Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's a blog ,eat ,blog world....

January. For a month that heralds new beginnings, it's my least favorite. There are so many exciting things that need attention, so many opportunities, but I feel like I'm stuck in my cave waiting for the spring thaw. Left to myself I would blog....read a bunch of blogs.....eat....read more blogs....eat ( chocolate)....have a cup of coffee to switch things up a bit......and read some more.

This year is my fortieth. Not that this is incredibly significant to me, other than the fact that I think I should have made peace with myself by now and have some idea of how to settle in to life authentically. Honestly living. Engaging the culture I live in the way I am designed to do---with compassion, courtesy and grace, but without apology at the same time.

It's been an interesting week full of paradoxes---worship and doubt, excitement and hesitation, confidence and uncertainty. As I am sorting through teenagers applying for early entry to college classes, finding community in my community, figuring out how to portfolio for the first time in our homeschool journey.....I'm feeling a bit like the new girl in class---wondering if I've got something stuck in my braces and if anyone is gonna ask me to sit at their lunch table.

If I'm honest with myself I'll recognize that I've already been issued the invitation of a lifetime.

The people I love, I call to account---prod and correct and guide so that they'll live at their best. Up on your feet, then. About face! Run after God!'
Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That's my gift to the conquerors! Are your ears awake? Listen, listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.

Way back in the day from high school latin class, I remember that Janus was the Roman god with two faces who stood in the door, looking ahead and looking behind. January fits that bill pretty well---I tend to look back on the things that have happened, that should have happened and wonder what's next. At this moment, I'm feeling that time is too precious to squander in my January funk.....I want to live a life of substance right now---not a life of glory, but a glorious life. One that resonates with truth, honesty, laughter, mistakes that have been learned from, compassion freely given---a life that is listening to the Wind Words....excuse me, there's Someone at the door. I'm pretty sure He's inviting me to sit at His lunch table.....it isn't with the popular crowd, but that makes it all the more significant....

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Singing in the rain
Jake saves the day
Outer Banks
Audubon Swamp

Thanks for the memories, 2007!

Making noodles with dad for Thanksgiving
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Christmas in NYC
Times Square
Ice skating at Bryant Park

Hello 2008!

As excited as I am by the feeling of a fresh new start every January, you'd think that I would remember I get one every day.....Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!" Lamentations 3:22-23 exclamation point, mine.

Some ladies I enjoy on a homeschool message board that I frequent way too often inspired me to choose a word to focus on for this upcoming year. I chose grace.
Grace is usually defined as "unmerited favor". I am not the queen of dispensing unmerited favor....I tend to give love in return, to offer praise for a job well done, to respond in kind. This year I want to freely give, to be the person who loves in spite of circumstances, hurtful words or bad attitudes. I want to be an example to my children of how to love my husband, them, my parents and my neighbors without a motive or agenda. My desire is that I'd be more giving to those I live with and love the most than I am to strangers....in short, I really want to put my best face forward where it really counts---in the trenches where I tend to be most lax about what people think.
I want to be a reflection of the lavish grace that has been poured out on my life by a beautiful Saviour who knows no boundaries.....my heart is to have that same grace for others this year--in my words, my actions, my responses and my offerings.

2007 was a full year, full of joy and hope and a few disappointments and losses. I am determined to focus on those things that are beautiful, worthy of praise and of good report...while honoring the sad things without being consumed by them. With that in mind, I'm looking back at the past year with thanks and looking forward to all that God has in store on the threshold of this new year.