I'm not a fan of resolutions, but of stock-taking. All sound businesses have a year-end (and periodic) inventory, so it seems an equally worthy endeavor where matters of the heart are concerned.
I began my considering & inventorying some weeks ago. It has encompassed conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious effort. I dare say it's been an exciting, faith-strengthening, convicting and worthwhile process.
Hindsight (as contrasted with running into the Backside of Monday) can reveal a good deal!
What was my anticipation at the end of 2009? Did I have a sense of what 2010 might hold? Any specific promises from God? Any vision or dream of what might be or how my life might unfold? Any broodings?
That's the beauty of journaling and blogging: One needn't dig terribly deep in order to tap into the reservoir of thought etched into one's life.
My journal, as well as my blog archives are chocked full of the words & phrases that fall into my thought patterns (as I mentioned in my last post), as well as anecdotes, written prayers, hopes & dreams and EVEN - a few resolutions.
It will be a year of great joy & peace, though to have such as these you will need great courage & boldness; inspired by Psalm 30, specifically ...
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
LORD my God, I will praise you forever. (vs 11-12)
I thought it a beautiful blessing & promise at the time. I find it even MORE beautiful in hindsight.
Little did I know THEN what would unfold in 2010.
- The dismantling of my job (and ministry) at Palm Valley Church.
- The decision-making process of whether or not to return to Washington.
- Ongoing dental/periodontal issues & costs (ugh!).
- Formally retiring.
- Leasing our home.
- Packing for a move, which entailed downsizing - selling or giving away nearly all of our furniture and most of our possessions (going from 4,300 sf to 1,450 required such).
- Leaving our beloved Church & Home Team, and my sister Barb.
- Processing the concern about moving from blue skies to gray.
- The addition of a new baby - to my son, NOT to me :)
- The actual move late July.
- Being hit with an ugly, costly lawsuit (against hubby; and now settled without there being culpability on his part).
- Healing a rift (in the way of cool air) between us and some treasured friends.
- Settling into a smaller home.
- Spending more time with our children & grandchildren.
- Wednesday afternoons with my sister, Dolores.
Need I say more? No wonder joy & peace were predicated on courage & boldness, for how else would one navigate all that and maintain them in the process?
Today I stand on 2011's shore. As I peer out across the sea of possibilities, it is a new impression that washes over me, and it relates to the obedient & surrendered words spoken by Mary:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.
"May your word to me be fulfilled.”
To which is added God's encouragement to Mary, and to myriad others as He prepares to do a work in, or fulfill a promise to them ...
"Do not be afraid ..."
It's impossible to steer the future unless, of course, it is left to The Captain. In that sense, the best is always yet to come!
I'm not talking predictions or prophecies here, just promises & impressions. And when one of them invades a day like today, it is a good thing to look ahead with great anticipation and exclaim: May Your word to me be fulfilled!
On December 27th of last year I closed my post with the following selection from Streams in the Desert. It's as good a piece as any to close 2010 as I welcome 2011.
You will not mind the roughness nor the
steepness of the way.
Nor the chill, unrested morning,
nor searness of the day;
And you will not take a turning to the left or to the right.
But go straight ahead,
nor tremble at the coming of the night.
For the road leads home.
Mrs. Charles Cowman