HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! God bless you – and thank you so much for reading my blog and following it. How will you bring the New Year in? How will you welcome 2018?
I think making resolutions is alright; however, there is far too much pressure put on a person, don’t you think? I mean, how long is this list going to be? If I’ve smoked for 30 years and I resolve to quit this year – then add to that a resolution that I’ll lose 30 pounds (all in one day, right?) – and oh, don’t forget, we need to pay off ALL our debt this year (that’s done in one day too, I’m sure.)
I don’t dig the resolution thing because to resolve to stop every bad habit you’ve had for most of your life… ugh – not so much. It’s too much pressure.
Here’s another idea. How about choosing ONE WORD that describes the attribute you most want to ask God to increase in your life this year? I’ve taken the liberty of suggesting some possible WORDS you may want to embrace and pray to have enhanced in 2018.
I have a facebook friend who lives in the U.K. (don’t you love facebook???) – we chatted about this very subject a few days ago. In her country, they have organized gatherings for senior citizens, which I think is a very good idea! Social interaction is so vital to mental sharpness and let’s face it – we’re so much happier when we have friends and meet with them on a regular basis. I told her in the U.S. we have things like The Red Hat Society, but I was not aware of a country-wide organized social gathering for seniors. Compassion like Christ had – it extended to all people of all ages! All people need the love of God, through His Son, Christ Jesus. ❤
I get uncomfortable when I feel as though I’m losing control. Is that human nature? I don’t know – probably. Giving your ALL to the Lord is not easy, and it’s never done just one time. At least, in my life it’s never been done just one time. It’s a daily commitment to hand everything to God. It doesn’t matter how large the issue is, or how small… hand it to God. Give it to Him and trust Him with it. Surrender to Him – and be obedient to Him. He really does know best. ❤
LOL – I was just fighting with my laptop (stupid thing!) – somehow, the screen got small and I couldn’t get the cursor to the place you click to make it regular size again. Now, I ask you… why would they put the icon over there where you can’t even reach it when you need it? I think elves make these things – not rational elves either. Anyhoo – I try to have more patience with human beings than I do with electronics. Maybe we all need to pray for more patience in the coming year; and we will be careful to give God the glory for times when patience wins! We really are nothing without Him. ❤
I won’t lie – 2017 was one rough year for me! I won’t bore you with the details. My poor facebook friends have been subjected to the deets every step of the way. Suffice to say… I was stuck in bed with a bad back for about seven months! It’s a humbling experience. I would see the ads for Laser Spine Institute and just cry and cry! I wanted to get my back “fixed” so desperately! I’d struggled with sciatica for decades! I finally had surgery on November 8th of this year. But God is good because it was not a traditional surgery – it was the less invasive surgery with the less than 1″ incision. That was the kind I prayed I could get! That’s the kind they advertise on TV. But my insurance would not have covered the procedure at Laser Spine Institute. They covered it – the very same type of procedure – here in Kansas! It’s a God thing – and I praise Him for His faithfulness to me!
I no longer have that shooting pain going down my leg! It went away immediately – and once my incision healed and my back stopped having spasms, I was back to normal! I’m still on restriction – can’t lift more than 10 pounds, no bending and I can’t dance the Twist yet… but I can walk with no pain! I walk now – so much and so far – you wanna know why? Well, silly… because I CAN! During this time, my sweet friend Diane sent me this very special angel. She is so beautiful! She is in my “she shack” (it’s like a man cave, only for women). She shines brightly and reminds me that there is always HOPE no matter what! Thank you, Diane, for your kindness to me! ❤
I’m reminded of an old hymn (hey, I was a church pianist for 50+ years, give me a break!) The words say, “Faith is the VICTORY that overcomes the world.” Victory is not attached to our circumstances – we are victorious no matter what! Why? Because we have FAITH which produces VICTORY and our faith is in Christ – and what did He do? He overcame the world!!! Past tense – it’s a done deal!!! All we have to do is ACCEPT His gift! Accept the sacrifice He made on Calvary so long ago for all mankind. ❤
When my mama was here, I always talked with her, either on the phone or in person. I couldn’t imagine a day without her. Of course, I’ve been forced to embrace or at least accept a new normal since her death in 2004. The really cool part about talking with the Lord every day is that – He’s not going to leave or die or whatever. I know that God’s there, through His Son, Christ Jesus. We talk nearly every day, and we talk about big stuff and small stuff. He just wants me to keep Him in the loop, so to speak. Just as my parent wanted to hear from her daughter every day, my Heavenly Father wants to have a conversation with me every day. May we all seek His face every day in 2018. ❤
