SAYING HELLO TO A BRAND NEW YEAR AND THE MONTH OF JANUARY
I love the opportunity to start each new year all over again; all fresh and new and clean! Just like a fresh, clean, white blanket of snow.
It happens each time we turn the civil calendar in our nation; and we all begin to plan how the days of our civil year will transpire. We can say goodbye to all the things about 2017 that bogged us down and kept us form moving forward. It is time to do our civil housekeeping and close our civil accounts. We don’t want to move into the new year with old business. Let’s make some tracks and put a few footprints down in the snow so that people will know we have lived!
We can start a whole new chapter in the book of our lives and call it 2018.
This “year-turning” is a lesser version of happy compared to the turnings of the sacred calendar and all the glorious things it has to offer; but we live in the civil world and we need to recognize both places and maintain good accounts with both God and men.
Keeping two calendars isn’t really that complicated. The Jewish people actually observe several calendars through out the year. They have one for government and civil activities, one for holy days and sacred activities, and then other calendars for certain subjects that stand alone; like the life cycle of the trees, and other natural occurrences that God has automatically built into the world.
But in January in America we start a new civil year.
How refreshing is that?
I love new beginnings and find it enjoyable to be starting out on new adventures.
I think January 2018 is going to be just that – new beginnings and great adventures.
There seems to be this wonderful and hopeful sense that the new year will be a year of good changes for many.
Most people are already regrouping, organizing and planning for the year ahead.
Are you doing that too?
A wise friend once suggested to me that we could simplify things by picking just one word to define each new year instead of making a bunch of useless resolutions.
Last year my word was “organization.”
I truly spent a LOT of my time last year trying to get more organized. I was a trooper; a very DETERMINED person. You would think by this stage of my life I would have arrived; but do we ever truly get there? I have a lot of catching up to do before I die. LOL.
I’m still working on my list; but I can admit to a certain amount of progress with my organization of life-in-general.
I’m going to share a few of those things with you in some January articles in AN APPLE A DAY, THE HOUSE DOCTOR and the MONDAY MENUS sections of the blog. So get prepared to be organized in your mind, your health, your diet, your living and your spending. January will be loaded with these timely tips. I hope you find many of them helpful for beginning a new year.
I also want to share some new concepts for this new year.
In GROW OLD WITH ME I will tell you about my greatest regret over the last thirty years. Can you guess what it will be???? Most likely; you are wrong. Keep reading to find out. It has a lot to do with keeping a home and raising children. Now that is the only clue you are going to get. Just keep reading.
So if I had to pick one word to describe what I would like to accomplish in 2018; I think I would pick the word “prepare.”
Funny how you tend to think of only young people needing to prepare; but there is actually a LOT of preparations to make as we age.
Of course I want to be prepared to meet God in eternity one day; and those thoughts are ongoing in our Thursday Bible studies called COME AS A CHILD. The month of January 2018 is going to carry us into some pretty deep subjects with those articles. Get ready.
I also want to begin to prepare for retirement. With me – this will take a while. It is truly going to be a process. I’m making my list and checking it twice for all the ducks I want to have in a row when I finally do reach that HUGE mile-marker in my life. Honestly, I’m about to get excited; but I have a way to go to be ready.
Will I ever be ready?
I’m not sure; but it certainly will not be from not trying.
If you are in the same boat you might find some of my January articles interesting.
I guess what I want to be the most prepared for is MORE LIVING .
That may not be what you were expecting to hear; but I hope you are willing to take that same journey with me. I have a theory that when we finally get old enough to KNOW how to live; we should DO IT. I don’t want to sit down and give up at this stage of the game. I finally know what it is all about! My preparations will be all about living inside-out and upside-down in God’s abundant Kingdom. It might be more about giving away than storing away; and more about making and leaving a lasting legacy for those that I love than making plans for exotic cruises and travel (though I’m not turning many of those opportunities down should they magically appear on the horizon.)
I think for me travel will be more about sharing life experiences with different sets of people that I love.
I’ll have some great places for winter travel destinations mapped out to talk about in January’s OH THE PLACES WE WILL GO articles. Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean we have to shut down and give up till spring – let’s enjoy the fresh air and see what God has to show us about growing and learning in the winter beauty of His lovely creation.
All of these wonderful things for thinking about January and starting the new civil year appear to be good things; and they are;, IF I remember one thing. Nothing is possible without God’s help and guidance. If we are left to our own thoughts and ideas; we humans tend to make a big, fat mess of things.
Most of all this year, as I make my way through all of these plans, I want to remember that my strength and abilities come from God. If we are going to be strengthened by God we have to realize that we must declare our own inabilities to Him and ask for His holy guidance. 2 Corinthians 12: 9 tell us “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
So if all of last year’s organization still isn’t finished and all of this year’s preparing gets to be a struggle; I plan to stop, be still and take a deep breath of God’s grace and mercy. Then I will trust Him to lead me on through this wilderness of 2018 into a new and perfect promised land.
We will get there!
Let’s do it together.
It will happen because God is bigger than any plans that I could ever devise.
SAYING GOODBYE TO 2017 AND THE MONTH OF DECEMBER
I hope you loved the December articles as much as I enjoyed sharing them. Thanks for putting up with me and staying with the blog if I happened to ruffle a few feathers and twist a few traditions.
We covered so much territory in December!
The first part of the month was all about exploring whether and how a Christian should celebrate the season of Christmas. You can read it again here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/conception-of-christ/ I’m sure some of the articles were a bit surprising in nature. We discussed whether or not a Christian should celebrate Christmas; whether they should use Advent wreaths and whether or not they should put up Christmas trees. You can review those articles here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/truth-about-christmas-trees/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/advent/.
We were even brave enough to tackle that age-old question of what to tell your children about Santa Clause; whether you should lie or tell the truth. You might want to save this one for next year: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/st-nicholas-truth/.
We discussed the concept of believing that Christ was CONCEIVED in the month of December but born in the fall. This brought us to consider how beautiful the INCARNATION OF CHRIST should be for us; and how it plays into the whole season of Christmas celebrations. Keeping the holy in mind; we enjoyed sharing our decorating ideas in THE HOUSE DOCTOR. https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/my-blue-christmass/
After we settled all the important issues with several discussions; we discussed how a Christian Advent and a Christian Hanukkah can add richness to our winter season. You may review those here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/the-fourth-sabbath-of-advent-a-meditation-on-transformation-seasons/.https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/becoming-one-lampstand/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/real-light-hanukkah/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/following-true-light/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/the-third-sabbath-of-advent-a-meditation-on-joy-and-love-seasons/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/shine-hanukkah/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/truth-light-hanukkah/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/the-light-hannukah/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/christian-hanukkah/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/becoming-a-light-bearer-series-part-one-exploring-the-history-and-the-mystery-of-hanukkah/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/the-second-sabbath-of-advent-a-meditation-on-seeking-and-preparing-seasons/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/the-first-sabbath-of-advent-a-meditation-on-waiting-seasons/
I hope you enjoyed the thought-provoking meditations provided.
I also hope you enjoyed the little children’s story that we provided for the season: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/the-little-star/.
We even threw in a little winter poetry: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/winter/
January MAY be a little more settled and a lot less provocative; time will tell.
Thank you all for coming along with me and holding my hand in this life; whether we agree or disagree. The love of God is strong enough to permeate it all; and He will lead us into more complete understanding and wisdom as we continue to call on His name and trust Him to guide us.
Let’s keep walking and let’s keep learning!
There is a whole new year ahead of us.
Let’s not waste a moment!