Please withhold your judgment from this next statement; I am a complete and utter Grinch when it comes to Christmas music. I don’t care about Rudolph or his red nose, mommy kissing Santa Clause is just gross, and a talking snowman is simply asinine. (Someone be sure to print this blog post for my children when they go in for counseling years from now.)

That being said, there is one song that gets me every Christmas. (Let’s be clear that it is only because they play it in church, not because my Pandora station is tuned in.)

“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices…Fall on your knees, oh hear the angel voices, oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born.”

….agh…gives me chills!!!

The past three years, I have been reminded more and more of why I love this song so much. There have been countless times in my life that I have had nothing left to do but fall on my knees in front of God. Sometimes because I was in such awe of what he was doing in my life. Other times it was because I was pleading for answers or peace.

As 2016 came to an end, of course I was left reflecting on this past year just like everyone else. I know many people were far from sad to see 2016 go, but for our family this past year has been life altering (in good ways).

We began the year welcoming Dad home from a 6 month stint out of state. The first few months of 2016 were nothing short of a blur. The kids and I concentrated on finishing up our school year and Dad was super busy travelling. We had a slight moment of panic when we got the call that instead of a July/August move date, work was hoping to move us more like March/April.

All I could think about was having to sell our house so last minute, while giving my own children my best self, along with my babies at school…not to mention be ready to move to the other side of the world, all while my husband was travelling elsewhere. (Insert major anxiety attack here!)

The comforting thing through all of this is that there were SO many times all I COULD do, was hit my knees with a pleading prayer of, “I don’t even know WHAT I should be asking You for..but whatever it is, help me to be faithful to Your calling, and let the Holy Spirit plead on my behalf.”

Of course, I realize in the grand scheme of things these are SUCH first world problems. As I was DAILY reminded by several people in my life who were dealing with heart wrenching issues. God has a funny way of always putting things in my life into perspective, and placing the perfect people in my life at the perfect times.

I wish I could go into details about some of the heartbreaking situations this last year brought our way, but those stories aren’t solely mine to tell. All I can say, is that I’m thankful our family had the opportunity to travel into deeper waters and have faith that we would be carried through. God was faithful and we believe that He always will be, even when things don’t look like we think they should. The prayers of my friends and family were vital to this past year and as corny and cliché as it sounds, I really for the first time in my life, tangibly felt the power of prayer and being surrounded by prayer warriors who would lift me up when I felt like I was drowning

I will forever be thankful for the many friends I called during this time, ugly-face sobbing about whatever dumb thing was currently dominating my thoughts, and for the many of you that actually had to WATCH my ugly cry I am even MORE sorry…I literally just counted SIX people…SIX…so embarrassing. That doesn’t even include the three of you I long distance, ugly sobbed to over the phone.

All of this leads me to the title of this post. I have been challenged, the past three years to pray to receive a word that will define my life for the year. This year it has been laid on my heart that my word should be “lean”. I’m still learning what this means but so far here is what has been revealed to me

  1. Lean into my new role. This means so many different things that would take forever to go into…but the important thing is, it has meaning to our family :).
  2. Lean into the extraordinary circumstances our family has been handed to travel, experience and show our corner of the world the love of Christ.
  3. Lean into the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  4. Lean into the moment. This has been the biggest lesson, since we have moved to this side of the world. We had been on island for a MONTH when I began asking how we could possibly extend our time here. Unfortunately, that does not sound like it will be in the cards for us to stay, but it is definitely making me appreciate and utilize our time here.
  5. Lean into the discomfort. I don’t like putting things like this out for the world to see, because I’m afraid of judgment. However, I’ve recently felt convicted to not be so private about certain aspects of my life, because vulnerability can open a multitude of doors.
  6. To be continued…I am continuing to pray about what else this means for our family and holding onto the promise of God’s faithfulness.

❤ The Butlers

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