Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

Fresh Vigor,

New Beginnings,*

Cozy Memories,

Abundant Blessings,

These things I carry with me across the bridge from 2008 to 2009.

* * * * *

As the feasting and joyful celebrations begin to abate around here (remember we have chosen to celebrate for 12 days -- a WONDERFUL decision), as the trips back and forth to the airport cease, as the rich and sumptuous meals kneel to lighter fare, I struggle to capture and retain all the blessed memories that have spilled forth upon my sweet family over these past days. Our internet connection froze up (literally, I think) providing no access to blogging over the holidays, so I merely followed Mary's example on that first Christmas Day:

But Mary kept all these things,
and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19

I have so very much brimming in my heart that will spill forth into a plethora of posts in the coming days, but for today I merely wish you the most JOYful New Year!

A list-maker by nature, I have learned to drop the pen and numbered tablet ruled by my head and let my heart cry out for something special each New Year. This year I see the need to hold everything around me with an open palm, rather than a clutch or grasp.

My precious Mentor, Rachel W, once shared that she had to learn to keep an open palm in order to be poised to receive blessings from the Lord. A tight-fisted grip, desperate clutch, or even firm and unflinching hold will keep the hand closed and the gentle blessings like raindrops will fall to the ground and be lost. Though I long ago pledged to release possessions, I strive this year to release the dreams and hopes and relationships and sticky-wickets found in my daily life. I set them all free to be what they are meant to be instead of continually molding them according to my short-sighted desire.

Many years ago I learned to dance with joy in the moment, but even now I continue to keep busy with the tidying and reforming of that moment. This year I set out to toss aside the encumbrances to joy and stand open-armed, palms-up in anticipation of what the Lord may rain upon me.

Do I expect only good things? Of course not! (Though I wouldn't hesitate to drown in joy alone.) Rather, I believe that each step along the way holds joy for me in this moment or in the seeds of a tomorrow filled with blessing. I will follow God's lead alone in this year's dance.

In 2009 . . .

* I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. (Psalm 143:6)

* Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust. (Psalm 143:8a)

* Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. (Psalm 143:8b)

* Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good. (Psalm 143:10a)

* YES! I do have daffodils beginning to bloom in my gardens as the roses continue to put forth blossoms even in the snow. : )


noble pig said...

Happy New year to you! I wish you and your family all the best in 2009. It has been a pleasure.

And my roses kept blooming too...i just cut them all the way back.

Becky said...

Hello friend. Sending JOYful cyber hugs your way. Beautiful pics and words... My your palms flow over with blessings this year.

sukipoet said...

Am so glad your 12 days of Christmas were lovely for you. May 2009 bring to fulfillment all you desire. My one word, i have just today decided is OPEN. Yes, I too hope to keep my hands open, to receive the blessings of life, and my heart and mind open, as opposed to trying to control and formulate everything ahead of time. Blessings, Suki

Britt-Arnhild said...

Happy New year Debbie.
We also celebrate for 12 days, untill the 6th of January when the Magi comes with their gifts.

Nice to see your flowers. We are almost snowed in here :-)

Virginia said...

Oh Debbie! What a beautiful reminder to stand open-armed and keep our palms open so we can catch all the blessings that daily we received and without noticing them we let them slip away . Keep inspiring us with your beautiful posts they always touch my heart or compel me to examen my life.
I wish you and your family showers of blessings in 2009 and always.
Virginia :)

Dawn said...

Such lovely thoughts for the new year. Happy new year...I wish you all the best!

Julie said...

Hi, Debbie... I have missed your blog the last month or so while I've been running around like a crazy woman. Thank you so much for the calming and inspirational thoughts.

Judith said...

The happiest of new years - and how is your wrist?
Roses - Oh, if only. We may see raoses again by the end of June!

Michelle said...

Deb...hope you had a wonderful New Year and hope 2009 brings only good things to you!!

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

gorgeous photos!

Karen said...

Your garden is beautiful! I love that you have roses at the New Year, and daffodils coming up.

Suzanne said...

You are such a beautiful, dear soul. I learn so much from you. 2008 was so unkind and 2009 isn't starting out so well, but I've decided to follow your lead and open my palms. I'll let you know what I catch. ;) I love this post. Have a gorgeous 2009 my dear friend.

Love you.