Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ringing out and Ringing In - with Joy

This is the day when many reflect on the past 365 days...evaluating, recalling, even comparing them.  And I, like them, have done the same.

In church on Sunday, we were challenged with Psalm 90...a focus on time and the fact that at its best, life is brief. I was challenged by one particular verse...

"Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." v. 12

So when I look back at 2013, as most years, it has been a mix.  I gained two incredible colleagues who have been kindred spirits, my daughter and her family moved back close by, Edster and I have found a home church, I have reunited with some great friends, I continued to do meaningful work at the hospital, and I have experienced growth spiritually and creatively this year.

But Caleb has also had his struggles and times when my advocacy has felt futile, my mother went on to heaven in August after her decade-plus with Alzheimers, a gallbladder surgery, and after Christmas, I was hit with a hurt I did not see coming. And the Lord gave me another quote:

"Those things that hurt, instruct." - Ben Franklin

And what I realize is, no matter what 2014 brings...there will be joy.  It may be mingled with other things, but if I view my life from God's perspective, I will be grateful...and gratitude is the gateway to joy.

Sometimes gaining that heart of wisdom comes from the instruction provided by pain...sometimes there is no other way.

My job is to focus on the things that God deems important.  So much in life that concerns us really does not matter in the long run.

I commit 2014 to you, Lord.  Continue to conform me to be more like you as I allow you to love on me the whole year through.


  1. I love this Sweetie!! I have learned that sorrow and joy always go together. I can't have one without the other. Sending love!
    With hope and heart,

  2. I know 2013 was a rough one for you but I'm believing this next year your cup will be spilling over.

  3. Joy is always tinged with a bit of sorrow...and vice versa. I too am looking forward to a joyous New Year (hint hint ), but I know that many of the challenges of the past year(s) know no chronological boundaries. Hope sustains me.


  4. You are so right about the things that hurt instruct, we just have to be open enough to hear them. I'm sorry you lost your mom last year and that you've had struggles. Wishing you great things in 2014 Denise! xo

  5. Beautiful post to bring in the New Year! Happy New Year to you and your family!


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