It's that time of year - when almost everyone looks change something about themselves for the better. New Year's Resolutions. I try not to make them on the first day of the new year - because in the past, by January 2nd, I have usually failed. Thank God, He gives us a 'do over' every time the sun rises.
A couple of things caught my attention this year, with regard to 'making changes.'
I already told you about Beth Moore's project of memorizing 24 scripture verses this year. I haven't given up on that one yet - but it is a challenge. I have the first 8 words of 34 in my 1st chosen verse. I think later today I need to write a song - to sing them to. Perhaps that will help. I've written them down, created a home page on my computer - so that it is in front of me every time I pass my desk. I am so bad at memorizing so this is definitely something good for me to work on.
I have also read several pages of people picking out a single word to focus on through out the year. I like that idea too. I had an interesting situation arise recently. I re-posted a video on Facebook of someone having a serious temper tantrum in public. Thankfully one of my sisters called me on it. I guess it all comes down to experiences and what we can relate to.
When I see people losing their tempers with their elderly parents in the line at the grocery store - I hurt in my heart for both of them. The elderly parent who is struggling as they age - and the child - who will regret and relive those moments - the first time they shop after their parent has passed away.
I think it all comes down to perspective. I can relate to the elderly parent situation - not that I ever berated my mom in the grocery store in front of others - but I surely remember being embarassed when she couldn't get the electric cart to work right and she completely destroyed the bulk food section by driving into all of the barrels and moving them about. - Oh yes .... I can smile and laugh at it now - but in the moment .... it was hard.
It is easy to put myself in the shoes of others - when I have shared those experiences. Much harder when they are foreign to me, like the woman arguing over a few cents. And so - I have chosen the word PERSPECTIVE as my word to focus my life around this year.
Before I make a judgement, I need to think (duh.... didn't we all learn this in elementary school). I need to put myself in their shoes and imagine why they are reacting or performing in such a way. Look at people the way God looks at people.
I know - this isn't my normal kind of photo - and I didn't take this photo. It was of my dad in Japan 1945-46ish) during WWII - near Mt. Fuji ~ a great photo - I thought, to pair with the word perspective, and help me to remember this year - to put myself in someone else's shoes first - and see things thru their circumstances, before I react, judge, comment or share. To make sure I look at the person in the way God would and respond as an 'imitator of God' (yeah - that is part of my January 1st bible memory verse too :)
Day two of the New Year. We haven't got much snow, and what we did have blew all over the place yesterday with the crazy winds.
The last two weeks have been wonderfully lazy for me. My hubby took lots of time off (take it or lose it - where he works), and the schools have been off, so there has been no subbing work for me, and most of my piano students take a break from piano lessons during the holidays.
I have had such a sense of peace each morning when I come downstairs. I turn on all the colored lights we have decorating our living room, before the sun rises. I have them on the mantel, around the large window and of course on the tree (yes my tree is still up). Larry put about 1500 little colored lights on our 8 1/2 foot Frasir Fir this year. He is such a dear. Took him over 6 hours, LOL! But the sense of peace and calm - as I sit in the darkened room - seeps thru me - as I meditate and pray on the day.
As beautiful as the atmosphere is that we have created - with our mini colored lights, the warmth of a fireplace, the smells of baking bread and coffee filtering through the air and the comfort I take in all of that - it is all nothing compared to the peace and calm and warmth that invades my soul when I think about the love that God has for each one of us.
In this world, it is so hard to see it. We get so caught up in the business of each day, the things that have to be done, the hobbies we have, our addictions to eating or exercise, to work, to clothes .... to .... things.
It can all be likened to winter. The colorful beauty of the green grass, the brown and red robins, the clear water and the blue skies reflected in it, the array of flowers and plants in every imaginable color - all invisible to us with the blanket of frozen white snow and the stillness of the air.
We can't always see God and sometimes have difficulty hearing him through our 'busy'ness - but He is always there - waiting patiently for us to pay attention to Him - and the warm love and comfort He surrounds us with, the peace and joy that lives deep inside us, and the confidence we have that He always keeps His promises.
Breathe deep and sense the wonder of His Love today. Close your eyes and 'see' how He is always there, even in the midst of turmoil. Relax in His arms, and take comfort that He is in control, He can be trusted, He will never give up on you.
Happy New Year. I am excited to share an interesting project this year. Beth Moore at Living Proof Ministries - has a group that will work together to memorize 24 scripture verses this year. (CLICK HERE FOR BETH's WEBPAGE)
I chose my verse to work on for the next two weeks:
Ephesians 5:1-2 NASB "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."
The verse from Psalms 119:11 is just an encouragement to me, to do my best to follow thru.
Whatever you choose to do this year - as a way to grow closer to God, and to be a light in the world for Him, I encourage you to dig into the word and make it part of you. I know I am looking forward to seeing how God will use this in my life. Oh yes ... one more thing - my husband found an interesting piece of software - similar to the iRemember that I used to create my photos for this web page, and I am 'bac in business' :) My Memories Suite 5 looks very promising - there will be a learning curve to be sure - but I am excited for the possibilities.