Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Rhythms

2012 was a big year for our crew. A hard and glorious one. Here's some of the highlights and links in case you want to catch up:
God stepped into our marriage and family in a big way and redeemed it.
Hannah's Dream reached its end and I began with Christian Adoption Consultants.
I started blogging (and people actually started reading).
The kids started kindergarten and first grade and each broke an arm.
And God taught me a ton about grace, love, freedom, and hope.

Celebrating New Year's Eve changes when you become a parent. Last night we had pizza, watched Tinkerbell: Secret of the Wings, and were in our PJ's by 6pm. Par-tay. After the kids were in bed we web streamed the OneThing conference and finally watched Elf for this season (sacrilege I know). And we were asleep by 10 - the excitement I tell you. At 11:55pm Jamy woke me up with a wine glass of Ginger Ale to watch the ball drop and pray in the New Year together. Perfect evening if you ask me.

So now it's New Year's day morning. The kids are watching cartoons in our bed, Jamy's making pancakes and I'm at the dining room table. I feel like I should be contemplative and visionary over my mug of coffee this morning. So far my favorite blogs to ring in the New Year and resolutions are my sweet friends Jess and Jami.

I'm not much for resolutions. Mostly because I've discovered they're generally not good for me. I'll be honest: for this Type A, perfectionist, list-making girl, resolutions don't work. What happens in my heart is I lose perspective on the "why" and get caught up in the "how." So in the past I resolve to do blank in my devotions (or exercise regime, or parenting, or healthy eating, or organization, etc, etc), miss it a day or two and throw the whole thing out. My all or nothing bent doesn't help much when life happens and things don't get done perfectly the way my resolutions had planned out. I've learned that good things can still happen in my "trys." God is way more concerned about my heart than my to-do list and marked check boxes. So instead of creating an all-or-nothing, list-generating goals and resolutions, I'm aiming to create new rhythms in my life for 2013.

Dwelling on the gospel
If there's anything in life that we should be passionate about, it's the gospel. And I don't mean passionate about sharing it with others. I mean passionate about thinking about it, dwelling on it rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world. Only one thing can be of first importance to each of us. And only the gospel ought to be. C.J. Mahaney, The Cross Centered Life

If you read any book in 2013, read this one:

Milton's book discusses reasons to rehearse the gospel daily and then the gospel narrative to read through. I plan to make this part of my rhythm this year: to preach the gospel to myself. I need to be reminded daily that the gospel is sufficient, God can be trusted, to rest in Christ's righteousness alone, and God's perspective when I face trials.

I'll also be reading this one:

This book reads like a modern day Psalm. Here's a snippet from today's reading: In the gospel you lavish us with your love, liberate us by your grace, and launch us into your transforming story of redemption. What more could we possibly want or hope for, in life or in death?  

Good stuff I want to be mediating on daily.

Cultivating gratefulness
We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks. Because how else do we accept His free gift of salvation if not with thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of whatever He gives. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace.  Ann Voskamp

Admittedly gratefulness is not my first reaction when the hard things hit. But I want to purposefully build it into my life so being thankful is my natural, knee jerk reaction to my circumstances.  

Dedication to life
I'm privileged that my job is directly connected to the value of life and celebrating families who choose life above selfishness, comfort, and sensibility. For both birth and adoptive families, choosing life (when the world chooses easier paths and smaller families) is a sacrifice. Through my work as a birth parent counselor, social worker, and adoption consultant I'm honored to get to enter into their stories and join their fight for life.  I want to keep fighting with them even when it can feel like a losing battle at times.

Being purposeful with my time and attention
I wonder how much time I wasted in 2012. How many times did I look at my computer screen rather than my kids faces? How much time did I spend worrying rather than praying? How often did I complain rather than praise? I want to be more mindful of my time and attention, placing it on things of eternal weight.  

I'm praying for good things, for big things in 2013. I'm already catching glimpses of them.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:30-21


  1. Happy New Year :) Praying for a wonderful 2013, and we totally need to call and chat sometime!


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