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Resolutions

I used to make resolutions every Jan 1.  When I was younger a few of my resolutions were to study harder in school and to do my chores without complaining. As I got older it changed to dieting, keeping my house cleaned, not grumbling too much or reading my bible more, along with many other goals.  And without fail by February I was back in my normal habits.

So eventually I stopped making New Year resolutions and instead decided to stay focused on God’s Word.  Without a reading plan or study guide I let the Holy Spirit guide me into the different aspects of Spiritual Discipline.

Soon a few minutes reading a 5-min devotional each morning turned into meaningful prayer time.  Eventually my prayer time was expanded and included worship and more in-depth devotions.  Now, I get up earlier just to spend quiet time with God.  The time is spent reading, listening to worship songs, praying and even coloring.

This year again I will not make any resolutions and will continue to walk confidently in faith and being content in my circumstances. Instead of diet plans and goals I choose to pray unceasingly and serve God by being the Light of Christ.

By February I know I will be struggling to get up early on a cold winter morning, instead opting to stay snuggled under the warmth of blankets.  But then an opportunity comes to worship as my alarm goes off and Pandora begins playing praise and worship songs.  What a blessing – I can stay in the warmth of the bed God has provided and worship Him in song.

When spring arrives, the warmer weather and the smell of fresh clean air will bring distractions that will tempt me to stray from my faith journey. Yet, another opportunity will come to praise God when I see the first Robin and watch the squirrels frolicking in the warm breeze. The first crocus to bloom brings hope and a new abundant life as we all rejoice winter is over and spring has arrived. The scripture from Isaiah says it beautifully, I paraphrased, “The (winter and frozen ground) shall be glad; (the bare trees) shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing.” (Here is the original scripture verse – Isaiah 35:1-2a ESV)

There will be struggles, disappointments, sorrow, and hardships in the New Year.  But each new day will bring the peace of Jesus; beauty and hope; laughter and love.

We do not know what the New Year will bring, so let us honor and worship God our creator wherever we are, whatever our circumstances and whenever the opportunity opens before us.

Let our lives bloom in 2018 wherever God plants us.

Where is God planting to you?

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Pictures from google.com
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New Beginnings

Sunrise Boston
With the start of a new year I recommit my life to God.  This sunrise is a symbol of new beginnings – of a new day dawning in our lives in the next year.

Resolutions – definition ~ a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year

New Years Resolutions are a tradition that we all grew up with. It is a time to take inventory of our lives and see what we can do to improve our life or the life of others.

So, what is it about the start of the New Year that have us making that promise to ourselves to do something good or stop our bad habits? After all do we make resolutions each Monday at the start of the week or the first of every month?

For years like many of us I would have my list of “resolutions”; lose weight, read more, learn something new, write a book, volunteer more, organize my house, finish sewing projects, etc…. To think these are only a few of New Years resolutions over the years. 

A few years ago I decided not to make any resolutions, after all I have never kept any of them anyway. Have you? Actually I would love to hear from those of you who did keep your resolutions and what the results were.

Instead of resolutions, I recommit my life to God. Sure there are plans to be made and goals to be set, but before any of that, God must be first in our life. Without God there is no success in our plans and goals, no hope for our future.

There is no ceremony or big celebration, it is in the stillness of the morning that I quietly recommit my life to God. I hand over last years disappointments and lay my trials at the foot of the cross leaving the old behind and forging ahead to whatever life has in store for me. Then I embrace the new challenges God sets before me – some challenges I am not so willing to embrace at what may be awaiting me. It is my faith, obedience and trust in the God of Creation that will get me through the ups and downs over the next 12 months.

The New Year is before us. We do not know what will happen. We will make our plans to become better people, letting go of bad habits and striving to do better. Some will succeed. Some will change their plans to adapt to the many obstacles that come their way.

The important thing to remember is this – no matter if we make resolutions or if we do not; if we keep them or break them, we are all given hope for a brighter tomorrow as we plan for our future. 

I can guarantee that in the next 12 months bad things will happen but we must remember that good things will also happen. Through it all our God who loves us will be with us. He sent us His Son to walk with us through the difficult moments and to rejoice with us in our happiness.

Resolutions and improving our lives is always good, after all we are all a work in progress.

My prayer for all of you who made resolutions is for success with all of your plans and for each of you to walk with God in your own way as you face the challenges and the joys of the New year.

