Lydia’s Favorites of 2014

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January 1, 2015 by texashekmans

Favorite Memories:

  1. Ezra being born! I’ll never forget his intoxicatingly-sweet smelling face or the softness of his skin and lips as I kissed him in the OR and said hello and goodbye for the first time. That brief kiss/moment was no where near enough for me and it still chokes me up when I remember how sad I was that he left the OR without me, and then he was in the NICU for hours until I could see him. For sure the most heartbreaking moments/hours of my life. But meeting him, loving on him, introducing him to Violet, and finally bringing him HOME were by far some of the top memories of my entire life.
  2. Taking Violet to the Wildlife Ranch in San Antonio and laughing/screaming together as the animals came into our car.
  3. Watching Violet deepen relationships with our immediate and extended family members, such as cousin Esme, Guevara cousins, Emma, Christina/Graeme, Nora/Addalyn, my siblings and all of her grandparents.
  4. When Betsy jumped into our bed on the night we thought we had lost her. I was SO heartbroken as we looked for her that night, and could not find her, becaese I couldn’t handle the thought of telling Violet that Betsy was gone. Betsy and Violet are such kindred spirits, and it was so sad to think that their relationship would be so short! After giving up and sadly going to sleep around 2am, we left our garage door open and the entry door from the garage slightly ajar in case Betsy might return. Sure enough, at about 4am, she came bouncing into our bed and we couldn’t have been happier to see that silly dog.
  5. Several special moments from our July trip to MI including: watching Violet enjoy fireworks for the first time, enjoying a boat ride on Lake Michigan while watching a perfect pink sunset, watching Violet climb “sky mountain”, celebrating our anniversary while watching a sunset, watching Scott and Violet chase lightening bugs, etc.

Favorite Movies/TV Shows Watched:

  1. House of Cards
  2. The Good Wife
  3. Portlandia
  4. Hunger Games 1 and 2
  5. The final season of “24”

Favorite Blog Posts I Read:

  • Five Minutes in a Moms Head. This is just hilarious for me, because there is something so funny about reading someone else write out the thoughts that go through my head all day:
    • Favorite part: I need to clean out the fridge. And the freezer. We’re never going to eat that stuff. I hate that we waste so much. What am I going to make for dinner tonight? I’ve already done tacos… chicken… nobody likes my meatloaf. We need to eat less meat. I’m killing my family. Pasta? But gluten is bad, right? Rice. Rice with… I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just pick up a pizza. I’ve cooked for three nights in a row and deserve a night off. Definitely pizza.
  • Numbered Days, by Scott Frazier. Don’t know how to pick one favorite (except for the blog post that Baby Davy came home!) because I am really encouraged to trust and love Jesus more every time I read a post on this blog (family friends of ours whose daughter is Ezra’s age and spent 4 months in the NICU).
  • Learning Unforced Rhythms of Grace, by Sarah Bessey
    • I love how Sarah says she “has stars in her eyes about Jesus” and how she goes on to explain that we need not do things for Jesus, but that the things we do in life should be “in response to the sacred company we keep.” Amen!
  • A Survival Guide to Survival Mode
    • This blog was helpful to me when I was in the thick of trying to survive being super pregnant in the hot Texas summer with an energetic 2 year old. Survival mode as I knew it then….now I’d say that having a 2 year old with a needy newborn is “FAR MORE” 😉 deserving of survival mode. Nonetheless, it is simple and refreshing and helpful to think back on.
  • Every Bitter Thing is Sweet, by Jen Hatmaker
    • I still haven’t read the actual book that Jen was reviewing in this blog post, but even the theme and excerpt did a lot for my soul when I read this. I was in the thick of dealing with Ezra’s torticollis and plagiocephaly diagnoses, dr appts and was struggling to grasp the goodness of God in the midst of my disappointments, worries, weaknesses, etc. Her words regarding the author, Sara’s, ability to remind us of God’s goodness were exactly what I needed to read. Hopefully I’ll get around to reading this actual book in 2015.

Books I read and loved this year:

  • “Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full” by Gloria Furman
  • “Seven” by Jen Hatmaker
  • “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  • “The Antelope in the Living Room” by Melanie Shankle
  • “Love and Logic” by Foster Cline

Bible Verses I especially loved this year:

  • Galatians 6: 9-10

Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone and especially tot hose who are of the household of faith.

This verse was spoken to me over the phone 2x in the same week, while I was sharing with my sister-in-laws (Renee and Cece!) about the challenges I was facing with Violet and Ezra when he was about 6 weeks old. AT the time, Scott was working more hours than ever before, I was sleeping less than I ever had in my life, and my brain and heart were feeling oh-so-weary. This verse gave me the conviction and motivation to keep going, remembering that Jesus will comfort and strengthen me to not give up serving my children, husband, and church.

  • Ezra 7:9

“… the gracious hand of his God was on him [Ezra].”

This verse comforted me as we dealt with several medical issues regarding Ezra this year. It helped me to set my mind on the way that God’s hand was in control of Ezra the OT prophet’s life, even down to the tiny details of his many travels. And it reminded me that God was equally in control of our Ezra’s life, even the tiny details of his health, delivery and development.

  • John 15

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Isn’t complete joy what I want? All the time? This verse reminds me that God has given me access to complete joy, and it is available to me when I remain focused on Him, His commands, and His love for me, even in the seasons (like this fall) when he is “pruning” me.

Goals for 2015

  • Spend time everyday abiding in Jesus, reading the Bible and journaling my prayers
  • Exercise daily for atleast 30 minutes
  • Wear a TON more sunscreen and UPF protective clothing
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