With their poignant words and incredible photos, the bloggers, authors, photographers, and pastors I follow have succeeded this week in quantifying a year that I’m at a loss for how to measure. When I try to wrap the right words around 2013 to give it dimension, all I come up with is:

 “Til now, the Lord has helped us.” 

1 Samuel 7:12

Through starts and stops, Jesus has helped us. Through surrender and heavy stepping, Jesus has helped us. Through dreaming and rejoicing, Jesus has helped us.

His relentless faithfulness to our family in 2013 cannot fit into a year-end list or be summed up in one perfect word or even cropped and straightened neatly into a square. There’s no way to measure the branches of mercy he’s stretched over our heads or the foundation of grace he’s used to support our stumbles and strides ‘til now. He gave us work to do in ordinary places and set us among unlikely people to love. That’s it. Nothing shiny, just steady. He has helped us. Some days we fought him on it, other days we asked him for it, and today we thank him for it.

To stepping onto a new calendar with old help.

To loving and being loved without measure.

To raising our glasses tonight to both,