Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Beginnings

Happy New Year!!

This morning as I sat down to have my prayer time, I already knew just what I was going to say. And I did.... I told God that I hadn't really enjoyed 2008... and I wanted 2009 to be better. I allowed myself to list words or phrases that came to mind when I thought about our 2008, here are some of them....

Hard times
Financial disaster
Humbling (is this the right spelling?? it doesn't look right, but spell check says it's fine)
Struggles with my children
Sending my children to public school after years of homeschooling

Then my journaling began to look more like this....

"But Father, I must confess that the journey that you and I have been on has been good. A more consistent quiet time, a deeper trust in ALL circumstances, a greater desire and longing to know you, hopefully less pride, more honesty and "real", more desires to be used by you... So all in all... from eternities viewpoint... I guess 2008 wasn't a bad year after all."

I did add...

"the financial battle has been hard. And, I am ready to be DONE with it. Finished, never to return again. I hope that we have graduated from this class. I don't want to take it again."

Then my 2008 list began to look like this...

Real spiritual growth
Saw what real friendship is like
Saw His amazing work in my "Tuesdays" (Tuesday night Bible study girls)
Saw one of my "Tuesdays" receive Christ as her Savior
Saw one of my "Tuesdays" fall in love with His Word
Learned to trust Him no matter what... even when circumstances don't change... He can
change me.
Being in a better place with HIM than ever before.

As I sat there, I realized that maybe 2008 had not been as bad as I thought. By the worlds standards... oh yeah, it has been bad. But by God's standards... it actually was good, better than good... great. I am a different person going into 2009 than I was when I started 2008. For that I am thankful.

So as I started my list of hopes for 2009, they started like this...

To bring in more money, to get ourselves straightened out financially... to be able to save
money , to actually have money for things like car repairs, vet bills, taxes, to be
able to share more money, etc........
A stronger marriage
Better relationships with my children
To see each of my children start a real "walk" with Him

As I sat there in the quiet of my "spot"... I realized that had it not been for the "bad" of 2008... I might not have been in a place to see the "good" of 2008.

And... if all of my hopes become realities in 2009.... will I really be in a place to see growth in my relationship with the Lord?? Knowing Him was on my list of things for the upcoming year... but it was underneath all of the other things that I hoped for. Will I be able to see it if I am busy enjoying all the other things???

My attitude this morning completely changed... I realize that no matter what 2009 can bring my way, as long as I have Him... I will get through it. It may be hard... it may not be what I wanted... it may be more painful than this past year... OR it may be just what I hoped for... but no matter what....


Seeking Him is what I want for 2009. All the other stuff is what will make me who I am IN Him. Whether is be good or bad.... I want to be found in Him. Deeper. Trusting. Loving. Following. Obeying. Desiring more. Never satisfied with what I have of Him... always wanting more of Him. And the best part of all of this is... I know this is exactly what He wants for me too.

I ended my prayer time with this...

"I will praise you no matter what!!"
"I will love you no matter what!!"
"Grow me!" "Use me!" "Change me!"

"I am yours!!"

I am still looking for a "verse" to call my life verse for 2009. I will let you know when I find it. Last year I know that God spoke this one over me... Philippians 1:18b-20. (starting with Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,...........) I am not going to type it all out because I want you to go read it for yourself... see if you can decide why it was my verse for 2008. I didn't "get" it until about half way through the year... but it was my lifeline. My anchor. My promise from God.

May you have a Holy New Year... I think that "happy" is overrated.

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His Living Sacrifice said...

Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving a comment. I just want to hug you and encourage you. I can relate to the financial struggles. After being almost debt free, we've accumulated quite a bit of debt...sigh... I look forward to your journey in 2009 and getting to know you better. I'm adding you to my blogroll.

Happy Godly New Year!

Angela said...

This was an awesome, poweful devotional!! Genesis 50:20,,They intended it to harm you but God intended it for good, to save many lives'. this scripture comes to me so much, especially during these last almost 4 months.!! Through the finances, the job loss, the sickness, the brokenness, the world may see bad, but oh my goodness, I have witnessed, experienced and rested in God's abundant provisions, faithfulness, restoration and saving power. The darkest times of our lives has truly been the greatest shining of Jesus Christ's light upon our lives!!
Happy New Year sweetie.

Amy said...


Like you, we have had a difficult year...but in the difficulties we did see God, which was comforting. But like you, I am done with this class of lessons.;) (God willing.)

We went to see the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button last week, and it really touched me. Especially the character of Benjamin's mother. She was so accepting of God's will...She didn't try to "explain it" or even "understand it" just was what it was. She said the phrase all the time to Benjamin, "You never know what's coming for you."
She had the type of faith and attitude that I want for my own life. There was one scene in particular (I will share this on my blog Monday) where Benjamin is crying about his 'condition' and he asked his mom, "What's wrong with me, Momma?" To which she simply replied, "God hasn't told us that yet."

Such completely humble acceptance.

I pray that you and your family have an abundantly blessed new year.

In Christ,

LisaShaw said...

Lynn, I saw your beautiful face on a friends blog and stopped by.

