At The Cottage Background

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New and Changing

This isn't anything new. I suppose.
I suppose that there are so many that have already begun, and already finished what it is they want to say.
It's the New Year.
New beginnings and new things to change.
Undoubtedly… new things to say.
I suppose I'm a little late.
It almost feels new. Sitting here. Typing away and doing what my heart longs to do all the time.
It is everything. It is my expression of faith. My testament to the life that I am endeavoring to live.
It is documented proof of my heart.
I just don't have the luxury of time these days. I wish I did.
I've covered that before though. That is nothing new.

As the shower drips, even after being fixed once already, the dishes stand in the sink, my laundry waits impatiently to be done, home school lessons to prepare, dinners to prepare… well… we won't go into that now. There is always so much that is constantly trying to get my attention. Things that need my attention.
I could ignore it all. I suppose.
But I think we all know that those things in our lives that demand to be noticed almost always end up getting our full attention. Or at least the bits and pieces that we have left to give. And we are not allowed to just walk away no matter how much we want to. No matter how badly we fuss, cry, and plead for it all to just stop. For just one second.

This is life. We can choose how we look at it.
I have to admit. Right here in this place where I feel like I can express myself more fully.
I haven't had the best outlook over the last season of my life that was 2012.
Maybe you can echo the same emotions as I.
Tension. Regret. Frustration. Doubt. Fear. Disappointment.
There have been joyous moments though.
Surprises that took my breath away. Moments that changed everything in the middle of a heartbeat.
Sweet memories and silent reflections.
Learning to trust God in ways that I thought were mastered.
I learned quickly this year… we never master. We get better. Maybe even good. But if we could possibly master the things that try so hard to keep us from where we need to be… we wouldn't need Him.
Oh… how we desperately need Him.    I need Him.
And although those moments that I would rather run from seem to overshadow the ones that I want to savor, I realize that they are the very things that have been shaping my faith this year. Re-directing my focus. Changing me. Tearing away at my resistance. Answering words that were whispered in the stillness of dark nights, only the stars as my witness. Answers that I couldn't identify at first. They looked so different than I imagined them to.

He asked me to trust Him.
It was barely heard. It came so softly.
But I felt it. Deep where it matters most. It scared me a little. I'm not going to lie. When you are asked to trust it usually entails falling. I don't do well falling. Only if I am in control of the speed and direction in which I'm going. Only if I know what is coming next. What can be expected.
This past year wasn't any of those.

That is the past.
This is a new year.
A fresh start.
Isn't it what we all long for? And not just in January?
Yet…. why is it we start out so eager only to falter so soon after take off? I always have great intentions. Bible studies I am going to do, books I want to read,  exercise goals to make me more fit, doing more good wherever good may need to be done.
The list is long. No wonder I hiccup a week or so out of the gate.
This year... the year that feels different somehow in so many ways. Like changing tide and shifting sand. Right before the season got busier and the celebrations began to get underway.
I heard Him whisper again. This time louder… but not much.
I wasn't expecting it. Not so soon after the last one. We usually only do these talks once a year.
This was different. This was a change.
A year of change.
I tried not to wince. I held onto it for a while turning it over and over, finally ending up with the realization that there was a seed of hope buried in it. I'm not afraid of change. In fact it usually indicates adventure to me. It used to make me well up with excitement. But not lately. Not after this past year. I hate to admit that I'm a little jaded now. A little harder. And a lot broken.  So after finally letting the word settle in and find the place He meant for it to go, I just sat. Right here. At this desk. Staring at the white screen and wondering if I heard Him correctly. Almost daring myself to believe that I could hope at all. Hoping that the change that He is talking about will be better than the things that I have had to walk through lately.
On the heels of this moment I have felt the gentle pressure on my heart to begin walking in an attitude of thankfulness.
Constant, inundated thankfulness.
The conscious decision to choose to be thankful.
To allow the attitude of gratefulness to change me from the inside out. To prepare my heart. To make me more into the person He wants me to be.
Praising Him no matter what. Even when it hurts. When it requires more of me than just wisps of breath uttered in a song.

Trust. Faith. Thankfulness. Change….. HOPE.

New… and changing.

I'm not sure what this year holds for me. For us. I still can't see what is up ahead and around the corner.
I want to search longingly for all the answers. They don't often come the way I want. Is it too much to hope that they do? Is it wrong?

“Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness.
Surely my soul remembers
 And is bowed down within me.
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassion's never fail.
They are new every morning; 
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.” Lamentations 3: 19-24

I. Have. Hope.
It has been spoken over and over to us. My family. Time and again. The same words ringing… repeating…
Jeremiah 29: 11-13… Psalm 103… Psalm 139… Isaiah 43… 

Change. Development. Metamorphosis. Transition. Refinement. Transformation.
Like a change in the air. A soft breeze that brings with it the promise of hope. The scent of something good to come. I am holding onto this. I am clinging and not letting go. Repenting and surrendering. 
I am waiting. 
It is coming.
Can you feel it….?  
Because I don't just believe that it is for us. I believe it is for you too.

… until another tomorrow.

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