Perspective for the New Year…Enter 2014 with J.O.Y.


When you are close to death or experience death, your life no longer revolves around January until January.  It revolves around that moment of “death” to the next year of “death”.  And that’s just the way it goes.  At least for a little while.  For some people, it’s one year.  For some it’s more.

That’s how I feel about 2012-2013.  It didn’t revolve around the calendar year.  It revolved around the moment we knew that Maxwell would not die.  It revolved around the moment that Maxwell would live.  And that’s how I celebrated this past year.  At his one year “survival” mark.  The rest of the months that followed were purely bonus filled with markers on their own:

1.  Oops.  He’s back in the hospital.  This time in Germany.

2.  Oh man…Our marriage isn’t going to survive.  Time for counseling.

3.  Hey, America, we know we’ve been foreigners, but it’s time we come and live amongst your soil once again.

4.  Wow, my daughter couldn’t spell “THE” before stepping foot on American soil halfway through 1st grade, and now she’s read over 250,000 words in one semester of 2nd grade (and for a broader perspective of that—most 2nd grade books are around 6,000 words, so that means that from the start of 2nd grade for one semester, she has read approximately 41 chapter books).

5.  What’s that?  Don’t pack up our little farmhouse and return to Poland, we’re pregnant again?!  Woo hoo!  Another year in the States (Well, for some of us—Rich was gone for a large portion of it).

And, now, here it is.  The actual 2014 two days away.

Two days away and time for a new perspective.

But what perspective is that?

For me.  For us.  For our family…it’s time.

It’s time for us to start anew in 2014.  Yes, our last year and a half has revolved around the “Maxwell Calendar of Death to Life”.  And that’s okay.  But as we enter 2014, it’s time for our family to collectively begin anew.  Afresh.  With a new perspective.

Perhaps your calendar will still revolve around your loss.  Perhaps it will still revolve around your survival.  Perhaps it will still revolve around your uncertainty.  That’s okay.  Each person’s calendar is different.

But, perhaps it’s time for your 2014 to also begin anew?  I don’t know.  Only you do.

My husband had the immense privilege of sharing a message of hope with a group of single parents at a Single Parent Christmas Blessing this December.  It was a privilege to be asked.  It was a privilege to share.  And it was a humbling experience to be amongst some of the strongest people in the world—single moms.  Single dads.

And this is what he shared.  Amongst what life has handed you, remember to keep J.O.Y. in your life:  Jesus over You.

Many of you have heard:  The Lord gives and the Lord takes.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Yes.  We, like many of you, have lived through this.  Mainly focusing on the Lord takes, yet choosing to bless his name.   But let’s look at “Take” with a new perspective that my husband has prepared and preached on in the past.  It also put it all in a new perspective for me.  And it’s a perspective that I am going to take with me into 2014.  Perhaps you too?

The Lord takes…

The Lord takes fear and gives peace.

The Lord takes sorrow and gives joy.

The Lord takes addictions and gives freedom.

The Lord takes anger and gives love.

The Lord takes bitterness and gives forgiveness.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

As you enter into 2014, perhaps it’s time for you to begin anew.  With a new perspective.  A perspective where you put J.O.Y. in your life and live accordingly with:  Jesus over You!

Perhaps it’s time for you to not forget the past but to move forward in the future.  Look at what the Lord has taken this past year and now focus on what he has given.






Just to name a few.

In Polish we say, Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia i Szczesliwego Nowego Roku!  And that is what we wish you…

That you had a merry Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus and have a very happy New Year!

A new year with a new perspective.

The Lord gives.  The Lord takes.  Blessed be the name of the Lord!