It's fun to flip through photos of the past year and to see all the fullness we have experienced. Times we forget, goodness overlooked, a memory obscured. We seem to have short term memory loss quite easily! That's why it's fun and encouraging to take some time to look back and see the goodness and faithfulness of God in a year...looking through photos, reviewing a daily journal or even glancing back through the family calendar. I always seem to say "Oh yeah, I forgot about that! Wasn't that amazing?!" I have been reminded this afternoon of trips taken, camping fun, new directions in crafting, ways my children have changed and grown, beauty in the dailiness, and God's constant hand of grace holding onto mine.
It's been a good year because He is good.
Even in the surprises and disappointments or the unforeseen turns, He has quietly guided, answered, called, given, shown, and loved beyond what I know I deserve. Another year of quiet graces from a Father's hand that show me His unwavering and overflowing Love.
When the end of a year comes and I have taken time to remember His goodness, I then take time to pray about the coming year and what He has for me. The last few years my heart has been impressed by a simple word at the beginning of the year and that seems to be a guiding theme of what I learn that year. A few years ago the word was rest. And I learned about God's heart for me as His little lamb. In 2007 my word was joy. I focused on positive living and God's good character which lifted me out of self-pity and lifted my eyes towards Him and others. And in 2008 it has been nurture...I have sensed the Lord as a kind compassionate nurturer towards me and in turn and have been able to nurture and care for my children in greater ways. That word brings tears to my eyes!
As I have been reflecting today, the word awareness really keeps coming to mind. Being present in the moment. Aware of my children, their needs, and their hearts. Aware of the beauty God brings into my day every morning. Aware of nature and its offerings to breathe and be. Aware of community and my need for it and taking steps to build it. Aware of the needy and broken and helping...no matter how small the step. More alive, more in tune...eyes wide open. To really see and experience life fully.
May we all have eyes to see the good in our lives in 2008 and the ability to keep our eyes open to all the good that is heading our way in 2009!!
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever
**okay, right after I wrote this I found out that others have been also picking out "one word" at the beginning of each year...isn't that so cool!?! Go see and please share with me your word in my comments :) **