Tuesday, January 1, 2013

strength, hope, joy, perserverance: here's 2013.

I lay on the floor of my clean-for-now room. I have journals to my left, workbooks to my right, and Scriptures to be delightfully read. I have already stained another year. My Awana book on the shelf to my right and my Greek NT to my left tell me the same harsh truth: we all fall short of the glory of God. We all have failed the One that could never fail us. He was nailed to an ugly, redeeming cross that only a redeeming Lord would carry--for us. For this; for the fulfillment of these eternal new mercies that have a way of making themselves well known on January 1st.

So, in a time of reflecting on my year--how hard I prayed, how much I have believed, how much I have LIVED IT, how much I have loved, how much I have simply smiled...

I make another list for some strange reason. We will get to that soon enough.

I log into Blogger... and I read that somebody out there wasn't ready... just like me.

How in the world do you step hopeful into the next year when you tripped messy through the last year? How do you stand brave with all the smiling rest and ring in the new year when the old year still feels a bit like a millstone around the neck? What if everyone else is making New Year’s resolutions and you just want New You solutions? --Ann Voskamp
I shouted anyway. I did a little happy dance and I touched the fluffy snow with my bare hands. I breathed deep, unexplainably giddy, soaking it in... those first moments of 2013. Maybe that's what this hope looks like--- breathing deep in the midst of confusion, unexplainably giddy with His joy, soaking in all the love that He showers and sings.

I rang in this new year with a girlyfriend on a walk up and down the street of our humble abode. We whispered and we laughed louder than we should have, but after all, everything is funnier when you're with your girlfriends.  We prayed. I started 2013 praying. There we walked, fighting the good fight, fighting for our husband's out there somewhere... there we were, with something like child-like faith surrendering the year to growing in our faith and taking the opportunities that He pours.

Then, morning comes. Are we going to stay true to what we said we would yesterday? I have already started this year with ridiculous baggy eyes and a weary heart.

 Running on four and a half hours of sleep due to our hours of dreaming and silent prayers in the night, we pushed, perservering in a simple task--buzzing in on Bible Quiz questions. Is this enough? This perservering thing? Is it worth it? Is it all it's cracked up to be? More than today's weariness, is this joy going to overflow? Is this hope going to come? Because uncertainties cloud and when my eyes look up, there is blurry confusion. This blurry confusion? It's where hope introduces itself.

Hope isn't an option or a word overused that really means nothing, in Christ, it's my command. Hope for unseen things on earth; hope for when He makes all things new and we are in His courts forever. It may be deferred, but what is our ultimate good, right, and true hope in Christ if our life is perfect? In His wonderful mystery, in the hardness of life, He brings us closer to His heart. I can't fathom it and I can't tie those truths in a fancy bow. They are what they are and they are magnificent.

Hope waits. It always does. But when the silence is so expansive it’s awkward and her fear hasn’t shrunk small... --Ann Voskamp

  How am I, personally, going to finish that sentence this year?
I see my life in those phrases--''but when the silence is so expansive it's awkward...''
He banishes this fear that overtakes the love in my heart... and hope springs from Love.
Hope grows. It's a long road to hope, but the journey is a good one. May I do this journey justice. May I live like I'm on borrowed time.

  My to-do list expands... my emotions reign for just a moment... my quiet personality is spread so thin it hurts... and then I remember this surrender. ...I'm running to Your arms... the riches of Your love will always be enough... nothing compares to Your embrace...

  Just then, God speaks through one of Ann Voskamp's friends, Maggie:

  “And the truth is: Your 2013 doesn’t need to-do lists like it needs to-God-be-the-glory lists!“--Maggie

 So, with all of these truths in mind, I am putting these new words and these new resoultions as accountability--not regulations or something to be looked down upon if we slip. Here goes:

  • Read more. {even when it means less social media} Record all books written.
  • Daily tell of activities for a collection idea via Pinterest.
  • Do my best on completing Charle's Spurgeon's 'Morning and Evening'.
  • Title every journal entry in 2013 {rather than just the date}.
  • Blog more. Short blogs aren't against Peculiar Treausure's laws. :)
My words picked for 2011 in that long ago January: Hope, friendship, and new beginnings.
These words were rightly picked--they resembled what I was going through. They were a heart-cry and I marvel at His answering of that prayer, even though heartbreak came before I could see it.

My words picked for 2013: Strength {because I need an extra dose}, hope {because it's the last thing I want to work towards}, joy {because it's continually found in Him alone}, and perserverance {because it's essential here between the rains}.

In the meantime, in the midst of this delightful training with our Author, let's enjoy life for goodness sake. Let's be intentional about it. Let's be intentional {period}. Let's smile silly...

Let's be surprised by hope...

Let's read...

Let's be satisfied with His love in the morning...


Let's eat ice cream...

and drink coffee...

and take pictures...
let's giggle... even when it's over the bumpy roads of life...
let's stick together...
and, when we fall down... may we find joy there.

Lord Jesus, do more than we can ask or imagine. Use us so much that we have to come to You for refueling. May we be content, because You, Lord, are better than life or anything in this world. When the day is done, Jesus, may we love you more than we ever have before... and in turn, be in Your perfect will. There is no other place we would rather be.

So, Abba, even when we don't favor being in this new year already, we praise You for it, we surrender it, and we welcome it. :)

I got treasure up in heaven; I got dirt all over me,

What rivers of infinite bliss have their source, ay, and every drop of their fulness in Him! Since, O sweet Lord Jesus, Thou art the present portion of Thy people, favour us this year with such a sense of Thy preciousness, that from it's first to it's last day we may be glad and rejoice in Thee. Let January open with joy in the Lord, and December close with gladness in Jesus. --Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening.

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