New Year Ramblings

Happy New Year! This also happens to be my oldest daughter’s birthday and since she was born there has never been a celebration to top that one so watching the ball drop is not on my agenda! I go to bed early and plan a party for her.  She has been a joy! Actually, she is in Philadelphia today visiting her sister and little Payson so no party to plan but gifts to wrap for her when she comes back!

I hope that your holidays were very special and you had moments to reflect on the meaning of the season. Sometimes we get so busy that the time goes by before we have the opportunity to enjoy the true meaning and value of the times.

This morning I spent some time reviewing my journals from the past year. Sometimes that is encouraging to see where I have grown and what God has done – other times it is discouraging to see where I am still struggling with the same issues! But the overarching theme is the faithfulness of God to me. The promises of God that have been my comfort and guide.

My sweet friend, Jane Bateman, sent me a wonderful book for Christmas, Heaven Has Blue Carpet by Sharon Niedzinski. It is the story of a suburban housewife who decides to become a sheep  grower – her insights are marvelous. I was convicted by something she quoted from the NIV Life Application Study Bible on Numbers 16:41.  It caught me up short. “Just one day after Korah and his followers were executed for grumbling and complaining against God, the Israelites started all over with more muttering and complaining. Their negative attitude only caused them to rebel even more and to bring about even greater trouble. It eroded their faith in God and encouraged thoughts of giving up and turning back. The path to open rebellion against God begins with dissatisfaction and skepticism, then moves to grumbling about both God and circumstances. Next comes bitterness and resentment, followed finally by rebellion and open hostility…Beware! These attitudes lead to rebellion and separation from God.”

I saw myself in the Israelites. A small complaint can snowball and pretty soon we are finding fault with God. Then rebelling because we don’t like what He is doing or how He is doing it. Satan loves this – it is his play ground. I have asked God to help me in this area this year.  I want to be more positive and more grateful. Romans chapter 1 illustrates the downward spiral of sinful man which results in God turning man over to their wicked ways…the root of it all was not giving God thanks. Wow! I certainly don’t want to be guilty of that!

So…I am going to start a “gratitude journal”. Each day I want to write down at least one thing I am grateful for and thank God all day long for it and then review it that night. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. Today I am grateful for my family. My children and grandchildren. My kind, sweet husband and his 3 young sons who are letting me “do it again”. What joy to pull up to my daughter’s house and have the grandchildren come running out with smiles on their faces greeting me , “Mackie!” (what they call me). It makes my heart sing!

This week I was able to go visit my father. He is amazing! He is doing so much better and is planning to preach again – even working on his text! His mind is very clear and he is working very hard with his physical therapist so he will be strong enough. That is such a delight for me. Back in July I was not sure he would live to see Christmas. Now I am beginning to think he might rival Bev Shea who turns 101 next month! God says that long life is a blessing. My father is blessed. And his blessing blesses me – more than I can express. He is such a kind and gentle man. Talk about someone who has a grateful spirit!! Keep praying for him. Thank you.

Happy New Year!

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