Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out with the Old...

In with the New!  
Well as this year quickly comes to an end it is a great time to reflect on the past months and think about how blessed we have been in 2013. John and I have been blessed with good health, and even though we are not rich we have so much more than we need. We have a warm home with beds to sleep in, food to eat, and clothes to keep us warm. We are blessed that our parents who are 76, 84, and 85 haven't had any major medical problems this past year, and are doing fairly well considering their ages. We are blessed that our youngest child graduated with honors from college and we had the resources to help her accomplish that, and our son is doing great in his career and is contemplating going back to school for his masters. We are blessed to have such good friends and neighbors and are able to enjoy community and fellowship with them.  We are blessed that John still has a job even with the rocky economy.  We are blessed that our faith is strong, and have a Heavenly Father that loves us... we are truly blessed.

"But blessed is the one who trust in the Lord, who's confidence is in Him.  They will be like a tree planted in the water that sends it roots by the stream, it does not fear when heat comes; it's leaves are always green.  It has no worry of drought and never fails to bear fruit." ~Jeremiah 17:7-8



As the year closes, many people make resolutions for the New Year. I am not a real good resolution maker, I usually fail at them by the end of the first day and then feel guilty for a month after :(. So instead of making a New Years resolution, many years ago I decided to make one resolution to myself, a resolution... not to make a resolution that I knew I would eventually fall short of, but instead say a prayer and give the New Year to the Lord.  I usually just pray, offering myself into His hands and asking for the guidance to accomplish the things that are laid in my path in the New Year and try to rely on Him to help me accomplish new goals and challenges,  and help me to see changes that need to be made in my life or things I need to work towards.  I also pray for my family and friends, and leave the resolutions in God's hands and try to give that ultimate control to Him.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Phillipians 4:6



The New Year is an exciting time... it leaves you with the feelings of new beginnings and leaving old things in the past. Most resolutions people make are about working toward more positive goals in our lives... working on bad relationships, jobs or health. It is amazing how many weight loss and exercise equipment ads are on TV this time of year! Almost everyone vows to get into shape, eat better and exercise, and usually after all the goodies we consume over the holiday season, it is a great time to begin! 


May He give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 
~ Psalms 20:4



John and I decided about 2 years ago to live a healthier lifestyle. We decided to eat better, exercise more, and get enough rest. I decided to join Weight Watchers and although John did not go with me to meetings, did it alongside me.  We both lost a considerable amount of weight and also because we walk 2 1/2 miles almost every evening started feeling great.  We sleep better, and have a lot more energy, and a lot fewer aches and pains.


For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~Jeremiah 29:11 



Of course like everything, it is a lot of work, and we back slide at times, and since colder weather is upon us and our roads are a bit slippery, we have not been walking as much. Also, because of the holidays, I have been making and blogging some not so healthy recipes!  We understand that we can eat just about anything we want, but in moderation, but the holidays seem to be a little more challenging with parties, eating out with friends, and holiday baking.  I actually do better when I journal, or use a food log to keep myself accountable and with the holidays, I have not been keeping up with that... so like everyone else, now is the time to pull it in, and get it together!


Taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. ~Psalms 34:8


In the new year, am hoping to revisit some of our favorite healthier recipes, and tips for weight loss and share some other great ideas from friends and family who are also working toward healthy goals that can help us all physically, mentally, and spiritually! For me personally, it is not so much a "resolution" but a "re-dedication" to myself and my family to live a healthy lifestyle... I do want to be around someday to enjoy my Grandbabies!


For I command you today to love your Lord God, to walk in obedience to Him, and to keep His commands, decrees, and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. ~Deuteronomy 30:16


Along with some great new recipes I want to explore I am hoping to begin some few fun projects. For those of you that know me, you know I love to take something old, and make it new again!  I have some great furniture pieces that I want to re-work and some fun craft projects to try! 


To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness, and holiness. ~Ephesians 4:22-24



I also want to impact my world with simple kindness.  One of my prayers is that I can at least touch one person each week in 2014 with something special. A card, a note, a kind word, a phone call, a meal, or something else the Lord lays at my feet that a friend, or a stranger is in need of. Just think, at one person a week I could touch the lives of 52 people with Gods love, even if it is only in some small way... can you imagine if we each made that commitment how it would impact the world around us! 




Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and the greatest commandment.  And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. ~Matthew 22:37-39


But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.  Against such things there is no law. ~Galatians 5:22-23

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in it's various forms." ~1 Peter 4:10



I would love to hear what your resolutions, and prayers for the New Year are.  What goals or things do you hope to accomplish and how you plan on getting there?  If you need a friend or a listening ear, or just someone to pray for you or with you, I would love to help, all you need to do is ask.


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore, i will hope in Him." 
~ Lamentations 3: 22-24 " 



My prayer for all of us as we enter 2014 is that it will be one filled with love, joy, and  a peace that reaches to the depths of our souls. That we will each feel the love of God in powerful ways, and have community with others who will hold is up in prayer and support us along our life's journey.  May this be a year that we all feel much love, and in turn love others well. That our hands and our hearts are open and that we grow in our personal faith, and are able to utilize the gifts God gave us. May we be generous with our resources, for we know that it all comes from God. May we all live better, healthier lives, get enough rest and exercise and in doing so we will be better servants and be able to do whatever it is that God lays before us. Let us not march to the beat of our own drum, or do what others expect of us, but rather march to the beat of our hearts and that which God has laid in us and for the purposes that He intends. In all this, may we draw closer to God and be filled with Him and in doing so, let it renew our minds, bodies, and  our souls... Amen!
  
Do not  conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to approve what Gods will is, His good, pleasing, and perfect will. ~Romans 12:2




Happy New Year!

With much hope for the New Year,
Sandy