A brand new page

blogIMG_4917It’s here.  It says so right here on my brand new calendar.  The one with empty spaces for each new day in this new year of 2015.  Two thousand and fifteen.  Two thousand and fifteen!

Wasn’t it just yesterday that the entire world worried their gigabytes off because the page was turning over to the year 2000 and all of those ‘experts’ predicted a major catastrophe as we reached Y2K?  Y2K, the year 2000. 

Well, of course the year 2000 arrived and passed by without a glitch. And here we are 15 years later welcoming in another new year. It’s true what my wise Daddy used to say that the older you became the faster the years flew by.  And we’ve just put another year on the back shelf.

What lies ahead is anyone’s guess but I know one thing.  We will fill up those empty spaces on the calendar with the everyday task of living if the Lord gives us a year full of new days.  But just living is not how I want to spend these blank spaced days on my calendar of life. 

I want to fill those days with wonder.  With joy.  With love.  With exuberance.  With amazement.  With opportunity.  With thanksgiving (yes, I haven’t given up that word yet).

In years past, I either chose or was given a new word for each year – a word that might manifest itself in some way to prove amazing or noteworthy as it worked its way through the pages of my life.  Sometimes I struggled with those words – the ones like peace, strength, growth. 

This year, I haven’t chosen a word nor has one come across the crowded desk of my mind for me to take notice.  Out of the thousands and thousands of words in my native English language, I haven’t claimed one for my own.  And not a word has settled upon me and laid claim to me either.

Instead perhaps I should choose a different word for each day of the new year.  After all, a new year – one that’s sparkling clean with no dings or dents, no marks or notations, no regrets or regressions – presents itself for new ideas, new revelations, new…everything.

I’m not one for making resolutions every year.  I usually fail miserably at them, so I stopped torturing myself years ago.  But even though I don’t make resolutions, I do have resolve.  And though my slate is empty right now and my calendar is clear for the time being, I know there’s one thing I plan to muster up enough resolve to do this year.

I will take each fresh new day as it comes and see what the Lord will show me on that day because even when I can’t be completely faithful, God is.  Morning by morning, new mercies I’ll see.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” ~ Lamentations 3:22-24  (NIV)

What about you?  How will you fill your new calendar in this brand new year?

“Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.” ~ Charles Kettering

©2015 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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No more empty pages

pexels-photo-261735.jpegOften friends encourage me without them even knowing they’ve done so, and sometimes they humble me as well.

Today a friend told me she keeps a gratitude list.  She’s been keeping it for four years.

I started a gratitude journal way back in 1998.  Want to guess how many pages I wrote in it?  Nine and a half. 

What’s odd is that I enjoy writing tremendously, so why couldn’t I fill all the pages of that journal full of words of thanksgiving and gratefulness and start another one?  Actually, I should have an entire bookshelf of gratitude journals by now.   But I don’t.

So I’m feeling humbled by this friend who has so much more faithfulness than me at being grateful and documenting her thankful thoughts.  It’s obviously something I need to improve or at least attempt.

I rummaged through my desk drawer and dug out my lovely 1998 gratitude journal, a gift from a good friend.   On the front page, she wrote this:  “Take a moment each day and write down five things you are grateful for.  It could be a moment, event, or just something that brought a smile to you today.  Let me start by sharing how much I appreciate your support and friendship.  You are truly ‘a very best friend’!”

This friend and I became acquainted through our children’s elementary school when we both served as PTA officers.  I jokingly told her when we met that we would become “best friends” as we would work so closely together on school functions.  We joked about that a lot, but we really did become close friends and even now, so many years later, we still sign our Christmas cards “from your very best friend!”

I noted that her entry in my journal was dated April 5, 1998.  I wrote this three days later:  “I am so thankful for friends like K [she gave me the journal] who brighten my day; friends like KL who can give me godly and wise advice; that Mom is experiencing God’s power and peace while she’s dealing with her cancer diagnosis; that our gracious and loving Lord not only hears our prayers but answers them; for my children’s, husband’s, and my good health.”

I continued to write a paragraph or two from April through June.  And then the writing stopped.  Is it a mere coincidence that I discontinued writing the day after my family and I moved back to the homeland?  I don’t know.  Life was extremely unsettled then and my mother was dying of cancer.  I spent a lot of time in prayer during that time, but maybe my feelings and emotions were just too raw to put into ink on paper.

Over the years, I’ve picked up this small bound book with the floral design on the front, read what I previously wrote, and closed the book again without writing one paragraph.  I could excuse myself by saying I was too busy planning my new home, raising my children, running to sports events, getting involved in church and school volunteering, but I know I was thankful for many, many occurrences, large and small, in my life.  So why didn’t I take a moment to chronicle them?  It’s a puzzle to me.

Perhaps it is a lack of discipline on my part.  I failed to note over 10 years of thankfulness in written form, but looking back over those years, I can recall much for which my heart is grateful.  But the day-to-day items, the usual but not insignificant blessings I’ve experienced, those are tucked away in my mind’s memory bank like old, faded mementos buried in a dusty trunk in the attic and forgotten.

But there’s so much to be thankful for.

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com