Looking Back, Looking Ahead

IMG_0918It’s that time of the year, the annual reflection of where we’ve been and then renewing, resolving, or just hoping for the year to come.

It may seem presumptuous to give a year-end review since I’ve only been at this blogging since August, but I’ve learned so much! I truly feel like a novice at this type of writing compared to the wonderful blogs I’ve found. I read and study blogs as if I were doing research for a class analyzing their website, looking at their links or advertisers. My life is enriched and blessed by the spiritual depth of Ann Voskamp’s blog, the group of writers at (in)courage and Women of Faith.

The blessings I have received since launching this blog come from readers who tell me the words have helped them. I believe the words come from God’s blessings, but their comments are gifts to me. Sometimes I hesitate on Fridays to dig into those memories and tell the story of my grief, but I remember that everyone is in a different place. I just hope readers will go back and read the whole story. This has been a safe and supportive place to write about my journey, but the benefit of putting it in book form allows the story to build chronologically and takes the reader through the layers of healing. If you know someone who is in the midst of grieving, please let them know about the Friday posts I call Heart Lessons. The thing about grievers is this – just because it has been five years or only five months since a death, the recovery or healing is still in process.

Sometimes I am surprised by the ways the blog reaches people and then how the words can be applied to so many different circumstances. I’ve renewed a friendship with a teaching partner from many years back through these posts. Teachers are probably the busiest folks possible right now, so I really don’t expect comments from them. The upcoming semester is the main dish on their plate right now. Perhaps you know a teacher who might enjoy my Tuesday is for Teachers posting.  Please let them know about this blog if you think it might help them.

A Scripture for today

“. . . the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will guard you from behind.” Isaiah 52:12

He’s got us covered! The moments we are regretting from the past year are covered! And He’s in front of us to take care of the coming year! What else is there, but today? Today, I hope you are reflecting on your blessings — just for the day. If you’re keeping a record of those blessings, take a look at the last few months. My list gives me a picture of the events of importance and the small moments of awareness that God is in control of my life. What can I fear? Should I worry about tragedies that might come? No, I should treasure the moments I have with those I love. I need to share this joy (without being an annoying positive Pollyanna). Larry likes to remind me when I’m slipping in my joy by singing, “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart”.

Oswald Chambers says it best for me in his December 31st entry:

“Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ. Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.”

Start your list of counting gifts by listing 3 gifts you remember and 3 gifts you are anticipating (from Ann’s Joy Dare). Now you are on your way to finding joy in the every day! May God bless you in the coming year with all that you need.

JoyMartell

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