This is a very beautiful and transparent message which I always appreciate. I think all of us can relate to some degree and in different ways to what you have shared.

But this says it ALL: "I will praise you no matter what!!" "I will love you no matter what!!""Grow me!" "Use me!" "Change me!" "I am yours!!"

May 2009 find you and your family even more deeper aware of the presence of our Abba Father and our Lord Jesus Christ through the leading of the Holy Spirit and may the favor of our GOD rest upon each of you. At the end of 2009 may you look back over it and find that the BLESSINGS far out weigh the challenges and all the way you can see the LORD's hand upon your life saying, "I'm with you and I love you".

God bless you.

Beverly said...

Thanks for sharing your 2008 and 2009 lists and prayers. I will be praying for you this year.

And as I've been talking to God about some decisions He wants me to do I pray that the number one on the list is to spend WAY more time with Him and becoming truly what He wants me to be, not what I want or what others expect. I totally want to be surrendered to Him.

Thanks for helping me see a different way to approach Him with my requests.

Love ya and how about (HAPPY HAPPY new year!!!!)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Beautifully written, Lynn. Growing closer to Jesus is a welcomed goal and heart-driven obedience. Thanks for doing the hard work and keeping to the road, despite the harsh climate. I hope to come to the end of this coming year with the same, consistent obedience that you've mirrored here.

peace to you in 2009~elaine

Regina said...

I love you sister!! Happy New Year!

This HAS been a year to remember for sure. Thank you for your friendship ~ you truly are a gift from Him.

Your post reminded me of this verse:

Proverbs 30:7-9 (NIV)

Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD ?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

I can't wait to see what all God has in store for us.

Laura said...

I love it...Holy New Year to you too, Lynn! I could relate to so much of what you wrote, friend. Hard times stink! So why do they bring us so much closer to HIm? It sounds like that is what happened, am I right? He is always right there close in those difficult times. I just need my spiritual vision adjusted so I can see HIm! Still working on that...

Many blessings in the New Year!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hey Lynn,
I just grabbed my KJV bible and my new Message bible and read your verses. WOW! Praising Him no matter what is key.* Just before I read this post, I had written back to someone and told them that very thing. "Praise God NO MATTER WHAT YOU'RE GOING THROUGH."
Our hearts are united tonight.. praising the FATHER."
HAPPY NEW YEAR-- IS happy reeeally over rated? lol Isn't there a song or something called don't worry be happy?

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

What a great heartfelt post!!

You've shared your heart so openly, and honestly, and I was so tickled to see the great things God has done, and is continuing to do in, and through your heart and life.

Blessings to you .

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading your post this morning. To see the good even in bad see that where it is most important that it was a Good year. The more you grow in the Lord, the easier the struggles will become...because once you have found that friend, in which you can truely cast all of your cares and worries tend to not worry as much as you would have.

I love the idea of saying "Holy New Year". I think that should be everyone's desire to have a Holy year. A year of growing closer...a year of praising him faithfully.

I am so glad you felt lead to comment on my post...I did not see any of it negative...It was was inspired from the Holy Spirit...and to quote my dad from his sermon last night..."the Holy Ghost (Spirit) will not harm you!"

You said something almost exactly to the words I used last night in my testimony..."but if He doesn't... I will still love Him and praise Him".

As you know the church has been praying faithfully for my husband and my desire...last night one of my Sunday School Children drew me a picture and called it the Superme (Supreme) Sunday School Teacher Aword (Award). That got me thinking and my statement was that I praise God for my Sunday School kids...and it they are they only children I will ever have that I will still Love Him...Honor him and praise him. I have battled with that statement...worried that someone thought that I was just coping "Facing the Giants"...when in fact that was the fartherest thing from my mind. You confirmed for me this morning that was what God wanted to hear from me.

God Bless you

Paula (SweetPea) said...

This is wonderful, Lynn. I'm honored to be a part of reading your revelation as it unfolded.

You are so right about how if it weren't for the bad you might not have seen the good. It truly is in the hard times that we grow the most in Christ. It's in the bad times that we need Him most. When do we ever run to Him desperately when the bank is full, the love account is full, the job is full, the house is full, the car is full. When everything goes well, we tempt the side of thinking we can do it on our own. WRONG!! I dare to say that He allows the bad as reminders to keep us clinging...and I mean God and God alone. Not our spouse. Not our job. Not our bank account. Not our pride.

This was an outstanding post of how good God is in the bad things and how perfectly they lay in His plan.
Sweet blessings.

Sue said...

I'll have to look that verse up tomorrow. I am up past my bedtime. I can relate to this post. I want to seek God more, too.

Thanks for your comment on my WFW post.

Jill said...

I enjoyed reading your reflection on the year. I've done a bit of that myself and though I look back at some hard times, I see God's hand. It is amazing and like you say has me at a better place as the new year starts off than I was last year. Blessings to you in the months to come. Keep walking with Him, Jill

Yolanda said...

Is my opening for what God spoke into my heart...Thank God for His mercies are new every morning....not just every year, but every morning.


PS: It's been to long friend!