New Year's Day always overwhelms me a bit. It's one of those days that other people seem to be prepared and ready for...and I'm not. It sneaks up on me while my Christmas decorations are still up and I haven't yet turned the last page of the former year's calendar. Nor have I bought the new one.
Other people have chosen "the word" for the upcoming year. I'm still trying to figure out what last year was all about. Other people have new and interesting goals and resolutions. I'm just trying (for the humpteenth time) to get more regular about cleaning the house, doing the laundry and blogging.
This year I did put a little thought into the new year before it got here, mainly because I'm so sick of 2014. It was not a good year. Well, I take that back. God was mighty good to me in 2014. He showed me more of His glory than I'd seen in many previous years combined. He stuck close to me and wouldn't be shaken loose from me for anything. He proved Himself true and faithful and good and delightful.
So while I cried some tears and sorted through some difficult transitions and endured some tough issues with my dear family members as well, all in all it was a stellar year. Disregard my initial whining. To God be the glory.
Still, I'm counting on having a whole lot fewer crying days and a whole lot more days filled with pure joy this year. In good faith, I believe this will be a year of wholeness and a holy healing. And I'll settle for nothing less. I'm making that claim based on the fact that I'm already experiencing a hardy if not slightly fragile season of healing. I feel like I've finally come up for air, and the breathing is easier and sweeter, and, more importantly, I feel like the waves have calmed. But even if the waves returned, I've learned to float...resting back into my Father's embrace rather than fighting against the current. I'll be okay. By the grace and goodness of God, I know that I will be okay. I am okay.
Here are a few thoughts I'm taking into 2015:
- Rejoice. I have a wonderful life. You do, too. Even if things don't seem blissfully perfect (whatever that means), God has laid the boundary lines of our individual lives in pleasant places. Each day that He wakes me up and sends me out into the world is an opportunity to enjoy the life He has blessed me with and to spread the joy He's given me with a hopeless world.
- Love. That's an imperative tense verb, by the way, not a title. Love is an action. And sometimes it has absolutely no fuzzy warm feelings attached to it. Sometimes it's all work. Love is patient and kind...and patient and kind some more. It sees the green monster of jealousy rising up and squashes it with determination. It stops demanding that it is right. And when it realizes that it's being childish and selfish...it takes a time out until it can put on big girl pants and straighten up, for pity's sake! It finds that list it's kept of wrongs endured...and burns it. And it stops counting and naming the offenses from that point on, giving grace upon grace instead. It doesn't get all sassy, happy when other people blow it, thinking that other's mistakes somehow make it look better. No ma'am. Instead it rejoices only when truth prevails and sets us all free. Finally, it believes all things, bears with all things, hopes all things and endures all things. All things. All things. Yes, even that thing. It's time to really love other people instead of just swimming around in some small, lukewarm pool we like to call love.
- Serve. It's not about me. I'm talented at making it all about me. That's not a real talent, by the way. But serving others with no regard for repayment or applause or appreciation. That's a talent. That's a blessing. It's time to serve others. Funny, but when I rejoice in God's goodness and commit to really love the way He does, serving is a whole lot easier.
Happy New Year, friends. What reflections are you taking into 2015 with you?