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Monday, December 30, 2013

End And Begin Again

Endings can be sad, or joyful as they lead into new adventures. The end of a year can cause us to reflect on joys, maybe sorrows, and the journey that is behind. I look back on my year with many blessings, but also some regret and yes, even some sadness. Usually when we look back, it is too easy to miss the blessings. Somehow the sad things and regrets overshadow the good. Everyday, God blessings are most often dispersed to us
through our day. It may be as simple as a smile when we started our day sad. It could be an unexpected invitation to lunch by a dear friend. It might be a hug, and a kind word. It may be a scripture that perfectly speaks to our spirit exactly when needed. Big, God blessings may not come on a daily basis, but when they happen, it makes our hearts sing. It could be healing for an illness, perhaps a loved one or friend accepted Jesus because you shared, and God honored. Any number of prayers are answered in our lives and God blesses.

A huge blessing and joy for me was to be allowed to be the Director of our Church Grief Ministry. I am privileged to send out grief material, cards, and phone calls to help families through the pain of loss. God has blessed me by using me on Sundays to minister to hurting women, who just need an ear, a hug, and a prayer. I feel honored that God would use me in any way. Yes that is a huge blessing. This year has also brought new babies to dear friends and family. It is always a joy to share in these young families lives, and help them celebrate new life. The beauty of Facebook is instant updates before and after birth, and pictures of little smiling faces. 

Friends and family also had their share of deaths in their families. The family members and friends we lost all knew Jesus as their Savior, so there will be rejoicing in heaven one day. On the sad side, my sister and brother-in-law were hospitalized and then had to go to rehab. They need more care now, and we pray each day for their protection. These are the hard things in a year, because you want to help, but that isn't always possible. The saddest part of our year was watching our beloved Fox Terrier, Samson, slip into old age at 17. He was a good boy, and tried for a year to hang on for us. He got very weak, and we knew it was time to say goodby. Again, God, was there with a dog who needed a home. Molly is also a Fox Terrier, and she came to fill our hearts with joy. She turned one in July. Our neighbors down the hall two in fact, each lost a beloved dog this year. Again, the blessing was God providing a new fur friend for each, and the fact that we are all there for each other when crisis hits!

Regrets? Not really, but I do want to spend more time with The Lord. I want to be more intentional in Bible Study, and prayer time. I want to be even more in tune, so I don't miss any opportunities to serve Him, and minister to others. I suppose if I had a wish, it would be to become closer to being a Proverbs 31 woman. I have been blessed to know several women that play out that model everyday with their families, and their friends. I truly admire such unselfish service, and their doing great things for their families. They sew, knit, can, make jelly, as well as take care of husbands and children. Even when tired, they keep that sweet, sweet spirit.

We ended our year with the Christmas Pageant at our church. It was 11 presentations which kept us busy, and tired. It is always a joyous highlight to the year because many come to know Jesus as Savior because of the pageant. It is also a sweet time of fellowship with friends and church members. After that it is Christmas, two grandchildren birthdays, and time with family. All in all a year goes by very fast. Amid the ups and downs we are blessed, we are happy, we get through all that comes our way, and we journey through the rough spots. If you know Christ, if you are His, if you have a personal relationship with Him, He will be in every second, every minute, hour, day, and go with you each step. If you don't have that relationship with Him....maybe this will be your year! Have a very Happy and Blessed New Year!