Friday, December 30, 2011


As the year comes to a close and a new one dawns, we tend to look back and weigh the year to see if it met our expectations. Children are born, people die, new jobs start, old jobs end, books read, houses purchased, divorces, separations, hellos, goodbyes, the list could go on and on. In the end, we put the year into a plus or minus, red or black, good or bad.

But I don't want to do that this year. Yes, the year has held some ups and downs, but any year that ends, and any year that I can reflect on is a good year. I'm alive. I'm here. I lived through another year. And even if I didn't survive the year, ignoring the fact that I wouldn't be writing this post, it would mean that I was present with my Lord. So how can it not turn out to be a good year?

I don't make resolutions. Resolutions are broken, never kept. And truly, anything important enough to be made into a resolution should be put into practice as soon as you realize the need, well before January 1st rolls around again.
There are some things in my life that I am trying to improve. The number one most important thing is my relationship with Christ. It always seems as if that is the first thing I let go. Then others follow quickly. And I could make a list a mile long of things I wanted to do better, ways to improve myself, things I wanted to accomplish. But I have no hope of ever being able to cross those things off my list permanently without the help of Jesus. Sure, maybe I could get better for a time, or change for a season, but real, honest improvement comes for the Lord.

It's so easy to forget the little things. Breath, air, sleep, food, clothing, the ability to walk, water, being able to read, laughter, tears, friendship, love. All of those things come from God. I can strive to attain all of those things for myself, I can even fool myself into thinking I have them. But without God, it's all just an illusion. He is love. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. It is only because of Him that I wake up every morning, take a breath, take a step, live my life. The thing I hope most to accomplish this coming year is to draw closer to Him.

Without Him, nothing else matters. When I reflect on the past year, it is Him I want to see, where He touched my life, the walk that we took together. When we look into a mirror we see our reflection. I hope, I pray that when I look into the mirror of each year that the reflection staring back at me is Him.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A new year, a new challenge

I have been completely slacking in the Bible reading department lately. I can't put my finger on why, but I just can't seem to keep it up. And it shows.

So when a friend sent me a link to the 3650 challenge, I was very intrigued. So intrigued that I decided to try it. I started gathering all the details, mentioned it to my mother (who then promptly decided she wanted to try it as well), and started preparing for January 1st. I even made myself an excel spreadsheet to use to keep track of my daily readings. There is a schedule for the challenge, but it's in more of a list form and I like seeing each chapter I need to read each specific day of the month. I'm really excited.

I read through the information about the challenge from the man who designed it, Grant Horner, and there were a couple of things that stood out to me in such clarity that I was awestruck. He talked about having occasionally done the reading in slightly different ways but that the key was to stick with it for at least 30 days. "The key is to get into a habit for a month. Then you'll see you've probably been starving yourself." A light bulb went off when I read that. I have been starving myself. I have not been spending time with my Lord. And that is something that should never happen. I should be spending time with Him daily.

One other thing that Grant Horner said was "Your Bible is the only thing on Earth that, as you wear it out, will actually work better and better." Wow! Another light bulb moment. Isn't that so true? If I am wearing out my Bible by reading it so much, well, then I am getting closer and closer to God. And as I get closer and closer to Him, my life will definitely get better and better.

I am so ready for this new challenge. I wonder why I waited so long.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Look at the Lord

Tonight, Monkey was playing with the Veggie Tales nativity. He asked if he could put it under the tree. I said fine and then went to look at it. He had arranged all of the figures facing in and I asked him why. He said, "They all want to look at the Lord."

I am struck by the fact that my almost 5 year old has such insight that many grown adults don't have. What matters most is that we look at the Lord.
It's such a struggle this time of the year. We are trapped in a crazy, plastic, jingly, artificial world that tells us to buy more stuff. It's like we've been hypnotized. We dash around like mad trying to find just the right thing for every person on our list. Even churches get in on it. There's all kinds of activities, everyone tries to outdo each other. There's plays, songs, crafts, each one bigger and better than last year. We whip ourselves into a frenzy and we forget what really matters.

I am trying to do it this year. I'm going to do my best to keep looking at the Lord.