Faith and Reflection

Only take care

2021 is ending. How are you going to remember it? It really is up to each of us on how we will reflect on this year. What experience, circumstance, or event pops to mind when you think about 2021? My first thought is loss. Two of my special friends passed this year because of Covid. I still feel their loss in my life. But as I reflect on their significance to me, I can only say thank you, Lord. I will choose to pass their impact of generosity, curiosity and love for Jesus on to others. I choose to continue to pray for their families, as a gift back to them. But, I have also gained new friends this year. People who are like a fresh gift, that I keep opening; discovering who our God has made them to be.

As I reflect on 2021, I see the blessing of surrender and saying yes to God’s assignments. This weekly blog has yielded encouraging comments each week. Sitting alone in my home, seeking to write words of encouragement and value to others, is difficult. Can you reflect on areas of obedience that have yielded good fruit in your life this past year?

Psalm 77:11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord, yes, I will remember your wonders of old. What has He done for you, in you and through you this year? If you struggle to remember, maybe it’s time to keep a journal! Write those God stories, not only for you but also for your family and friends. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. If we can’t remember them, then we lose out some encouragement!

I admit sometimes; I am afraid to take the time to reflect. To look deeply at myself and where I actually am as a daughter, mom, grandmother and as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Because I try to do it naked—without His grace and the understanding of HIs love. I see my short-comings and begin to doubt His calling and purpose in my life. I see my failures and it turns into depression and discouragement. No wonder I run away from it. However, when done in, and with, His love, it leads to life lessons and adjustments. Yes, reflection often leads to repentance. But repentance is not a bad thing. Humility places us in the place where we must admit we need Him, and that is always a good thing. We can’t do it without His perspective. How about you? Do you have the courage to consider where you are now, and where you want to be this time next year?

This year seemed to speed by. I had goals to accomplish, and some of them, by God’s grace, I could complete. Others are going to be rolled over into 2022. We experienced so many answers to prayer this year. Our God was faithful to His promises in so many ways. Healings, financial victories, growth in relationships with my grandchildren. I learned to lean into Him and on Him in new ways.

Reflecting on leading our Life Group Ladies brings many smiles and a sense of satisfaction. Not because of my part, but because of Him and His faithfulness. Hearing their God stories and watching us grow together as a community was such a blessing. Once again, reflection is a good thing. I expect even more good things will happen in 2022, as we build on His Word and His ways even more. Learning to cry together, as well as celebrate, is good.

Saying yes to helping my daughter home-school her children was a win. Teaching astronomy has opened my eyes once again to the amazing universe and its Creator. However, even more importantly, I have spent hours with three of my grandchildren because of this class, loving and getting to know them. Adding health class did the same for two others, but also reminded me of the sobering issues our culture faces.

Christmas day, my son-in-law Andrew Phillips,prayed, “Father, I ask that you give us sticky hands this year. Hands that will hold on to Your promises.” I love that prayer. In the natural, I hate sticky things, but I want those sticky hands. We need them when the enemy would taunt and torment us for believing for the impossible. We need the promises of God to get us through.

Balance is important. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. Psalm 143:5 But we also find Paul instructing us in Philippians 3:13-14 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on one thing. Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. We take time to remember and reflect, but we also must forget the past and look toward the future. There are things to accomplish for His kingdom, assignments of obedience to fulfill and value to add to those that cross our paths. Let us press on, dear friends. Let us press on.

Father, I thank you for the things accomplished in 2021. I thank you that you have unknown plans for 2022, that you want to reveal. Thank you, that as we press forward we can trust You. You have good things, we know, in store for us. Let us build on the things You taught us in 2021. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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