Happy New Year!
Hello & Happy New Year to you! New Years has, admittedly, never been my favorite holiday. I’m not one for making a bunch of resolutions and Lord knows I don’t love staying up until midnight. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown to appreciate that ‘fresh start’ feeling that comes on January 1st. I think one of the most exciting parts of the New Year is that it feels a bit like a blank canvas. I love anticipating what’s to come, the milestones I will cross with Atlas and Andi Rose and the adventures I will have with Dave. But with that anticipation also comes some anxiety, because I know enough to know that the blank canvas won’t be filled with just happy memories. I’m learning life is a mixed bag. Joy and sorrow seem to intermingle – they aren’t as mutually exclusive as I once believed. Some parts of parenthood get easier, while other aspects simultaneously grow in difficulty. God gives…and He also takes away. In the last 3 years, I’ve birthed 2 children and Dave buried the 2 people who raised him. God gave…and He took away. And that’s life. One word can’t describe life (at least not my life), because it is beautiful and broken. It is hope-filled and hard.
As I looked at the empty pages of my 2017 calendar this morning, I couldn’t help but notice my prayer journal laying beside it. One book is blank, waiting to be filled with future plans. The other is full of prayers from the past. As I recalled all the issues/fears/dreams/frustrations/plans I brought to the Lord in 2016, I was reminded of all the many prayers He answered. There were those requests that He graciously answered with a ‘no’ because He knew better and there were requests that He answered with a ‘yes’ that far surpassed anything I could have hoped for or imagined. And as I reflected on His many provisions in 2016, I felt my anxiety over what’s to come in 2017 slowly slip away. I looked back at the blank pages of my new calendar and allowed myself to breathe in a little longer and get excited all over again about what’s to come because I trust that God is going before me and as a result, there are endless possibilities awaiting. So, whether I find myself in the midst of painful experiences or precious memories – or some weird mixture of both – I am forging ahead into the newness of 2017 with hope, gratitude and an expectant heart.
I spent the final days of 2016 in a lot of prayer and planning, trying to get my spirit focused for the New Year and I told Dave while we were at dinner the other night that God laid a verse on my heart in the midst of my planning and I just can’t shake it. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” When that verse popped into my mind my initial thought was, “Omg. Which one of my grand plans is about to be hijacked, Lord?” But then I immediately thought, “Thank the Lord. Thank the Lord that my plans don’t prevail because my plans aren’t perfect, but God, your plans are.” A few days later, God led me to Ps. 37:23-24, “A man’s steps are established by the Lord and He takes pleasure in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed because the Lord holds his hand.”
I hope as you navigate your way through this year, you remember that no issue is too small or too big for God. He cares about every detail and every dream. When the troubles of life overwhelm us, may we pause long enough to look for His hand.
So, to 2017 I say….Let’s do thisssss!
Are you a resolution maker? If so, what is your resolution? I actually did make a few this year, but I think I’ll share those in another blog post. 🙂 One is to eat clean…because everyone else is doing it, so why not?!