As we put our trust in God for an unknown future we will discover that this year will be our best year.

Christmas & New Years Blessings

GE DIGITAL CAMERAAll my best laid plans to do a weekly advent devotion for Christmas were dashed when I came down with a sinus infection and eventually a bad case of the flu.

After starting antibiotics for my sinus infection I was elated when I felt normal and energetic. That lasted for 3 days. When wham – I was hit – bulls-eye, with the flu. So for the past two weeks minus a few days I have been sick. But as I say, “tis the season to be jolly, to be merry and to be sick”!

Alas, we must all take the good with the bad. Yes, I have been sick for nearly 2 weeks and in bed for 4 days, that is the bad, but the good is I have a great family doctor, a job that I can take adequate time off to recuperate, family and friends that care for me and brought me not chicken soup but Christmas cookies – now those are friends! My daughter was even in the kitchen doing most of the Christmas meal preparation while I rested and enjoyed the sounds of Christmas music playing or watching the Hallmark Christmas movies.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAI even had time to put together a puzzle – anyone recognize it?  Yep, I admit it I am a “A Christmas Story” watcher.  We watch it every year on Christmas Eve after church and then again Christmas morning as we open our presents. 

So, at this time I would like to wish all of you and your families, a joyous and wonder-filled Christmas season of the birth of our Savior and a healthy and God inspired New Year.

 

 

Happy New Year

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Happy New Year to family

Happy New Year to friends

May you each enjoy the blessings

That our Lord God sends

And trust in His guidance all along the way

As you begin a brand new year on this happy day! {Thena Smith}

 

Wishing all of my family and my friends ~ {old and new} 

Gods blessings through the New Year as all your dreams come true.

Your journey is just beginning  full of  expectations and hope.

May all of your tomorrows bring you good health, happiness and

priceless treasures from the heart.    Patty ~ Jan 1, 2013

Christmas Reflections

nativity-w-blue-backgroundLast year I started a new tradition as I celebrated the Advent season.  On the first day of Advent I started a journal listing all the things I have learned through my Advent devotional.  They were things that I already knew but needed reminded of and some things that God put upon my heart which shaped my life for the upcoming year.  And there were a few gentle words that spoke directly to my soul – just between God and myself.

So this year I continued with the tradition and through my Advent devotional God has indeed blessed me with His wisdom again.  My Christmas wish for you is to take at least one and lay it upon your heart to reinforce the hope found in the baby Jesus and to bless your life in the New Year:

*   As I have lost my way this past year and allowed the busyness of life get in the way of my relationship with Christ, He gently reminded me I needed to go back to the beginning so that I will be able to move forward.  I needed to return to the manger on my knees – to reflect once again on Jesus, on His life and ministry and to prepare my heart to welcome His return.

*   Developing a faithful prayer practice.  “Prayer is the path that unites our hearts with God’s heart.” {unknown}

*   Thanking Jesus for allowing me to try to do things myself and making the wrong the choices. Praising Him for picking me up when I fall and gently guiding me in the way I should go.

*   “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach” Deuteronomy 30:11  No challenge is too big when Jesus is beside me.

*   Finding Jesus in my everyday tasks.

*  Enjoy the quiet moments.

*  Keeping the joy of the Christ Child in my heart all year long.

*  Letting go of those things that are keeping me separated from God and from having a relationship with Jesus, my Lord.

As I go forward into the New Year Jesus is preparing me to make some changes; I am going to stop procrastinating.  I have started to organize my life by setting up blocks of time to handle the big tasks and not allowing distractions to overwhelm me.  I am reminded again to remain focused on where Jesus is leading me and to what needs done not only in my life but in serving others.

These 24 days of the Christmas season has brought me closer to God through the gentle words of His Son, Jesus.  It is His birth we celebrate but it was I who received the gift of His love, His forgiveness and His promise of eternal life. May you all experience all the richness of these gifts.

I have also learned from Jesus, that when He went off on His own, to reflect, pray, and rest, He was preparing Himself for the task set before Him.  That is what I will be doing, I am taking the next week off to spend time with God and His Son, Jesus and to be with  my family.  I will be resting and preparing for those changes in my life and for the task God will set before me. 

I look forward to another year of writing, reading your blogs and meeting new friends. 

So until next year ~ 😀

Merry Christmas and may your New Years be full of God’s blessings, lots of laughter, joy and love.