Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thoughts for the New Year

It must be midnight because the fireworks are exploding outside my window.  Our church had a half night of prayer and fasting to bring in the New Year.  I don’t usually get to attend these prayer meetings because of the kids.  Ben usually goes for all or most of the time.  Tonight I enjoyed sitting in my clean living room with a cup of tea, my Bible, my Kindle, my planner, and a new book.  I made a few goals – not for the whole year, but for the next few months until our twins arrive.  I thought back on 2012.  I read.  I prayed.

I have so much to be thankful for.  Here are a few things that came across my mind as I thanked God for 2012:

  • Ben is employed
  • We have a new apartment, on the first floor
  • Our church is rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, and God has greatly provided.
  • A friend, displaced by the hurricane, moved into a new apartment today.
  • A friend is now expecting
  • The story of a little baby who was not expected to live has encouraged me many days and reminded me how often I take the health of my family for granted
  • Twins expected to make their appearance in about 4 months.  They are healthy and I have had an easy pregnancy, all things considered.
  • My parents, who faithfully drove many miles to take us to church and youth group.  I’m sure I often took it for granted, but now that I am a parent I am realizing how much effort goes into training a child in the things of the Lord.
  • My grandparents, from whom I count my godly heritage.  They are aging and struggling with different issues, but all three of them continue to have a testimony for the Lord.
  • God’s Word {and many Christian blogs which have pointed me to God’s Word} which has encouraged me.
  • Two godly “older” ladies who pray for me specifically and often ask how things are going.  Their testimony and advice has been priceless.

As I look forward to 2013, I know that many changes are in store.  We are adding two little people to our family…at one time.  I cannot imagine what life will be like in the next year.  Exhausting mostly.  Lots of joys, too.  Ben may be seeking an employment change so he can further his ministry training.  This will be a big transition.  We are praying about a ministry location and God’s timing for deputation.  There are lots of decisions that go along with that.

There are areas in which I failed during 2012, and I want to start fresh in 2013.  I want to be more faithful in my daily reading of God’s Word.  I often feel like a new mom, struggling to find my routine and “fit in” my devotions when the kids are always wanting my attention.  I was on a good track for a while, until I became pregnant and struggled again to get up early in the mornings.

51aZ1MxgF1L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_My mom gave me a book for Christmas called At the Feet of Jesus.  It is collection of excerpts from the books of Joanna Weaver arranged into daily devotional readings.  I have already been blessed and challenged by it.  They are short, and easy to incorporate into a daily devotion time.  At the end of the book, Joanna has a unique Bible reading schedule.  I really like the layout and I am planning to use this for my daily reading in 2013. 

One of the best features that I see are the frequent “catch-up” days – scattered throughout the month and on several days at the end of each month.  I’m sure this will be life-saving to me as a mommy of little kids and uncertain daily events.  I also like that she alternates between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and separates like books such as the Gospels and the epistles.  This provides variety and allows for a fresh view when you return to that “genre” of the Bible.

You can customize, download, and print this schedule from Joanna’s website at www.becominghis.com.  This is a great resource for the new year, especially if you are wanting to improve in your Bible reading.

I am also incorporating an ebook entitled Plenty into my daily devotions.  It is encouraging, especially to moms, who always have plenty to do, but need to be reminded that there is plenty of grace to go along with mothering.  Kari Patterson also has a blog called Sacred Mundane which has encouraged me in the past {though I cannot endorse all of her content}.

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