This year was a year to remember. Highlights include two sons married a daughter graduated and me and my husband turning 50. This mostly happened in the first six months of the year.
We’ve welcomed two new daughters into our family and are so grateful for them. God has provided in such abundant ways for my sons through these young ladies. And for us; our family is much richer with them and their families who have become our extended family.
I love new beginnings and for my three oldest children this was a year of new beginnings!
I love new beginnings but I struggle with completing, seeing things through and finishing to the end. This is a pattern in my life and this year was not different. I started working towards a certificate in Nutrition last year and was hoping to be close to finishing by now. I haven’t taken a class since March. When I took part in the October, 31 day blogging challenge I gained momentum in writing and blogging that fizzled mid November. I quit a job I had as administrator of the church I belong to. There are at least 3 books I started but didn’t finish.
Putting a positive spin on in-completion this year I was there for my children during wedding preparations, graduations and other school events. I tucked my younger children into bed most every night. I kept my home running, got the laundry done and food on the table without a lot of stress. I started and finished a few books that have impacted my life in a positive way. (I’ll write about those another day). I saved money by not paying for nutrition classes.
Ok and while I can’t take all the credit the fact that my sons are grown, and doing well spiritually and emotionally and are able to love their spouses unselfishly is a beautiful blessing.
Such is life though. There are failures mingled with success. Weighing them against each other the scales are balanced and maybe even tipped in my favor but it’s not really the point to weigh successes against failures.
I have to fight the temptation to consider my worth as a person by what I accomplish in the world. My failures, not just the outward things I haven’t finished but the inward attitudes of my heart; cynicism, discontent, discouragement and pride, are ever before me, they can weigh me down make me feel less than those around me and immobilize me from starting a new.
But there is a better way. I’m not to live in the world constantly comparing myself to the world’s standards and trying to gain acceptance by those in the world. When I remember my true worth in Christ as a child of God I have hope. God does not accept me according to what I accomplish, in fact he does not look on the outward appearance or success at all. When I compare myself to others it brings me down by either thinking of myself better than or worse than those around me. When I look up, however, I see a God who has accepted me, faults and all, with the only condition being I believe.
Paul the writer of the book of Philippians considered all he gained in the world, all his earthly accomplishments as rubbish.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
That’s powerful. He was accomplished in this world but after being apprehended by God considered knowing Jesus and His righteousness far greater. I want to be like that. His singular goal is to be like Christ.
10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
He moved ever forward towards this goal.
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. … But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
And so I’ve found my inspiration, my consolation and my ambition. Move forward, ever forward, toward the goal of Christ Jesus. I have plans for the New Year but under-girding it all I hope to have Jesus in sight.
P.S. In the midst of writing this I slipped over to Ann Voscamp’s site and read this with a similar theme: Grace Plan for the New Year