She Smiles at Her Future: New Year, New Beginnings

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She Smiles at Her Future (Proverbs 31:25)

I’ve never been one to set definite New Year resolutions. However if I did they would probably be similar each year – such as improving fitness, or overcoming glaringly obvious character flaws. I do however, have a definitive goal for my eldest child – to maintain a tidier bedroom! It frequently resembles the epicentre of a large earthquake, currently about a 7.9 on the richter scale. And this may well be my New Year resolution for him every year until he leaves home! And I’d like my eldest daughter to refrain from having daily Oscar worthy tantrum performances over clothing! I’ve asked the teachers at her kindergarten whether they have considered introducing a uniform! It would certainly make life easier.

This year I would like to cultivate more simplicity and more gratitude in my life. I’d also like to be mindful of busyness, as while many new year resolutions seem to be about doing more, I’d actually like to do less. To slow down and smell the roses more,  and to be able to just ‘be’ in the present with my children and not feel like I have to be ‘doing’ something. I guess I’d like to be more like Mary and less like Martha. I’d also like to move toward de-cluttering materially and in other ways. See http://www.householdlogistics.blogspot for the De-Clutter Challenge 2014 which I intend to participte in, and http://www.itakejoy.com for a thought-provoking discussion on how to de-clutter mentally. I love technology and what it can offer us in this day in age. What an amazing tool we have at our fingertips. However it seems that technology can also clutter our lives if we aren’t careful. The endless stream of emails, facebook status updates, apps, pinterest pins, tweet and texts. We are embedded in a culture of distraction with many things competing for our attention. We live in an age where instant communication technology allows anyone, anywhere, anytime to attempt to distract us.  It seems that we need to be very intentional about not allowing these distractions to persuade us, as if we are not careful we can be easily distracted from fulfilling God’s vision and purpose for our lives. I guess another new year resolution I have is to be mindful of the place of technology in my life, to be moderate in the use of facebook and the like, being careful that it doesn’t dominate to the detriment of relationships with family members.

As a Christian, one verse from the Word of God that really resonates with me as we move into 2014 is:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’ (1 Corinthians 2:9).

It seems that 2013 has been a difficult year for many. And hope deferred makes the heart sick. There are many dear friends of mine that have faced trying trials and very challenging times this year, whether through disappointment, financial hardship, or the loss of a much wanted baby or much loved husband, to name a few. And for those who find themselves in this category, it is my hope and prayer that you would know God’s adundant grace and everlasting love as we move into a New Year. May we all have hopeful expectation of good things to come, that He is doing a new thing; and that we would have an increase in perception to see these new things springing forth. For those who have known much pain in 2013, may they find healing from the former things that may have caused deep soul wounds, knowing that He came to bind up the brokenhearted. May we take hold of the promise in the book of Isaiah that says that He will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43: 18-19).

And for those who are perhaps just worn down tired and weary from the endless demands and little irritants of everyday life, may they experience deep refreshment and be able to fully enter God’s rest, knowing that those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 41: 33). Wouldn’t it be a wonderful if we were a people able to ‘smile at her future. (Proverbs 31:25). May we smile at 2014 – with hope that it is going to be full of peace and promise. Blessings for a Happy New Year.

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