Different Directions But Full of Joy!

It has been a while since I have been here. I visited one or two other spaces yesterday and it was a blessing to read others thoughts. Especially since I have not been able to focus on one single thought…So many things pulling me in different directions.  Kids and their futures, namely their education; my daily walk with the Lord, my lack of focus in my devotions and prayer; the weight loss program I started 3 weeks ago and all the prep work and planning that goes into it (which has been worth it, I have lost 11 lbs to date); Finally the myriad of things I want to do if I only had the time…The daily devotional calendar that sits on my desk at work has been gently giving me reminders to "rest in God", "wait on God" and now today "submission to God".  Those are simple enough messages! Thank God for simple!!
Things coming up to pray and praise God about:
  1. a first granbaby ( I have decided to be called Grammy)
  2. my 16 year old going to driving school (fear-pray)
  3. a new teenage boy in the family by birthday (one more to go)
  4. a new pet – I have caved in and decided to get a hamster for my youngest son – a fish would not do, you can not cuddle and pet them.  I have purchased the "how to care for your hamster" book and he has to read it cover to cover and answer any question I ask.   

"And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. "

1 John 1:4

New Years Resolution or Surrender?

I have not made a New Years resolution in years but have on occasion tried to give something to God for the coming year. Something that I have struggled with the previous year.  I am kind of hesitant to know what to give… I could be noble and say to God "I’ll give it all" but I know my heart is struggling still with a few things.  Fear of unknown, loneliness and more failures.  Resolutions say "I will", Surrender says, "God’s Will"  See the difference?  I want this to be the year of complete surrender, in my heart andin my life.  I want to feel true joy again…and I know that comes from the surrendering itself.
Looking back over the last year there were many events that were life changing for my whole family.  It changed the way we talk to each other, the way we love each other and even the way we look at the future.  Going into Christmas we were all anticipating a sadness because of those missing from our midst. 
But through God’s grace Christmas turned out to be nice. In the quiet moments we missed Dani and spoke of it, hard though it was it was part of the days we spent together.  That is the part of death that seems to be a mystery. The grieving time afterward, different for everyone but shared.   I had a DVD memorial made of my sister and it was more than I had hoped for.  It has special music and old home movies that had not been seen since we were little girls.  Even a video of her singing "The Rose" which she was so fond of singing…and it was absolutely beautiful.  But watching it I seen her life in a special way…a way that I am most certain she had not seen.  That was the sad part for most of us.  I had a copy made for everyone in the family and few friends.  But I think for her son that it will be, over the years, a wonderful memory of his mother.  The beauty she had and the love she had for her family which was obvious from the numerous photos of her interacting with all of us. 
It was so special to have us all together. Especially for my mother and my father.  To have their children and grandchildren around them to know that life is going on.  We have many wonderful things to look forward to…a grandchild for me, great-grandchild for them, my sister Amanda due in July, another high school graduation and a wedding in a couple of years. My Elizabeth Elliot devotional calender said on January 1
I have found that every experience in my life, if offered to Jesus, can be my gateway to joy.
(The Pathway to Holiness)
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!"
We did quite a bit of driving but it was worth it…we had gatherings three days in a row, went to a special wedding in Springfield and got to eat some great food at The Pasta House, my favorite place to visit while in Missouri.  For some of the Christmas hi-lights view my Christmas in Missouri 2006 photo Album and enjoy! By the way may your New Year be full of wonder and joy!!!