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2017~ The year of RECEIVING

My eyes blinked open in the early hours at the sound of a dozen little feet already stirring in the house.  My body, tired and unwilling to move, after having fought back sleep and rest during the New Years Watch Service at our local partner church just a few hours prior.

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My kids could go to sleep during the Watch Service, but it somehow wouldn’t be very dignified if the pregnant “First Lady” followed suit and stretched out for a pre-midnight doze

 

“Its a new year”, I tell myself. “And you haven’t even set out any goals or ambitions for this new year. You aren’t even ready for it yet.”

But then the Holy Spirit whispers to my spirit.

“RECEIVE.”

“Let this year be a year of RECEIVING”

So many years, months, weeks, days, minutes, of the past have been marked with STRIVING.

Striving for order. Striving for productivity. Striving for unrealistic goals and expectations. Striving for control over children or circumstances or husband or weight or schedule. Even striving after Jesus, and righteousness and the Holy Spirit

and all the striving usually ends in misery, disappointment, joylessness, and…

crying.

(well, at least if I’m pregnant at the time)

Not to mention its utterly exhausting.

So, that New Years morning, I didn’t start the morning with a workout and an awesome Bible devotions for the kids, and a nutritious breakfast. Instead, I snuck a little time to jot down New Year’s thoughts, knowing that I was just moments away from the first “kid emergency” of the day.

And in those moments, upon those journal pages, a bit of a 2017 manifesto emerged:

For 2017:

May this be the year of receiving

for “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,

the world and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1)

He is in the oatmeal preparation, no matter how messy

and in the child’s little song you catch him singing in between sibling tussles

and in the boy’s fort, which “urgently needs to be looked at” right when you’re in the middle of cooking burning dinner,

and in the story that wants to be told, simultaneously to your time allotted to help the kindergartener with his reading assignment.

The earth is the Lords, and everything in it,

including the warm running water and the large stack of dishes

and in tired pregnant bodies and growing, cumbersome bellies.

And legos innumerable all over the house

and a puppy who won’t quite get house trained.

“the world and all who live in it”…

even the person who stole your credit card information and racked up high bills,

right after you opened your home to them.

or the girl who keeps calling multiple times a day, when, at any given time there are at least three little people trying to talk to you or get your attention already.

and even the neighborhood boys who incessantly want to be at your house to play

and even the extra noise and bustle they bring with them.

It is all the Lord’s and everything in it,

and it is all fullness and joy and bounty when received with thanksgiving.

It is all a matter of how you meet it….

either with an attitude of controlling and pursuit of personal agenda,

 thus leaving one’s heart in frustration and angst,

simply because the desired control will never fully be attained…

or an attitude of receiving,

content and trusting, knowing that God is working even this for your good,

and trying to bless you in the process.

Facing each new situation singing the anthem of the Ancients, 

“But I, with a voice of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you.” (Jonah 2:9)

May this year be a year of receiving.

So, this 2017, I didn’t receive time to post a New Years post until a week into that New Year.

And thats OK.

I will receive this time and opportunity  with thanksgiving and be thankful for it.

(And soon there will be an update on the Christmas gift outreach and the many holiday activities)

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