Actually, until 12/17/2014, a day that will live in infamy (when our precious Puggy went missing), it was going quite well.
After Puggy's disappearance, my mom lost all her hearing in one ear, and a good bit of it in the other. To my knowledge it still has not returned.
My heart is still heavy going into 2015 because of those two things. I desperately wish Puggy would come waltzing up to the door here in Mexico, or that someone would call to deliver him back before the clock strikes midnight. I wish as well as everyone rings in the new year, my mom's hearing would come ringing back to her.
As I write this, I just received a text from our pastor friend:
"I declare and release God's manifested presence, power and goodness over your life and loved one's in 2015. Start this year by taking time tonight to dedicate yourself to God in prayer and worship. Thank Him for your 2014 blessings and by faith declare all the Promises of God over your life. You are loved! Supernatural blessings. Pastor Matt"
This lifts my spirits a bit. One thing we must always remember, in good times and bad, is to be thankful.
Looking back at this year, there is much for which to be thankful.
Juliet and I took steps to allow her to begin working with the ministry in Mexico. We downsized and moved to the RV, and in the midst discovered we can survive on my income. This frees up Juliet to do what she loves, and makes me happy that it's possible.
She may come back to the states a bit this year to work somewhere she enjoys while we hit our debt hard, but the goal will be a potentially life changing move to work towards both using our gifts with the Manos Juntas ministry in Mexico.
I am thankful to have had family in Austin, and that despite their move back to Oklahoma, more family has now moved to Austin. Can never get enough family!
Even in the loss of my mom's hearing (hopefully temporarily) and Puggy's disappearance, I still must thank God for His provision.
Even if Puggy does not come back, or my mom continues to have partial hearing, we must always give God thanks.
Our purpose in this life, no matter how often we try to hide it with less fruitful endeavors, is to give God the glory. We were created for fellowship with him, and our following of Christ is a large step back towards the intended relationship.
To paraphrase, we are aliens in this world. We see but a glimpse of God's good intentions for us in this life. It must be our joy to be thankful in good times and bad, to grieve, but not as those without hope.
It is often overused, but Jeremiah is correct when he writes,
"I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper not to harm, to give you hope..." (Jeremiah 29:11)
The context of that verse was a time of tribulation much worse than anything we are currently experiencing. And yet, God speaks comfort to us through his prophet.
I've been less Spiritually involved this year (due in part to initially being unable to attend church consistently due to work), and I do want to get my focus back in 2015.
Not due to a misplaced negotiating tactic with God in which I focus on Him more and He then blesses us more. God will bless whom he blesses and put through trial those he loves that they may grow stronger in their walk.
For now, we must be thankful for the 6 wonderful years we had with Puggy. My mom, despite what I imagine is a huge feeling not to, must give thanks even in the midst of her hearing loss. For in all things, there is a purpose.
We may not know why Puggy remains missing, or why my mom can't hear, but as we enter 2015, I pray we will remain joyful and thankful for all the things these past years with which God has blessed us.