Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Year Closes

What a fabulous day this is; another opportunity to consider what's ahead while gratefully considering what is passing.

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.

Back I go ...

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.
.
What stands out most to me right now is what I believe the Lord promised, or had imprssed upon me as 2010's door swung open:

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 turned my wailing into dancing;
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.”
Luke 1:38

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

18 comments:

Rebecca said...

Happy New Year! Your testimony to the goodness and provision of God in this PAST year give me courage to rest in God's gracious care in the COMING year - come what may.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and
I know He watches me.

Debbie said...

Yes, it sounds like you too had quite the year in 2010...And I feel like Elaine from Peace from the Journey when she said, "It's a good thing we didn't know all that layed ahead for us through the coming year" How overwhelming that would have been. But in looking back it really does show the faithfulness of our God. He saw us all through our troubles and tribulations and filled us with His joy and His peace just when we needed them most. I look forward to 2011 no matter what it might hold as we have His promises to hold on to. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, and may the Lord richly bless you in 2011 with all of His best for you. HUGS!

RCUBEs said...

It's comforting to know that we are being held by Someone Who doesn't change nor is moved by any changes in our journey. Happy New Year sister and thank you for encouraging me with your post! God bless.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Happy New Year...and I so agree with the Ps. 30:11-12...that was my 2010
Your list just increases my faith and seeing God faithfulness and testimonies gives me courage.
Blessings on your new year, thanks for allowing me to glean through your post this year and the honor of praying for you at different turns in your journey.

Runner Mom said...

Sassy, your posts always make me ponder and encourage me! Thank you for your words! Praying that 2011 will be a great year for you and your family and filled with the peace and wisdom of our Lord.
Hugs!
Susan

Melanie said...

Happy New Year!! What a year indeed! I pray that this year is full of good for you and your family! Much love!

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

It has been an interesting year, to say the least....and sometimes it's best not to know what is in store.

~Beth

Yolanda said...

I am so thankful for God and His healing. He is so faithful, and can you imagine how He smiles down on us, when we get it? :-)

Happy New Years!

Yolanda

myletterstoemily said...

"nor tremble at the coming of the night."
i love that.

it sounds like you had a BIG year and i'm
confident he had "KATHLEEN" on His palms
throughout.

blessings,
lea

Merana Leigh said...

Ditto what everyone says here. Reading your ponderings of the year God has brought you through resonates with me. A year ago I would NEVER in a million years thought I'd be where I am today, with all He has blessed us with this past year. Therefore, I look expectantly ahead to the new year and what I can do for Him this time. God is so gracious. One of the biggest things He's done is to bless me with fellow blogging buddies, such as you. Thank you! May His grace guide & bless you this year ~ Merana

Rita said...

God is good, isn't He? We are so blessed to live in a nation such as ours. May he bless you with great blessings this coming year! Thank you, my friend, for so many wonderful posts in this past year. Happy New Year!

LisaShaw said...

Kathleen,

From the first word to the last, you blessed me, caused me to smile, pause, reflect, give thanks and exhale because GOD is good no matter what!

Thank you for sharing what I'm sure is just a small portion of what touched your life and your family in 2010. Thank you for allowing me (us) to have a glance into the fact that God's Hand of wisdom, provision, justice, healing, peace and LOVE has walked the miles of the year with you and yours!

I expect it will be the same in 2011 because our GOD changes not! Isn't HE good?! Amen!

Thank you for being a friend to me in 2010. I pray in some small way the LORD used me to touch your life as He used you in a big way to touch mine. Thank you for your prayers. You have mine as well.

Blessed New Year my friend,
Hugs.

Angie Knight said...

Kathleen, what a powerful post. I stand with Mary, "May His word to me be fulfilled."
YOU have really endured much this year--but I know you have had our Faithful Father right beside you all along the way---and HE never leaves our side! What a blessing to be called His.
Yes, "do not be afraid"....the best is yet to come!

You have really blessed my heart today!

Beth E. said...

A truly powerful post...one which I needed to read.

I am so thankful for our friendship, Kathleen. May God bless you and your family in the coming year!

Love you

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Praying that 2011 is amazing for you this year! May God move mightily!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Had we all known on the front side of the year what we would have encountered, many of us might have fainted from fright. So glad our Father keeps a few things from us, knowing that his timing is perfect and his arms strong enough to carry us through.

Beautiful spending the last year with you, Kathleen, and watching the faithfulness of our God pour out onto the soil of your heart and life!

peace~elaine

Gwendolyn said...

Very fitting thoughts. Yes, stock-taking. I like that phrase. And if we could only realize the good He has planned for us, no matter the path that lies ahead. Wow, what list of events in your life this past year. Praise the Lord for His unfailing grace to each of us.

Terri Tiffany said...

I didn't realize all that you were going through--only pieces--and in the midst of all that--you were busy being my friend. Thank you. And may this new year be filled with so many blessings!!