Leaving the Old Behind; Pressing Forward

I am betting there are few of us who have not experienced a hard year; one to which we are ready to bid an eager good-bye. Other years we close reluctantly because it was a year full of mountaintop highs. Then there are those ‘normal’ years where life was average with only a few swings in either direction. No matter what our experience in 2013 has been, time marches forward. Now that we are of the cusp of a new year, I can not help but be a little excited and filled with wonder at the possibilities which might manifest in 2014. I find myself looking at a blank canvas, where will I begin? What do I want to make of it? Will I color in the lines others have drawn for me or that I have drawn in past years? Will I retrace the same comfortable image of past years? You know the ones practiced and repeated over and over because it is easy and comfortable, familiar.

Perhaps this is the year…is it possible? The canvas will be fresh, clean, new…dare I? What would it look like to live this coming year wide open, fully engaged moment by moment, authentically, fully focused on what is important without worrying or complaining and holding nothing back? How about a year of only speaking life and blessing over those around me and releasing every word that is not life and blessing that I am tempted to speak or that is spoken over me rather than letting it play on a loop in my mind? While I am dreaming, maybe I could take all my concerns, fears, worries, disappointments, hurts from the careless words that slip from someone I love immediately to my Father, who can handle them appropriately and is the only One who can truly do anything about them. What will this upcoming years canvas look like? How will fit together in the puzzle that is the mosaic of my life?

Will I take a moment to seek a scripture verse for the year and listen for Him to lead me to it? Will God in His sovereignty give me a word for the year that is to be my focus for 2014? Will I immediately understand it’s meaning? Or will understanding unfold as the year progresses? Perhaps the word given will resonate immediately and gradually unfold over the year to have a much deeper meaning than I ever would have imagined! As 2014 approaches and is already right here knocking at the door, I have many more questions, many hopes and dreams and much anticipation!! Yes, I am ready to leave behind 2013 and begin a new and exciting year; a new adventure. With me I will take all the memories of this year, I will treasure all the wonderful and wonder-filled memories and all the rest I will do my best to learn from them, let them go and move forward stronger for them.

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My prayer as we enter this New Year is that we will find ourselves fully alive, fully engaged in life drawing closer to our Creator, Our God; that we find balance between our being and our doing, after all we are human beings. We often live at an impossible pace and when we do we loose our peace, sacrifice our health and relationships, and carry more stress than was ever intended for us to bare.
I pray we choose life and blessing for ourselves and encourage all around us to do the same.

3 John 1:2 (NIV) Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health physically just as you are spiritually.

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Hebrews 12 (HCSB) 12 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.

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