thin or cruising along well. 

The other part of time that is not a new topic on this blog is being present and settled in the season that God has put me in, whatever season that is. Time goes so quickly and while at times (like when we were waiting to move into our new house) it feels like it is going slowly, when you take a moment to stop and look back at life, it feels so so quick. There were a lot of waiting times in 2023, and I struggled with patience, and in 2024 I want to be better at that. If I’m waiting for something, I want to use that waiting time well. And in those beautiful moments, I don’t want to be thinking about the future, I want to stay focused on the now, knowing that this sweet newlywed season with just us will not last forever. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about a time for everything and in 2024, I want to pay closer attention to what things God is saying this is the right time. If there is anything that I have learnt over some of the big milestone moments of my life, it is that God's timing is so much better than mine. There are so many things that I did not want to wait for, but the waiting produced the preparation that I needed for that very thing, and I know that 2023 has prepared me for 2024, and 2024 will be full of lessons that will prepare me for 2025.

There are lots of other things that happened in 2023, but this is just a snapshot of some of the big things that stood out. Whether you have had an amazing year or a really hard year, I pray that you can look back and see all those moments that God has been right by your side, working things for your good. Happy new year everyone!

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The reminder that God's word is so powerful is so timely! May every minute of your time in the Word bring much fruit!

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