January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's 2011!

New beginnings are often a time for reevaluation and reflection for us, aren't they?  We look back and we look forward; we rejoice and weep; we anticipate and we regret.  As I think about 2010 my heart is full; it was a wonderful year for us with Colin graduating and getting to return to Pittsburgh as major highlights.  The kids have been growing and developing in ever more delightful ways.  I can see how I've grown and changed, too.  My thankfulness runs deep.

Graduation day!

But as I look around our house, I also see how I've failed.  We moved six months ago and I have projects I never finished, that I certainly could have made time for, (e.g. Brian's baby book is pathetic!)  I see how my own laziness and lack of initiative has resulted in piles of papers, scattered supplies, and miscellaneous messes throughout our living space.

the average state of the dining room table when it's time to set it for dinner

With my personality, I'm tempted to give up and be swallowed up by the shame.  But this morning, God reminded me that His mercies are new every morning, and how grateful I am that a new year is beginning so I can consider how to better use my time and use it unto the Lord.

Last year, I chose Psalm 33:4 as a family "theme verse." For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does.  I had it hung on the front of a cupboard in our kitchen in Cambridge, and on my nightstand here.  God worked His Word more into the fabric of my life and the life of our family throughout 2010.  He has also impressed upon us more that He is faithful in all He does.

Have you ever chosen a theme verse for a year or even a theme word, as they've been taking about on KLOVE this week?  Doing so can be a great anchor for both staying focused during the year and witnessing how God uses His Word specifically in your life.  It certainly made a difference to me this year, finding myself learning to turn to God's Word when I had questions or frustrations, rather than trying to simply work it out from my own limited knowledge and twisted up emotions.

love these berries in the midst of the winter drear

So, what's up for 2011?

Over the last week, I've been thinking about my lack of skill at separating work and rest and my tendency to rush to "play" before my work is really done.  This led me to dig into Scripure to find verses about work and rest.  I found that God gives us two kids of rest: plysical and soul.  If I seek both my physical and soul rest according to His guidance and directions, my life will function as He intended and be less dominated by confusion, doubt, and guilt.  Yours too!

My fresh, new journal now has these verses written on the first page:
Exodus 31:12-13, 16: I love the image here of celebrating the Sabbath - working hard the other days and really celebrating the day of rest God's given us!
Isaiah 30:15, 18: I long to be a woman with a quiet spirit who trusts wholeheartedly in her compassionate God.
Jeremiah 6:16: I hope to practice asking God the good way and finding rest as I walk in it this year!
Matthew 11:28-30: I want to learn from Jesus as I read about Him in the Bible and take on His yoke, receiving greater rest for my soul. 

Here's what I want to be pondering and/or practicing throughout 2011:

  1. Treating our Sundays as celebratory rest days - preparing food ahead, planning (or not!) fun activities for the afternoon, etc.
  2. Finding soul rest even when life is full and busy - working joyfully, not grumbling about upset plans, staying on top of tasks and doing so as working unto the Lord, etc.
  3. Looking more at Jesus and what He teaches us about who God is and how learning from Him can lead to a more soul-restful Heather.

What are you thinking about as you begin the new year?  Whatever it is, may God bless you and keep you, make his face shine upon you, be very gracious to you, and give you peace!

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