Tuesday, January 1, 2013

***New Year...New Hope***

Looking back over 2012, I find that I have many things to be thankful for.  This past year, although challenging in many new ways, has proved to be filled with many blessings for us all!  Even in the midst of all of the many blessings, there has been some things that need our attention more so than ever.

Before Advent I tried to prepare for my family to relax and enjoy the peace that comes with the birth of Jesus.  Unfortunately, my Advent was anything but filled with peace.  Between all of the hustle and bustle of the season that I try to desperately avoid and all of the hectic scheduling that seems to go into overdrive this time of year {many basketball practices, choir practice, church school, meetings, piano and swim lessons and cubscouts} my days were not what come to mind when I would imagine peace.  The plans that I made for my family quickly went straight out the window along with all of the ideals that were attached to them.  Over time (a few weeks to be honest) I made peace with letting it all go.

We did not do all of the extras that I had wanted to do.
We did do the usual things that have become tradition in my home:
Attend the Nutcracker together, bake way too many Christmas cookies, make gingerbread houses and sing tons of Christmas carols.

but, I was still missing that peace that I so craved and searched for.

I felt like I was playing Hide and Seek with God.  He was always there, but, sometimes unintentionally I hid much too well.

We did not send Christmas cards this year or make those really cute ornaments that I found online and purchased all the fixings to do or get all of the Jesse Tree ornaments that I made last year to match the readings from our Jesse Tree (really stressed over that one!)...and you know what....Christmas came anyway!

To quote Dr, Seuss...."It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

We are all given many presents at Christmastime, but,
the biggest and best present is His Presence to us all.  God became man to save us all and to pave our way to Heaven and eternal salvation. 

It's not that I *had* to have things a certain way, but, put undue pressure on myself to make things just so and that really overflows into alot of our lives from time to time.

2013 comes as a new way, a new start or as my boys would say when playing a game "restart."  They like to call out restart when a game is not quite going the way they would like.  So I am calling a restart for 2013!

2012 began well and I was off and running a good and steady race, but, sometime in Spring I got comfortable.  Spring is my favorite time of year especially after a long snowy winter!  I tend to lose focus easily and this year lost lots of steam as well.  I was feeling MUCH better  and what I was doing to heal my stomach from the damage of the recently diagnosed Crohn's disease was really working!  I felt wonderful!  I had not felt well in over a year and it was fantastic to not be in pain each day!

You would think that feeling well would increase momentum and wanting to get back on track to be more organized and structured and saintly, but, it did not.

I had my new healthier lifestyle in place for four months and it was fairly easy to maintain and adhere to.  I was eating the right foods, taking the right supplements and *trying* to handle stress in a healthier manner.    So...since I felt better, I relaxed and it all slowly started slipping downhill.  I really have good intentions and do try, but, I find that some of the best guidance that Jesus sends to me gets washed away by normal daily life and all that it entails.  I try my best, but, will admit that at times I am overwhelmed or discouraged and that is where it all goes astray.  The Holy Spirit loves to visit with me early in the morning {5am as I am writing this} and fills my heart at times with wonderful and needed thoughts, answers to prayers.  As I go about my day, I remember what He has put on my heart, but, at times {many times recently}I find myself at a roadblock. Unexpected things come along, little people who have their own agendas and not always looking to follow along with mine (or His), running here, there and everywhere is also not conducive to peaceful living at times.

As I truthfully look back on 2012, I can see places where I have fallen short or not even come close to what *I had planned.*  It is not all bad though, because the beautiful thing about a new year is there are new hopes, aspirations and a fresh re-start to do *His will.*  Maybe the reason I fell short on my plan was because it was not part of His plan for my family.

So here is to a brand new blessed year for us all to keep our hearts open, to look at the unbelievable beautiful presents that God has given each of us and to listen carefully when He speaks to our hearts and minds.  So here is to running a slow and steady race and keeping our eyes in His sight and not getting discouraged.  Here is to the peace that comes from knowing that we are all walking together with Him and picking up our crosses each day and carrying them with a happy heart.  Here is also to not being discouraged, anxious or overwhelmed and having the strength and endurance to keep running a good race!

1 comment:

  1. Happy and blessed New Year, Ann-Marie! May the good Lord bring you abundant peace in the New Year. Did you see the beautiful homily that our Papa wrote for the New Year about peace? It really puts everything in right perspective. I've included the link for your readers too:)You are a good and faithful servant and your perseverance will lead you to the face of Jesus. Much love to you!