The Year of Thrive

Want to know one of my biggest pet-peeves?  Having to reset my username or password.  And it’s been so long since I’ve been on my blog I forgot both!

So here I am, many months later… Welcome to 2016, my year of THRIVE.  It’s my word for the year, and it’s been fitting.  No, it hasn’t been a particularly easy year.  But it’s been an incredible journey of coming alive, changing my expectations, and finding out what is really important.  I really am thriving!  I feel like I have so much to write about, but my time is so limited!

This year, I’ve really focused on getting healthy, readjusting our family schedule, and learning how to be married with a child (an adjustment we weren’t able to make initially because we were in crisis mode!).  I don’t have the energy or time to do a lot of extra things, but when I do it’s been mostly ministry things or trying to have some good quality family/spouse time.

So here’s my update:

  • Elliot turned two!  She is doing awesome – still tons of food allergies and learning what all health concerns she has.  But she is sweet, fun, and loves learning.
  • We’ve lived in Louisville for 5 years now.  Wow!  Also, Ben has been ordained in ministry for 5 years.  We are really feeling roots here and connected to so many great people.
  • I’m (slowly) getting healthier!  Depression/anxiety/panic struggles are way less.  I’m gaining energy to do more, yet REALLY struggling still.  I’ve figured out a few new issues that we can address with lifestyle, diet, and supplements.  This week I was diagnosed with Lyme disease.  It was really great to have something to point to, but discouraging to hear.
  • We are learning so much about being married in this season – love languages and needs have changed so much these last few years (since when do I hate gifts and love quality time?!).  We’re getting to know ourselves and each other, working all the time on our relationship.

So that’s a brief glimpse of life…

What I really want to share is how God is winning!

He is so many things:

  • Our provider (money for bills, people to love us, the right sources of wisdom, our comfort, etc, etc!)
  • Faithful.  He has never left us.  He has never changed.
  • Tender and compassionate.  God has refined me in such a gentle way, showing me so much sin and ways he wants to make me new.
  • Healer.  I have to give him credit for making me and Elliot so much healthier.  Just the other day Ben was recalling having our church elders pray over us, and God seems to be telling him to remember what happened.  It was slow and not immediate, but things have progressed!
  • Never tired.  I LOVE this.  I am weary and worn out, and I think if I can get to a certain place, that I somehow won’t wear out.  FALSE.  Here is a (rough quality, but excellent content!) clip of Angela Thomas teaching on Is. 40 and Ps. 121.  It’s such an encouragement for when you feel tired.

The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.                                   Isaiah 40:28-31

Here’s the biggest trait I’ve learned about God lately:

Victorious.  He will win.  He is winning.  Nothing can stop what he purposes and intended.  While I may not completely feel healthy and things may never look like how I want them to…I trust him.  He is making all things new.  Here on earth and preparing me for the life after. Life here is really SO SHORT.  My troubles will fade away someday – I live for that hope.  Read 1 Corinthians 15 to see the picture painted of our transformed bodies. 

Oh how I long for heaven, when I will trade my worn out, frustrated, sinful self for a resurrected body.  It’s going to be incredible – I’ll run as far as I want, explore all of nature, enjoy eating an incredible banquet, have all the time in the world to talk with people.  And I’ll be so close to God and see so clearly.

This is a video of a song I have listened to countless times over the last year.  I could say every lyric as if I wrote it!  It’s been a journey of conquering fear, relying on God, and finding incredible joy and hope in him.  My feelings can’t dictate every day for me.  The joy of the Lord is my strength.

Doesn’t matter what I feel, doesn’t matter what I see, my hope will always be God’s promises to me.  2016 hasn’t looked like I thought – I’m sure you could say the same of your life.  But I’m not defeated or discouraged.  I’m thriving. 


  1. Kathy Berry says:

    Love hearing this, Jo. Praying for your sweet family this morning.
    Kathy Berry.

  2. GOD is really great. Always keep HIM to your heart!
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