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Posts Tagged ‘new year’

Several  years ago I began a New Year’s MORE and LESS practice.  A look back at the year just ending and forward to the year ahead—in conversation with God.

What were some attitudes/actions/activities that characterized my life this past year?  Which would I like to see LESS of, and what would I like to see MORE of?  Gratefully, I have seen change in most of these arenas.  Yet my list remains remarkably the same, adding or subtracting only a few each year.

2013-new_year_wallpaper_2013-8

I do set a few specific, measurable goals, as the life coaches say I should.  Those goals will often come out of these heart desires.  I know it is impossible to see significant change in so many areas.  These MORE and LESS statements, thus, really reflect the ongoing work I hope God keeps doing in me.  And they embody my commitment to cooperate with Him.  (more…)

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It’s time for change.  The old year ends, a new year begins.  We reflect on the past 365 days—highlights and lowlights, choices made, dreams pursued or lost, rejoicing or regrets.  And we ponder the coming year:  expectations, resolutions, hopes, dreams. 

I wrote this a couple of years ago—about an ending and a beginning.  As I reread it, it was a good reminder about the pain and hope in ending one chapter and beginning a new one.  May it help you as you prepare to say good-bye to 2012 and good morning to 2013.

book pages

Finishing a good book is bittersweet for me.  I love being in the story, knowing the people, being a part of the action.  But when I turn the last page, I feel sad.  It’s over.  My life will go on, but those brief relationships will end.

Yesterday was such a bittersweet day.   (more…)

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I have the privilege of being in a prayer community of people who love prodigals.  They have or have had loved ones who wandered far from God–and them, usually–and they pray for each other.  Periodically I get to write a letter to encourage all of us.  Perhaps you or someone you know needs such encouragement.  So here is my most recent Letter to Lovers of Prodigals.


Dear Lover of Prodigals,

 
Hope.  Newness.  Resolutions.  Promise fulfilled.  Past forgiven.

 
A new year lifts us up, shaking off the remnants of last year’s mistakes, opening a panorama of a better future.  We love to leave the hurts and failures of yesterday, believing that tomorrow is filled with sunshine and promise.

 
Except, when you love a prodigal.  Too often fears win out.  You hope, but you dare not “get your hopes up.”  You dream, hoping it doesn’t once again become a nightmare.  You believe, but always with clouds of doubt blocking the brightness you desire.

 
We have had some wonderful stories of hope fulfilled and dreams coming true among those we have loved and prayed for this past year.  We are so grateful, and praise fills our hearts and our mouths.

 
We have also had disappointments, bad choices, painful separations, even tragedies.  Hopefully even in those we can say, “Thank You, Lord.”

 
Because we have faithful Father, a compassionate Savior and a powerful Holy Spirit.  And the assurance that all the promises of God are “Yes!” in Jesus.

 
Can we have hope for the new year?  Assuredly so!  Will all our desires and dreams come to pass?  Assuredly no.  Will our prodigals break our hearts again.  Likely so.  Will we make mistakes as we seek to restore and reconcile?  Without a doubt.

 
The only certainty we have is in God.

 
He knows:  He knows your plans, your prayers for next year.  He knows the choices your loved one will make.  He knows His grand plan and how all this works together.

 
He cares:  He looks at them and at us with tender tears.  He feels the rejection, the loss, the torment, the disappointment.  He stays with us through it all.

 
He is able:  He is not a God who wishes He could help.  He can.  He is El Shaddai, the Almighty.  He rules heaven and earth.  And our lives.  He said that NOTHING is impossible for Him.

 
So my challenge to you, to myself, is to make God Himself the object of my new year hopes and dreams.  To seek Him above all.  To entrust my prodigal and myself into His loving and able care.  To surrender my plans, to believe His very good intentions, to trust His Spirit to give me everything I need with my loved one in the coming year.

 
May His grace flow over you.

 
Judy

 


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Two years ago I began a New Year’s MORE and LESS practice.  A look back at the year just ending and forward to the year ahead—in conversation with God.

 

 

What were some attitudes/actions/activities that characterized my life this past year?  Which would I like to see LESS of, and what would I like to see MORE of?  Gratefully, I have seen change in most of these arenas.  Yet my list remains remarkably the same, adding or subtracting only a few each year.

 

I do set some specific, measurable goals, as all the gurus say I should.  Those goals will often come out of these heart desires.  I know it is impossible to see significant change in so many areas.  These MORE and LESS  statements, thus, really reflect the ongoing work I hope God keeps doing in me.  And they embody my commitment to cooperate with Him.

 

My list for 2011:

 

More of You and less of me.

 

More resting in your loving sovereignty and less thinking I have any control over anything.

 

More living on my face before You and less being in Your face.

 

More thanking and less grumbling.

 

More walking in the Spirit and less running on empty.

 

More Spirit-powered discipline and less self-serving procrastination.

 

More treating my body like God’s temple and less abusing it by my eating and lack of exercise and sleep.

 

More relaxed time with my family and less working them into my schedule.

 

More surrender, less rebellion.

 

More resting and less rushing around.

 

And, because it is impossible for me to do all this, I desire to receive more grace from God for ALL He is doing in and through me.

 

 

C 2010 Judy Douglass

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