Looking Both Ways

A Look Back:

In retrospect, 2008 was a good year. I definitely learned and grew as a person. It's certainly true that growth does not occur without some amount of testing and hardship. I will not elaborate on the difficulties, but suffice it to say that I'll take all the wonderful-good with the yucky-bad if in some way it brings glory to the One who matters most! So, here goes -- a very short list of some of the "big" things God taught me in 2008.

1-"Do It Afraid"...simply put, don't be afraid to fail, be afraid of the failure that comes in never taking the risk! I've missed out on a lot in life due to fear. No more.

2-Stay focused on eternity...I think it was Rick Warren who said that this life is just practice for the next, which will be our REAL "life". So true! We have one chance and one chance only to spend THIS life doing that which matters most. It would do us all some good to take inventory and make sure our focus is dead on! (I also read "90 Minutes in Heaven"...got me super-pumped about the life ahead in a way I have not been since...well, probably since I accepted the Lord as my Savior!)

3-"Getting It"...I never will...LOL! Seriously, life is a journey and we aren't meant to know it all! That's helps us to stay dependent on God who will lead us day-by-day. He'll supply us with snippets of truth, but not the whole tamale!

4-Motherhood (lesson revisited each year since 2004)...This mommy-thing is both the most frustrating AND the most fulfilling job all at the SAME time. I'm still learning to let go of the housework and the "to do" list in order to focus on what's most important. Some days, my house is a wreck and I simply can't stay on top of it...but my kids are happy and KNOW they are loved and accepted. I'm not superwoman; I'm a work in progress.

5-It's all God's...ALL of it. He is my provider. End of story.

6-Prince Charming is a myth...I LOVE my husband and he is my best friend, but man did I put him on a pedestal! He is not God. He will never fulfill all of my needs. Whoever fed us this lie that a man will be "it" for us?! Did you read what I wrote above. He's not God. And, neither is your husband (wonderful as he may be!). I will teach my girls this great lesson.

7-LOVE...God LOVES me. Period. I can't add anything to my life to make Him love me more. He taught me this one night in prayer. It rocked my world. I cried like a baby for about an hour. I changed that night. Somehow, this truth moved from head-knowledge to heart-knowledge in an instant. What can I say...He's God and He can do that! I pray that He'll do that for you if you don't grasp what I'm talking about here. Oh man do I pray He'll do that for you!

8-That I never, ever, ever want to have as busy of a Christmas season as I experienced this year! My usual Christmas "joy" never showed up on the doorstep of my heart. That fact brings me utter sadness, especially since it is my favorite holiday. I don't know what I did wrong...but when I figure it out, it won't happen again.

Looking Ahead:

I am greatly anticipating all that God has in store for 2009 because I just KNOW He's gonna blow my socks off! Why? Well (A) -- He never leaves any of us where we are if we stay yielded to Him (Conversely, He is certainly a "gentleman" and will stay away, so-to-speak, if we kick and scream and declare that we have no real need of Him...which is a sad way to live, but haven't we all done it either in our words or actions?!) and (B) -- 'Cause He gave me a super-cool verse for my year. Now, I can't take credit for the "verse for the year" because I actually got the idea at www.marybethwhalen.com (and I don't know how to put a link in, sad but true). Anyhow, when I read the idea though, I thought it was so neat. So, I asked and He gave. Are you ready for it? It is Ephesians 3:20-21:

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (New King James Version)

Oh man, I could totally write a whole blog about the verse (and probably should cause this is so long!) but let me just say...

He is SO able

to do

exceedingly abundantly

above (or BEYOND)

all that I ask or (even) think!

Wooooooooooooooo! Does that not give you goosebumps?????! Cause I don't know about you, but I'm ready for Him to move big-time in my life, in my family, in my church, and in my world! And you know what...He will. I know He will. Sure, bumps in the road and challenges will come, but doesn't that make life all-the-more interesting and WORTH IT when the end result is something beautiful?! I believe it does.

So 2009, I love you already...for the promise you hold because of the One who already sees you from beginning to end and is SO ABLE to do great things! Bring it on!