Sunday, December 29, 2013

Our Year in the Trenches

Dear Girls,

The year 2013 has been, by far, one of the most difficult yet.

We stood at the threshold of this year like a couple of starry-eyed kids, our feet planted firmly and our shoulders squared up, ready to plow through any and all opposing force. The naive grins on our faces must've been amusing. We made the declaration to anyone who would listen:

This is our year.

We knew what we meant. We meant for this year to be the year we prospered financially. The year that we overcame the hurdles in our way. When we faced our Goliaths. Moved forward in our marriage. Moved forward as a family. If you'd dared to ask us back then what our plans for this year were, we'd have told you in a flurry of excitement that this was the year we would look back on and remember as the turning point in our lives.  We meant every word. We were ready to conquer the world.

But this year was trying.

This year stretched us to the max.

It grabbed us and shook us till we cried uncle.  Not once.  A couple of times.

It threatened the very infrastructure of our family and our life as we know it.

It found us--a few times--curled up in the fetal position in mere survival mode.

Yet it also provided us with a few tiny glimpses of beauty...enough for us to keep the faith.

And here we stand. Our noses and knuckles bloodied, our eyes black and blue. Our bodies sore. Our minds and hearts weary from battle. We're sweating and panting, looking at each other with that look, like...what the heck happened?



Stronger than before.  Wounded but healing.  Still intact.  And still marching forward.

Our bold declaration to this new year?

We're still here.

I wish I could tell you fantastic tales of new territories conquered by the Strouth family this year.  I wish I could weave some great big glory stories of ours from 2013 that would inspire and encourage you in your journey.  But I'm afraid I have none.

Or do I?

I wonder if you couldn't find inspiration in me telling you that, when our family was put through the fire we withstood.  When caught up in battles of all sorts...physical...spiritual...mental...emotional...we proved valiant.  We didn't win every one, but we showed up.  And that, sweet girls, counts for something.

At the end of it all, we find ourselves blessed.  Faithful.  Together.  Standing shoulder to shoulder, with an upward gaze.

I don't know what next year holds.  But I do know that whether you find yourself in the middle of battle or your time has come to crawl out of the trenches, just know that you can do it.  Whatever it is you're facing, God has the strength you need to do so.  Be bold and be brave.

Because if we've learned anything this year, it's that our time, our's not measured in years.  It's measured in the amount of times you can be pummeled...get back up...and still keep moving. 

This next year might not be our year.  But this is our life.  And we're up for the fight.

Wishing you a faith-filled and courageous New Year.


Photo // Death to Stock

What about you? Have any "bold declarations" to the new year?



  1. An absolutely beautiful post! Amy, thank you for sharing!

  2. Thanks so much! Thank you for reading!