I believe that there are times when God will allow a rough patch in our lives in order to make us more grateful for our lives when they are better again. He doesn’t lead us around bad things, He holds our hand and leads us right through them! It’s easier to be grateful when everything is going well and we don’t feel pain. I’m the first to admit that… but I’ll also proclaim that there is always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for. I remember when I was lying in bed back in April 2017 – and I heard a robin sing. I remember thinking, “Lord, if I was busy somewhere else, I probably would not have noticed that bird singing.” I thanked God for the serenade from that robin! It had been a very long, quiet winter – and when you finally hear a bird sing, there is a sudden rush of HOPE that pours over you. ❤
Years ago I was invited to a lecture about communication in marriage. I wasn’t thrilled about going because quite frankly, I had just gotten divorced and didn’t think the subject applied to me. I thought I’d walk into this church and there would be lovey dovey couples sitting all over the place. Does that seem like an environment I’d be happy in at that time? Exactly. I was like, “OK, let’s get this over with…”
I should have recognized that God was preparing me for the next chapter of my life. I could not believe the wealth of knowledge I gleaned from that lecture! It was awesome and well worth the time it took from my life. It actually changed my life. And I really didn’t see that many couples there – and as the evening progressed, I frankly didn’t notice because I was paying attention to the lecture.
I learned that listening is the most important job in conversation. Listen – and use body language to show the other person that they have your undivided attention! Lean forward and make eye contact. Really listen… wow. You mean I can’t just start jabbering and expect the other person to do all the listening? I was shocked!
That night changed my prayer life as well – I do less talking and sometimes I don’t talk at all. I just focus on the Lord – lean forward and make eye contact (oh, I wish) – but I always want to incline my ear toward Him. Always. ❤
Here on planet earth, we restore all sorts of things! In an effort to recycle things, we save them and love them back into usefulness! What an accomplished feeling we have when something old and rusty looks showroom new again! Cyber high-five to all the restorers reading this post today!
The best restorer of all is our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus! He suffered and died on a cruel cross on Mount Calvary so that our sorry souls could be restored – saved for eternity! That’s a big deal! He loves us so much! ❤
In 2018, I want to be more obedient to God and His Word. Of course, to do that, I actually have to delve into His Word, the Bible. Since I’m not really a creature of habit – some days I’m an early bird and catch the worm and other days I stay up and am a night owl. Depending on which mode I’m in, I’ll either do devotions in the morning or at night. I don’t think the Lord really cares when we make time to be with Him – He just wants us to make time for Him. ❤
I think we get GRACE & MERCY confused sometimes. It’s really okay because it’s all good stuff – but it’s also good to know the difference.
God’s GRACE is God’s unmerited favor. It is kindness from God that we don’t deserve. There is nothing we have done, nor can ever do to earn this favor. It is a gift from God. Grace is divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration (rebirth) or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine favor.
God’s MERCY is His loving compassion for us. He doesn’t give us what we deserve, but He gives us what He wants to give us – His love.
See how close and intertwined they are? No wonder we get them a little muddled once in a while. ❤
I want God to forgive me of my sins – well duh… of course I do! But He says I have to forgive others their sins against me. That’s the deal, so I have to forgive – no matter how much a person hurts me, I have no choice but to forgive. And you know what? Frankly, to carry a grudge around on your shoulders is really stupid! They’re going merrily on their way, living their life – and they’ve forgotten all about it – and you. So… ditch that heavy grudge and forgive – but some things you won’t forget – and shouldn’t. There are lessons we learn in those situations. You want to keep the lesson, just in case you get in a similar situation again. Therein lies the wisdom… keep the wisdom from the situation. Forgive the person – ditch the grudge – keep the lesson and the wisdom. Works for me! ❤
I want to end with this lovely poem by Lucinda Berry Hill. It sums up what we’re talking about – making this year better in every way than last year.
We all need God’s help to learn to take the high ground instead of jumping in the mud hole with others. May we bring a blessing to each other in 2018. ❤
I know this was a really LONG post… they’ll get shorter, I promise!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!! Be safe and responsible tonight! God Bless You! ❤