Looking Forward to a New Year

Every year, many people I know pick a Word of the Year to define the upcoming year. I’ve only started this in the past few years, and have noticed my Word of the Year doesn’t really follow the calendar year.

Two years ago, I chose Trust as my Word. I struggled with trusting God for all that life was throwing at me, and it seemed like a good first Word. When 2016 came around, I was praying about a new Word, and felt like I needed to keep Trust. So I did not change it.Wall of Trust

I have the word Trust on my wall, along with some other words that point me to trust. As 2015 and 2016 progressed, I wrote Bible verses and quotes from authors and friends which spoke of trusting in God and pinned them to my wall, forming a Wall of Trust.

A few months ago, I go the inkling that my Word was changing. It started with a verse:060716_mg_4278

This is at the end of the Valley of Dry Bones and I have always loved these verses.

This verse started a shift in my heart, and I knew my Word would be changing soon. And not waiting for 2017 to blow in like a frozen blizzard! A land has been promised me – a refuge, a home, a place to hide away and to invite others into peace. In this land I will be firmly planted by the Lord and there I will flourish.Firmly Planted

So my Word (more like a phrase!) is Firmly Planted and Flourishing. Living in this tension of the now and not yet has been interesting so far, but I am learning well that Jesus can be trusted, He has a plan filled with hope and a good future for me, He has not left me behind even when it fells like so many others have, I am a daughter of the Most High King of kings and He has lavished me with so many amazing gifts it will make my head spin as I start accepting them and opening them to share with those in my life.Flourish

Given my circumstances, my own land seems like a folly to hope for. But I know and trust that God has a plan for my life, and what He has promised me, He will fulfill. Just as Abraham received a seemingly impossible promise from God and kept hoping, so shall I.Keep Hoping

I am looking forward to 2017 with great expectation in my Lord. I can’t wait to see what He is working out in me! I am going to look for joy instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I carry this reminder with me everywhere I drive, thanks to the creativity and expertise of Revka at Fabled Treasures!Firmy Planted and Flourishing

Save

columbine

Whenever I see these flowers I think of their name. Which makes me think of school shootings. Mostly, the Colorado one in 1999. I remember the stories of Cassie Bernall and later Rachel Scott. And then I think of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and the brave acts that saved many little lives.

It makes my heart ache for the families who lost someone precious and for the children who will have the memory of death for the rest of their life. It makes me angry. It makes me pray.

Then I look at the flower again and think of life, how it is frail and beautiful and only lasts for a moment. Life lost too soon… death. It can claim any one of us at any moment.columbine

{Minnehaha} Purple and Green

A favorite haunt for my friend Jamie and I is Minnehaha Falls. It is considered favored even if we only get there once a year. We walk around, hunting down forget-me-nots, sit on a bench or the grass by Hiawatha and Minnehaha, check if the Falls are strong or not. We spend this time talking about life, questions, worries, what we are learning. I’m pretty sure we’ve both cried and we always find something to laugh about. There is always prayer and almost always food. minnehaha1minnehaha2

{Advent} Daniel and the Scary Sleepover

“Daniel knew it was wrong to pray to anyone except God. He had to do what God said – whatever it cost him, even if it meant he would die. So Daniel went to his room, closed the door, and prayed. That’s just what the bad men knew Daniel would do. They skipped straight off to tell the king. ‘Oh, Your Most Glittering Highness…'”

The vice-regents and governors got together to find some old scandal or skeleton in Daniel’s life that they could use against him, but they couldn’t dig up anything. He was totally exemplary and trustworthy. They could find no evidence of negligence or misconduct. So they finally gave up and said, “We’re never going to find anything against this Daniel unless we can cook up something religious.”

King Darius published this proclamation to every race, color, and creed on earth:
Peace to you! Abundant peace!
I decree that Daniel’s God shall be worshiped and feared in all parts of my kingdom.
He is the living God, world without end. His kingdom never falls.
His rule continues eternally.
He is a savior and rescuer.
He performs astonishing miracles in heaven and on earth.
He saved Daniel from the power of the lions.

_MG_4711Daniel 6

I am following my friend Amanda’s Advent Stitch-A-Long. You can find instructions for today’s ornament here. Prep instructions by Amanda are here.

The book used for the Advent reading is The Jesus Storybook Bible. You can find more information the book here or buy it on Amazon here.

 

The Gift of a Child

God has blessed the union
Of a husband and a wife
With a beautiful little baby
Bringing joy into their lives

For children are blessings
Sent from God above
A precious gift heaven sent
An expression of God’s love

On the foundation of this love,
May this child truly grow
Discovering the truths of God
And to one day come to know

That Jesus Christ is Lord of all
And He has an awesome plan,
A destiny only they can fulfill
As they take Him by the hand

And walk with Him every day
With God’s vision for their lives
And godly passion to fulfill
The commission of Jesus Christ

© By M.S.Lowndes

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