"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
I welcome the new year with open arms!
Praise God to be alive on this wonderful day.
A new beginning.
A fresh start.
A clean slate.
Don't we all need those from time to time?
Kevin, Zach, and I started the new year in prayer, as we normally do.
It was a precious time together, and as I happened to be the one praying...and was very "lost in prayer" at the moment...I didn't even realize when the clock struck midnight.
I felt a gentle hand tapping me.
It was sweet Zachary.
"Mama, Happy New Year!"
I don't know what came over me in that moment,
but I just began to weep...right there on my knees.
I was so completely overcome with emotion.
So thankful to be here...to be alive.
To be with the two people I love most on this earth.
That, even though, we are battling some troubling physical issues, we are all as healthy as we are.
I cried for the rough year we just passed through,
and I wept because it felt so liberating to let it go.
Even though I think time goes by way too fast,
and I often long to make it slow down in order to savor the moments more,
I am just so happy and thankful to be standing here...in the now...
on the threshold of NEW.
Change is never easy for me, but I am learning more and more to embrace it.
I am finding that sometimes change is better than stagnant.
Change is not always a bad thing.
Change can be exactly what we need.
Change is sometimes a downright good thing.
A few weeks ago, I was contemplating change,
feeling overwhelmed and terrified by it,
and the sweet Holy Spirit began to speak to me in that still, small voice,
"Child, you are allowing (then He mentioned specific things) to hold you a prisoner.
You will never be able to move forward until you let this go."
Right around that time, I came across this picture on Pinterest.
I wish I knew whom to give attribution for this picture.
It has spoken volumes to me for weeks.
I feel like that little girl...clutching tight to the way things are.
And, God, in my inmost spirit, is telling me time after time...
there is something better...bigger...but I cannot have it until I let this go.
Why is that so hard?
I look back over my life, and I trace God's hand,
and, in that tracing, I see a very distinct pattern of faithfulness.
Of providential care.
Of His love!
So, why would I be so resistant to what He has in store for us now?
I think my weeping last night at midnight was an accumulation of all of this.
It was a saying good-bye to the old year...to the past, in general...trials and all,
and an opening up to the possibilities of a future.
I, along with many of you, dearly love Jeremiah 29:11,
and though I prefer to mostly stick to the KJV, I think the NIV words it so beautifully,
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Plans HE made.
Yes, dear Lord, I want that!
Did you catch the acronym?
Isn't this wherein true, real happiness lies?
Smack-dab in the center of HIS will...His plans?
Thank You, Jesus!
Jeremiah 29:11 lays out His plans for me...for my family...for every one of you readers.
So, why would we not embrace what He has for us?
Why not hand Him our little teddy bears, and allow HIM to work out our lives and futures,
according to HIS plans?
He never plans to harm us.
And even though the path He leads us on is many times a rocky, uncertain one,
He never leaves our side.
He walks it, too.
Right along with us.
And, doesn't that make all the journey worthwhile?
Oh, to live and walk and breathe in harmony with Him!
To walk the path He has carved and designed for my feet!
To know that His approval continually rests upon my soul!
To feel His Spirit dwelling within!
To know that I am His, and He is forever mine!
His presence is so real in my life!
Tears are cleansing.
When I cried last night, I felt a sense of relief....a sense of release.
A letting go of the pain of yesteryear,
and an embracing of the new year ahead.
I pray and trust Him to lead the way.
And now, I wanted to post the latest news on dear, little 4 month old Brody.
Update from Tuesday, 12/29
"Today was a good day for Brody. He came off the ventilator and went straight to BiPap. This is such a huge blessing. Brody will be so much more comfortable and it's a big step to getting him where he needs to be. The next couple days will be very busy with more breathing treatments. Jenn and I both will be taught how to operate new machines that will be needed for his care when he returns home. "
Update from Today, 1/1
"He is doing better (hates the BiPap) with his breathing and yesterday looked good as far as him leaving ICU and going to a "step down" unit. But early afternoon X-rays today showed that his left lung still is not quite good enough to leave ICU. He has been off of the BiPap for a couple hours at a time, and I can't tell you how nice it is to see him breathing on his own. God is So Good! He may be in ICU because our God wants him there and to be looked after well. I believe our prayers are being heard and God knows what is best for this beautiful baby boy."
So, please keep up the praying, dear friends.
God is hearing our prayers!
For previous posts about Brody, click the following links:
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