Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Pilgrim's New Year's musings

The New Year has made me become more self-introspective than I might normally be. (Though I usually am!) I've just spent the past 30 minutes listing my "goals", "resolutions", and dreams. Why? You ask? They've been swirling around in my head for a few days now and I had to write them down to get them out of there. (Uh, do I sound crazy?)

Now, I know there is no way that I will do all of these things I have written down. I never do. I've been writing "exercise 3x week" every year for the past 5 years and it still ain't happenin'. I wonder if it will this year. The under-used treadmill in my bedroom keeps sneaking me guilty looks, and the mild weather of late keeps enticing me to start taking an afternoon walk every day. So, we'll see.

The circumstances don't always have to be perfect in order for these resolutions to happen. For years I desired to start or host a woman's bible study in my own home, but it wasn't until I had my fourth child, and he was four months old, and I was so dead tired I couldn't see straight, that I found myself at my own kitchen table with two other interested ladies agreeing to host the thing. Ain't that just how God works? It was God's doing, and what a blessing it's been.

So, as I look at my ridiculously long "list", I am reminded that God can certainly bring about these things in my life, but perhaps not in the way or the circumstances that I think He will.

Laurel Wreath is hosting what she calls New Year's Meditations. I like that. Meditations on what I would like to strive for, in Christ.

She says this:

"The Lord has been working on me saying, “yes, I want you to seek my will, but Laurel, I want you to dream big! Give me your hopes and dreams, tell me your hearts desires, lay them all out.” And during that time, I feel like a little girl holding those dreams to my chest tightly, saying “just give me your will”. Not sure if this makes sense to anyone but me, but I am excited and fearful where God is leading all this. We will see."

Isn't that just how we all feel sometimes? But we know He "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.." (Ephesians 3:20) This doesn't neccesarily mean that it will be what we are wishing and dreaming for, but what He wants for us. But we can be assured that it will be greater than what we want.

I won't bore you with the details of my list. But I will say I am asking the Lord to help me grow more in the grace and knowledge of Him this year. To be satisfied in Him. To be transformed in Him. That's going to entail a lot of different habits on my part, most importantly being reading the Word more and praying more. This I know.

In the words of Elizabeth Prentiss:

Because the voice of a fellow-traveller always stimulates his brother-pilgrim, what one finds and speaks of and rejoices over, sets the other upon determining to find too. God has been very good to you, as well as to me, but we ought to whisper to each other now and then, 'Go on, step faster, step surer, lay hold on the Rock of Ages with both hands.' You never need be afraid to speak such words to me. I want to be pushed on, and pulled on and coaxed on."

And, so, maybe we can all do that for each other this year.


Laurel Wreath said...

Thank you so much for visiting me. I too want to grow more in the grace and knowledge. This is beautifully written. And I like when you said "But we can be assured that it will be greater than what we want." AMEN. AMEN!!

Happy New Year. And can I say I love your pic, with your hat one. Totally adorable.

dorothy said...


What I've loved most about discovering your blog is that it spurs me on to "step faster, step surer". Thank you for saying such words to me!

Miriam said...

Such good hopes and resolutions, Andrea. I can echo them. And such good whisperings in the quote.

Something I love so much about God and dreams is that He works in our desire systems to will and to do His good pleasure, and so, often we will find that the very thing we desire most is indeed His will. The two (our will and his) are bound up together, beautifully intermingled when we are truly seeking Him. It's a good reminder that sometimes our dreams come about in a little different way than we imagine they will, though! :)

Blessings on your new year!

L.L. Barkat said...

Isn't it funny that He knows the "perfect" circumstances for new, transformative experiences... while we're so often wandering, looking at the wrong shelves, the wrong doors? Now, if I could just remember that. :)

Elise said...

That quote from Elizabeth Prentiss really clinched it for me - put it all into clear perspective.
I feel encouraged, excited, humbled, and grateful.
Thank you, Andrea.

Katherine @ Raising Five said...

"Lay hold on the Rock of Ages with both hands." I've needed folks along side me to push, pull AND to coax me! Your blog does all of those things. Thank you!