Thursday, January 2, 2014

The First Day of A New Year

It's here. The new year full of potential. There are some things I feel that I don't even want to write out or say out loud. I figure God knows my heart and Satan can't read minds so if I keep quiet then it can't be used against me.  Maybe?

There are some things that I am hoping to work on this year. Not resolutions so much as life changes that have been in the works for awhile.  Some, like moving towards more whole foods and less packaged and processed foods for our family, have been a goal for awhile.  Others, like trying an elimination diet to find out what exactly is causing the hives I keep getting? are ones I've put off as long as I could and ignored until the time is just right. Well, there's a couple turkeys in the freezer (turkey isn't high on the allergy list did you know that?) and the baby is a toddler who is all done nursing. That makes this the time.

Homeschooling. Well, it's 9 years in and I'm tired.  I'll just say that.  I'm going to have tea with a dear friend and talk some.  It hasn't gotten easier.  The girls desire, and mine too, for music lessons hasn't happened and I'm about to do my best to make it happen this year, Lord willing.

I'll be working at my part time job as often as they'll schedule me. Having even partial benefits for our family through that job has been a blessing.  My co-workers are great and the work environment is good.  My direct sales business I will work as much as God opens doors.  I seriously love it.  Thirty-One Gifts is so much fun and I've enjoyed each of my hosts and their parties where I get a chance to meet their friends, co-workers and neighbors.  We thought Thirty-One was for our planned trip to Florida for Christmas but God knew better.  Florida didn't happen and the income instead paid bills. The girls have been amazing about that despite the major disappointment of yet another fun trip canceled.

 Tim is laid off for the next three months at least and the future isn't certain. It's even more uncertain than usual.  He has dreams and I'd sure like to work beside him to make those happen.  In the mean time we have been blessed by so many in big and small ways.  God is providing.  Through words of encouragement, listening ears, surprise gift baskets or even gift certificates we have been blessed and encouraged.  So while there is definitely stress there is also a drawing near to Jehovah Jireh.

This clinging to hope and trusting? It's hard.  Some days I just want to climb back into bed and under the covers until. . .well, until summer at least.  Hard things keep coming.  Isn't that the truth?  You stand up from one and another wave just may knock you down.  Attitude and faith are the only things we can really control. And controlling faith isn't even really the right way to say it. Hanging on to it and sometimes, sometimes maybe it's not me hanging on so much as me being held onto.  I said that out loud to Tim. Said that I couldn't take any more, that I'm not even hanging on. Then just like that more came and  I am still here.  So maybe it's not me hanging on at all.  Maybe it's God holding me close.  He must get so tired of my whining about the rain on my face when He is bearing the brunt of the storm.

Over the last several years God has impressed on my heart a theme, a challenge, in the form of a phrase or word usually backed up with scriptures.  As December days passed and nothing had been put on my heart I didn't think I'd have one for this year.  Then a word, a desire, came to my heart and I knew.  Hope.  That is my wish, my prayer for 2014, it dawned on me that it is also my word for the year.  It followed in the Bible reading I read (later than I was supposed to in the plan!) with this verse that I've since written on the chalkboard in our dining room.  The word "hope" isn't in it, but fear and a troubled heart are definitely issues directly connected to losing hope.  Fear strangles hope.  Already I have read and repeated it multiple times.

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

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