January 5, 2011

Year in Review

2011 is a blank canvas laid out before me........waiting to be filled with color.  God is already intricately involved in every detail fashioning it to completion.

I don't know that I have ever conscientiously made any New Year's Resolutions.  It seems that anything I could possibly resolve to do in the New Year are things that I resolve to do every day.  When I wake up I do so determined.   I live EVERY day deliberately and ON PURPOSE. 

But I as I reflect back on 2010 I realize it was too full to not make mention of how grateful I was for the gift of each day.  I am grateful for the things I learned and the moments I could tangibly feel God so very near me.  Holding me.  Hemming me in with His very presence.  He had me all the time.

I learned the depths of simple words are such as grace and holy. 

I learned of the complexity of God's sovereignty and the complexity of His Holiness.  
The depths of His love!    Oh, HOW.....He.....LOVES us!
     I experienced how awesome and terrifying yet how tender and comforting His presence can be.

How one moment I could tremble at what "Holy" is...HOW majestic and powerful and indescribable He is.  And the next?....be running to Him like a scared little girl- crying- just needing Him to love on me and tell me that all is well.

I can look back and see myself shuffling through parts of 2010 numbly.  Mechanically.  As if something or Someone else was keeping me going.......keeping me moving because I didn't think I had it in me to keep going.  


But I arrived *HERE*... at the end of my year.  2010 bringing me to THIS moment now. Not always believing I had enough fight in me to make it but learning that no matter what?  I gotta keep singing. ~Mercy Me


Learning that the challenge and joy of every day lies in this:.........turning it "ALL"---every last bit of it----into praise.  Bringing praise and a song into every day!  Because All of my life----in EVERY season YOU ARE STILL GOD -----and I have a REASON to sing!!!!!!! (Desert Song-Hillsong)

"On your feet now---applaud God!  
Just because of who He is! 
He is worthy!  and He has done GREAT things!!!!!
"Bring a gift of *LAUGHTER*,
sing yourselves into his presence!"  (Psalm 100)  
Thanking Him for the GIFT of each brand new day! 
Going FORWARD in His grace
........knowing His goodness and mercy are always close behind. 

                                                 
The One constant in 2010???  Grace was present.  Grace is always present.


I learned that Peace IS a person.  and He lives HERE.  In my home.  He dwells within me.   He is among my family.  In my home.


Living life Coram Deo.

        
   Living in the very Presence of God.

In HIM we live and move and have our being.



Max Lucado said this----and it is beautifully spoken: 

We wonder with so many miraculous testimonies around us, how we could escape God. But somehow we do. We live in an art gallery of divine creativity and yet are content to gaze only at the carpet. The next time you hear a baby laugh or see an ocean wave, take note. Pause and listen as His majesty whispers ever so gently, "I'm here." 

 

 

 So........................Yes, God.....your Majesty----it HAS my attention! 
Your Sovereignty it HAS my devotion!
and YOU...............still have.................my heart! 
(Rita Springer-'You still have my heart")

 

 I look behind me (at 2010) and you're there, then up ahead (at 2011) and you're there, too-your reassuring presence, coming and going. Ps 139:5. You never have to look very far....because everywhere you turn you will find evidence of Him.

 

.......as I come to 2011 and look back at 2010----fully aware.  Fully alive.
I realize something.         
                                                                                  Grace was present for each moment.  It was there for each tear.  It was there for each gift.  Each JOY.  Each struggle.  Each battle.  He was in it all.
  
He was in my children's smiles...........................


The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” — Henry Miller



  



In my husband's hug................................





“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward










 
In the music that surrounded me..............   













................Every word and every note.
















 In the beauty of His creation.................

 



 "Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." ~John Milton



 In EVERY celebration!................................







In the gift and provisions of EACH day.

In His very Words to me to read and let soak in my spirit.  

 He was in each moment................In those Divine opportunities woven into the things I'd already scheduled into my day.


He was in  every appointed meeting with strangers along the way....and the significance of it.


  If you're not careful.....you miss it.


"This is the thing, the real thing of living —- Notice now: and you win joy. God is beautiful here. Joy’s a snowflake on the sill — it lives only here in this moment." ~Ann Voskamp
There is JOY in it all.

Life is to be ENJOYED-----not ENDURED.  
(I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the *FULL* till it *OVERFLOWS*). John 10:10)

....and there were days I missed Him.  I never looked up.  I never took my gaze from the moment to see the Beautiful One who fashioned that moment. 

"May my life be one unbroken gaze----fixed upon the beauty of your grace"  (Vicky Beeching-Captivated)

  But it is a glorious truth.....when we lift up our heads and look at Grace Himself we see not each individual moment.

We see a Divine Tapestry of Grace.  

Each moment woven together to create a beautiful tapesty of rich and vibrant color. 


........Recounting all He's done for us before....being confident He's the same yesterday today and forever.  Having expectant faith that He's going to be TRUE to His word.  Not for OUR sake.  But for His name's sake.  Because He always gets His glory.  Performing on our behalf so that the world might look on us and see what a GREAT God it is that we serve!!!!  Everything points to Him......ALL of it.  

The Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing]to be gracious to you; He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. The Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him[f...or His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!


SO I look ahead to 2011 with  unwavering hope and confidence....with expectant faith!!!
I have EVERY reason to do so!......
"Do you see what we've got?! An *unshakable* kingdom!
(firm, steadfast, unwavering, immovable, bulletproof, unassailable, unfaltering, resolute) and do you see how THANKFUL (so very grateful) we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming (overflowing) with worship, deeply reverent before God!" Heb. 12:28-29

I'm excited and cannot WAIT to see what God has in store for me in the coming days ahead!!!    I look ahead with EAGER anticipation of the next EXTRAORDINARY thing He's about to do!!!! 

I am *confident* of this very thing .......
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind......
that the God who started this great work would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.  Philippians 1:6
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