Monday, January 28, 2013

2013 ~ Our Year FULL of Change!

Something about starting a new year.
I launch straight into my annual evaluate ... & reevaluate mode.
Throw in a BIG birthday, the mid-life kind of birthday {yep, I just turned 40 yesterday}
& folks, I've got myself quite a combo.
I think it's my biggest batch of self-examination yet!
I've been thinking about anything & everything ... leaving no stone unturned.

You see, all the sudden & out of the blue, DETERMINATION showed up!
I am determined to make 2013 a better year ... the beginning of the best part of my life yet.

I've finallllly come to the realization that there's been too many things/people/situations
keeping me down ... holding me back ...
distracting me from my purpose ... distracting me from a full, abundant life.

And you want to know who one of the main ones is?

I heard recently a statement that resounded big time with me ... with my heart ...
with my life for the last few years.
The statement was this:
I don't know if you know who you are til you lose who you are.

I fully understand that!
Over the last few years {about 6 to be exact}, I've experienced many big changes in my life.
Course, I can't list them all.
Some are too hard to talk about ... too personal ... too painful to repeat,
but here are some of the most impacting ones:
James lost his job & began a new one.
Talk about losing something big.

We transitioned from Christian schooling to our homeschooling adventure.
Our little boys turned into teenagers ... & 2 of them learned to drive, graduated high school, 
& have begun working full-time. 
Those 2 are also in courtships with 2 wonderful girls, who are answers to prayers.
{Thank goodness I still have one to homeschool, 
but his days of keys & courtship are right around the corner.}

James & I have closed out many various chapters in our lives in the area of ministry.
We had served in the same church, in the same positions for many years ... 
pouring our heart & soul into the Lord's work there.
With that closure came an end to the familiarity of  'this is who I am ... this is what I do'.
Although we were sure of our resignations & of God's direction, it was still quite an adjustment.
All this for a girl who doesn't like change.

It is at this point when God truly revealed His work for our lives. 
Seems like all else had been leading up to this.

2 years ago in March, we began the biggest ministry opportunity of our lives thus far 
with the pioneering of a brand new church!
If that didn't just land me smack in the front seat of a wild & scary, 
completely unpredictable roller coaster ride!
All this for a girl who doesn't even ride roller coasters!

My personal motto for the first 6 months was 'put your helmet on'!
I hate to say that I needed my helmet on, but boy did I ever.
Let's just say that this new church work didn't come without questions, concerns, & controversy. 
But by God's grace & the invaluable support of family & friends, we've weathered storms
and have only come out stronger.

I don't know if you know who you are til you lose who you are.

During this time, these 6 or so tumultuous years, I have dug in to God's Word more than ever before,
digging for His truths, desiring to know His Word, His plan, His thoughts more than ever before ...
for myself, unobstructed by opinions of others ... just the truth of His Word.

With 'losing' so much of myself already -- what I did, who others perceived I was based on what I did, positions I held -- it started becoming easier to sacrifice the rest of myself to God.
Desiring to start with a clean, fresh, blank slate, I did just that.

      I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. 
     And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, 
     who loved me and gave himself for me.
     Galations 2:20
I don't know if you know who you are til you lose who you are.

And herein is where the statement rings soo true to me, personally.
I have learned more about myself during these tough & trying times than I ever, ever did before.
I am learning about who I am for myself ... & who I am in God's eyes.

    Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
   Matthew 10:39

Now, with all that being said, back to 2013 being a year full of change.

As if everything that I just shared isn't enough,
remember I mentioned that I am sort of at that 'mid-life' point here?
Now, some associate mid-life as a crisis ... & they go all crazy getting tattoos & buying Harleys.
Trust me, I am so not that girl ;)
I don't even see mid-life as a crisis!
Instead I embrace it.
I'm so much better than I was when I was in my twenties!
I've had so many life experiences, good & bad ... & they've all worked in making me who I am today.

Here's where I want & need a change for this year ... for any & every year thereafter.
I've been letting these changes ... these times of transitions steal my joy.
I've been more negative for several years than I ever should've been.
Thankfully, God have me the best life-coach & encourager ever ... my dear husband, James.
He has single-handed, being led of the Lord, changed my perspective.
He has prayed for me, listened to me, inspired me ... & has been so patient as I've slowly maneuvered through the changes that life has brought about.
His sermons have been so challenging, & through them, I've seen crystal clear that my thought process
hasn't been God-pleasing.

I have the POWER IN ME to turn this thing around!
Although I cannot choose what happens to me in 2013, I CAN choose how I respond to it!

I can choose!
I can choose joy over despair, love over hurt, & peace over fear.
I can choose a sound mind.

His Word says that I am made new through Christ.
These 'old' things that have been holding me back are passing away.
I am an overcomer through Christ!

I am happy to report at the close of January, this whole month has been crazzzy different
around the Pennington place!
We have made huge forward strides & I can't wait to tell you all about them.
Starting tomorrow, I'm going to share some of the changes we've made in our household this month...
and I'll tell you our plan for the whole year.
2013 is our year of change.

        All things are possible to him who believes.
        Mark 9:23

Never be afraid to fall apart ... 
remember it's an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along. 
~ Rae Smith



  1. This post motivated me! I have already lost a little sight on what I wanted to do this year, and my goals. This post just jump started me! Happy Birthday! Hope it was a wonderful one!!

    Ashley from

  2. Happy Birthday! I'll be hitting that same milestone this August!

  3. I have done that many times & I have to admit, I'm fighting those thoughts of 'what if my excitement wanes' ... but again, I am determined to make this year count!! These changes are going to stick, by George!! LOL . I'm so glad this blog motivated you too ... YOU CAN DO IT! =) Thank you for stopping by & sharing your comment. Blessings.

  4. Thank you, Lisa! My church had a party for me & they decorated with these words: Fierce, Fabulous Forty! =) Oh yea!

  5. I can so relate with these are an inspiration to me. Thanks for showing me that I can change!

  6. Oh, Jenny! You inspire me! I love you dearly. You are a bright spot in my life ... I know, for sure, that God ordained our friendship.