11:59 and thinking….

The last day. The last hour. The last minutes of 2010. The last few years I have been alone with my thoughts as the midnight hour approached turning over a new year. This year is no different. I love new beginnings. I love to start new creative projects, new books, new recipes, new organizing ventures; I just love a fresh start! It helps me to move forward when I feel discouraged or lack of motivation. As I sit in my kitchen typing moments before 2011 is ushered in, I am anticipating waking up tomorrow to something new, something hopeful in a new year.

As I reflect over 2010 the word that captures my thoughts is GRACE. GRACE that made my heart sing as I understood the deeper meaning of God’s character. GRACE that covered my days that were apathetic or unproductive. GRACE that sang over my mistakes and failures. GRACE that brought healing into important relationships. GRACE that allowed me to reconnect with life long friends. GRACE that helped me to remember that nothing that touches our lives is ever wasted. GRACE reminded me once again of just how much I am loved by my Jesus. Honestly, I am in awe of GRACE and how God revealed His GRACE to me this past year.

What will 2011 bring? I don’t know. I just know that there will be new adventures. There will be new highs and new lows. God will weave in my heart a new word at this same time next year. I am not sure what that will be, but I am willing to trust Him with this new year. I am willing to let go of what once was in 2010 and embrace what will be in 2011.

What word captures your heart as you leave behind 2010?

This promise in Isaiah that I have read countless times in 2010 causes my heart at this quiet moment to beat faster, to anticipate deeper what God has in store in 2011.

Isaiah 43:18-19

Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new, even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.

Minutes, seconds, it’s almost here. Can you see it?

Life is hard sometimes….

Life is hard sometimes-crazy, mixed up, messed up. And there you are, in the middle of it all, just doing your thing….being strong and brave and beautiful like it’s no big deal. But let me tell you, girl, IT IS! Not everyone can do what you can do. Not everyone can handle things the way you can. While you wonder sometimes if you’re doing ok…the rest of us are just watching in wonder.

I found the above quote in a card (Dayspring) the other day at the bookstore. I bought it. I am saving it for just the right moment. I might even frame it. It triggers something in my heart. I want to be that kind of woman. She is a princess warrior woman. She believes her God. She holds onto her faith and doesn’t let go. She knows God’s promises inside and out, so she can trust Him. When life gets hard she doesn’t collapse. She might cry, have a meltdown, but it is temporary. She brushes the tears away grabs her sword (her bible) and returns to what she knows is true. God never, ever, ever lets us down. He is faithful. He is the center to cling to in the eye of the storm.

That’s what I have been learning lately, Psalm 9:10. In case you aren’t familiar with this small little verse. Here it is, and I warn you it is packed with a punch!

And they who know Your name (who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy) will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek (inquire of and for) You (on the authority of God’s Word and the right of their necessity). Amplified Bible (don’t you love it?)

I realized after musing over this tiny little verse the power of the truth contained in those words. If I know God’s name, I can trust Him. Can you trust someone you don’t really know? I recognized once again that my problem with trust lies in my own ignorance. You see, I don’t trust deeply or willfully at times for one simple reason. I don’t know God like I could. And whose fault is that? MINE!!

How do we know God anyway? What does it look like? How can you and I get to know a God who is bigger than the universe, who was for a fact our creator. We can’t exactly make a date over coffee, or can we? I am discovering that I can’t know God on my own. I need help. I need spiritual eyes to see what I can’t see on my own. I have also realized that God wants me to know Him just as much or more than I could even conceive. Where do I start? Simply here, simply now with a cry for help to the one who made me and knows my every thought. (Psalm 139)

You know what? God hears me. He sees the secret desires in my heart to know Him more. He is revealing himself to me beyond just a sit-down coffee date with my bible. He is whispering His great love in the picture of the sunset. He is unveiling His truths as I watch the delight of my year old grandson. I see Him as I watch my friends share together. I hear His voice in a song that promises hope when life is unraveling.

Yes, Life is hard sometimes. The latter part of the verse in Psalms promises, God will never turn away if we come to Him with our messy, mixed up and crazy lives!   Are you ready to join me in knowing God’s name and His character more? Let’s do it! So that when we know Him, trust Him with our messiness, others will like the quote on the card said, watch with wonder!

T