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December ending

It’s Christmas past, and I’m preparing to say good-bye to 2016.

The month of December has been simple in a way, while we had sweet communion with friends and family.

My morning quiet times pointed my heart toward being in the presence of God, recognizing and acknowledging Him. That His face is toward me is astounding. That He desires me to draw near is astonishing. It is the privilege of grace, and it is more than amazing.

As the weather turns blustery and cold, I snuggle by the fire and contemplate the months past and what is ahead. I reviewed goals set last year. Some I met; some were obviously not important enough for me to give attention to.

I ponder plans for the new year with thoughtfulness and I wonder what goals should be on a list. Perhaps I should plan for the unexpected.

An interview of Homa Dashtaki in Real Simple magazine proclaimed this wise piece of advice.

“One thing I’ve learned: the best plan is to know that nothing really goes as planned.”

And so there it is. We can write out the resolutions, make a list of goals, set our minds to achieve and do our best to aim for completion, and know that we will be surprised along the way.

God has a plan and I’m in it. His is a good plan, to give me a future and a hope. I perceive my best course of action will be to seek His presence, to dwell where He is, to know His thoughts, to learn more about His character, to live more like Jesus.

Whatever comes in 2017, it will be OK.  All will be well. God knows the future, and He knows my name.

Happy New Year’s Eve friends.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” — Proverbs 19:21

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Looking forward

December 31 marks the end and the beginning.  They come in tandem.

We celebrate the beginnings. A marriage. A birth.  A new job.  And we celebrate the endings. A graduation. A finished project. A race.

Sometimes we are just glad the thing is over, wanting to move on, hoping for something different, something better.

I’ve been both places.  Haven’t we all?

Some years I planned and listed goals and worked to accomplish them.  Other years I simply put one foot in front of  the other, leaning into the wind of adversity, hoping to survive.

As I look back over the year, I ask questions.  What did I do with the time I was given?  Did I use my days well?  Did I appreciate each one?  Was I present in the moments?

As my years increase, the days of my life become more precious.  I don’t want to spend what I have left foolishly, wasting it on fear, anxiety, unresolved anger, unforgiveness.  There is an abundant life offered to me, and I really do want to take hold of it and live it well.

Looking forward, I know there will be joy and sorrow.  They run side by side at times.  There will be challenges, hard places on the journey, and there will be joy unspeakable and full of glory.

I look forward with hope.  That hope is in Someone who has a plan and I’m part of it.  Hope calls me to live with courage to press on, to press in, to press forward.  When the muck and mire weigh me down, when the rain pours hard and soaking, when the fiery trial burns hot and unrelenting, I hope in the Lord who is God over my life.

There is only One worthy of my hope.  He is the One who can redeem my past and give promise to my future.

So I ponder the coming year, the new day, the next tiny second.  What am I going to do with the rest of this one wonderful life I’ve been given?

I will hope in God and I will yet praise Him.  He is my health and well-being, the One who is before and behind and surrounds me with His presence.

In Him my unfolding year is secure.

happy new year