Friday, December 23, 2011

HOPE Floats into the New Year...

Happy New Year to one and all!
It seems like every year there are those who look forward to the beginning of a new year, because it’s like a fresh start. Maybe you are anxious to say “goodbye” to the year past-with whatever trials and tribulation, heart-breaks and struggles you may have experienced. Then there are those who can hardly bear the thought of letting the past year go because  time seems to be going so fast. Or possibly because it has been a wonderfully life-changing year or maybe it has a lot to do with fear of change or fear of the unknown and the uncertainty of what the coming year might hold.

Whatever the case may be, time marches on and we have little control over that. What we can determine, though, is how we choose to face the unknown and the challenges and struggles that will surely come our way in the year before us.

In my favorite picture of this summer past, eight of my grandchildren are featured with various expressions and emotion. Even though I took the picture, the humor of it didn’t strike me until I saw it in print. I immediately thought, “They are expressing almost every emotion that I have experienced this year!” Seriously, it makes me laugh every time I look at it.

The two youngest, Mary and Nuriah are not happy! They were tired and weary and each wanted her mommy, not more pictures. (Life, at the moment, was overwhelming them and they needed the comfort of safe arms). Two of them, Jacob and Josie, are scratching their chins with a sense of perplexity…pondering something or the other! Aiden is simply contemplating the universe as he knows it. (Personally, I spend a lot of time in contemplation, pondering life situations and trying to make sense of it and find answers that make sense! I know each of these expressions well. And “I just don’t get it” is a phrase that is not foreign to me.) 

Anna (bottom corner right) is totally in a place we affectionately refer to as “Annaland” (My children call my kindred state “Debbyland.” I think they are right next door to each other.) Ian looks like he just whacked Nuriah on the top of the head and is watching the aftermath and waiting for the consequences and his brother Ricki is laughing about the whole situation!

Laughter, wonder, frustration, consternation and ornery delight about sums it up! Well, actually I could add a few more. This year I have known anger and total bewilderment and great joy and monumental excitement and untold grief. But I have also seen miracles of the most miraculous kind! Through it all, the good, the bad and the ugly, my hope remains fully and steadfast on my Father God. I know, beyond any shadow of doubt that He loves me. He is available to me and His promises to give me HOPE for whatever this New Year holds. 

My family already knows that, the LORD willing, in May of this year we will be celebrating and rejoicing in the birth of Eli. At the same time, we are daily expecting to hear a diagnosis about another child that is already causing us to cling harder to our God. I am glad that He has given me the blessed assurance that I can bring all of my “stuff” to Him and rest easy...with HOPE!

One of my favorite songs is sung by Twila Paris. She says so well what my heart cries.

The Warrior is a Child
Lately I've been winning battles left and right 
But even winners can get wounded in the fight 
People say that I'm amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don't see inside of me
I'm hiding all the tears

They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around 
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child

Unafraid because His armor is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I'm amazing
Never face retreat
But they don't see the enemies
That lay me at His feet

I know that the same hope I held onto through this last year, in my Awesome God, will float right on in to 2012 with me and I remain, as always Blessed and Highly Favored.

I don’t think it’s ever to early to begin to consider, and have a plan in mind-we plan for almost everything, don’t we? So, how will you face the coming year and whatever comes with it? I hope it will be with trust, with faith and with HOPE in Christ Jesus.

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