I was eager to close the door on 2012, but –thanks be to God!– I don’t feel that way at all as 2013 ends. It’s easy to see God’s grace in my life this year, but honestly, I can see it in the pain of 2012, too. I think that’s been the biggest lesson for me this year: God is good ALL the time. His grace really is sufficient for me, in good times and in bad, and it teaches me contentment. He is here. That’s really all I need.
As 2014 begins, as is my yearly habit, I wonder what’s in store. And that brings me to something else I’ve learned these past couple of years: I have no idea! I’m a planner and I like to know what’s coming, but life doesn’t cooperate with those preferences. Instead, God constantly surprises me. Sometimes the surprises are seemingly devastating, and sometimes they’re pretty wonderful. My times are in His hands (Psalm 31:15), and that means I can be confident and hopeful about the future instead of fearing it. Oh, I still deal with anxiety and fear for the future, but –thank God!– there is progress in that area.
Now as I greet 2014, I am grateful for 2013. Some of the notable events of the year: Will got engaged. I moved once again. Caroline got a car. I started my CAbi business. I began a new job. I finished my first 365 photo project and learned a lot along the way…
So far the big events on my calendar for this new year are my son’s graduation from college and his wedding.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not big on official New Year’s resolutions, but I do try to set a few goals. I hope to read many of the books I already own instead of buying new ones. That’s a goal nearly every year, and I never make it. But a girl can keep trying! I also plan to read the Bible this year using the 3650 plan I used in 2012. It’s quite a challenge but was most definitely worth it. I’ll share some more resources on that one later. And I’ll be starting a new 365 photography project today. This year I want to learn more about my camera and about editing.
How about you? Do you have goals or resolutions? Here’s a thought-provoking article from Paul Tripp, and his teaching on how life is lived and changes made in the mundane has really influenced me. Here’s just a bit of it:
The fact of the matter is that the transforming work of grace is more of a mundane process than it is a series of a few dramatic events. Personal heart and life change is always a process. And where does that process take place? It takes place where you and I live everyday. And where do we live? We all have the same address – the utterly mundane.
Most of us won’t be written up in history books. Most of us only make three or four momentous decisions in our lives, and several decades after we die, the people we leave behind will struggle to remember the events of our lives. You and I live in little moments, and if God doesn’t rule our little moments and doesn’t work to re-create us in the middle of them, then there’s no hope for us, because that’s where you and I live.
This is where I think “Big Drama Christianity” gets us into trouble. It can cause us to devalue the significance of the little moments of life and the “small change” grace that meets us there. Because we devalue the little moments where we live, we don’t tend to notice the sin that gets exposed there and we fail to seek the grace that’s offered to us.
Wishing you a happy and hopeful 2014, filled with thousands of moments of grace-fueled “small change”!