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Well, we survived our first real winter. It was definitely an adjustment from the 80 degrees and sunshine everyday I had for the past almost 30 years. But it wasn't thaaaaat bad. I don't know what I had in mind but to be honest the inside and hibernation time was sort of nice. Some days I went crazy and tried to convince myself that it was 5 o'clock somewhere and poured myself a glass of wine but most days were pretty good. I think my heart is just so happy and content being where we are that I didn't let the weather get to me. The ice storm was pretty...insane. We were stuck in our house for 6 days straight, thanks to our awesome long driveway. Apparently this was a rare winter....whew. 

Spring has arrived in Nashville. The grass is starting to turn green again!!! New leaves have started sprouting on our trees!!!! The birds are singing!!! The sun has been shining!!! And we just started planting our garden!!! I don't even know what I am going to do with myself when Spring is in full force and everything has popped! 

You know that verse..
 "to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.." Ecclesiastes 3:1 

I understand that a bit more now. And it's beautiful. We've experienced the fall when the air turns crisp and the leaves change from green to reds, yellows and the start of winter with that first freeze and everything dies. The trees are bare, the grass is brown, the air is freezing and the nights are cozy. We are now awaiting a new season that is full of life, and color and incredible beauty.. 

That's sort of where we are in life at this very moment. I'd be lying if I said life has been great recently. Considering what most of the world is facing it has been. In our "bubble" its been stretching. We are learning what true dependence on God is, learning to fully trust Him and let go of the grasp we have or try to have on our life and how it should look. We've been in a very rough place this past month and the Lord quickly brought us to our knees at our darkest hour and showed us that He's got this. It took getting to our lowest to get us back to church. And that was probably the biggest blessing that could have happened to us! We are going to an incredible church out in the country filled with people and a pastor who know how to LOVE. Chris and I haven't been excited to go to church since our Pastor Chuck passed away nearly 10 years ago. It's like our souls have been craving the truth, and the love, and the encouragement and the JOY so much that we can't get enough of it. And the series right now is called "Hallelujah, anyway!" Yes, life is hard. It's filled with disappointment, stress, sadness and so on but "hallelujah anyway" because we have a God who is full of LOVE, and MERCY and we are choosing to be joyful in the midst of our trials because that is what we are called to do! We are growing! And apparently growing is painful! But hallelujah anyway! He will make something beautiful out of this mess..

Our pastor started the sermon on Sunday with the story of  Horatio Spafford, a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic lost of their young son. Shortly after in 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost real estate investment that Spafford had. 

In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He sent them ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to wrap up business and several days later he received word that his family's ship encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife survived. With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England
. It was on this trip that he penned those now famous words, When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul..

A man and wife who had it all, lost it all
And yet, they had a "hallelujah anyway" attitude through the deep dark sorrow and grief..

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well (it is well),
with my soul (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Amen somebody. 
I wanna live like that. 


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