Monday, December 31, 2012
At the onset of this year, I shared what I thought to be my One Word for 2012.
Yet when I wrote my blog profile for the year, the word shift imprinted itself on my mind and followed me throughout the year. I had written in my journal on December 1, 2011,
"This will be a shifting year. Perhaps this is my word for 2012."
Yet I went with my head when choosing my one word.
1. to exchange for or replace by another
2. a. to change the place, position or direction of
b. to make a change in (place)
3. to change phonetically
A few others are: to change gears, to depress the shift key, to go through a change
Several shifts took place in my life in twelve months.
Spiritually, I knew Jesus was calling me to turn to Him, instead of always asking Him to turn to me. To follow Him, regardless of what it looked like. I responded with my whole heart in readiness. Little did I know how life would change. By October, I was living withmy daughter, caring for a toddler, having left my life and all that entailed. I chose to follow Jesus and this was His plan.
My scripture verse for the year: "She who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty, whose power no foes can withstand."
Psalm 91:1 Amplified.
I thought I knew what it was to dwell in the secret place but I have much to learn.
I spent much time in Psalm 23, sitting at the table in the presence of mine enemies, letting Jesus set the table. Familiar scriptures becoming unfamilar and new.
As 2012 comes to a close, I thought I would breathe a big sigh of relief to have it behind me, but instead this morning I sit with the knowledge that God has created a deep work inside of me. I hadn't known pruning of my heart was needed. I hadn't realized how I had kept Holy Spirit at a distance, all the while begging him to come. I hadn't seen the idols vying for my attention. My eyes were closed to the acres of fallow ground in my garden which needed plowing.
But Jesus knew when he stood before me one Saturday morning and said to me, " Follow Me upon the high places," where He was taking me.
Did I make this journey without fear, doubt, pain and despair?
I wish I could say yes, but that would not be the truth.
It has been hard.
There were times I wondered where He was.
Again and again I turned to His Word for reassurance. After months of that, the Word grew dim in the light of circumstance.
I could only rely on His faithfulness, even when I was faithless.
2012 I bid you farewell.
Thank you for the gifts you have imparted to me. I am forever changed.
Posted by GraceGal at 9:52 AM
Saturday, December 29, 2012
I can hardly believe the year is nearly over. Nor can I comprehend how life can change so drastically within a short period of time. Over the next few days I want to share about my word for 2012 and a few other things. But for today, lets do something fun!
At the close of each year I like to share my favorite book list. I know I am leaving some out, but I am going by what I remembered to post on my Shelfari. So here goes.
My Top Ten Books of 2012
10. Crafted Prayer by Graham Cooke I have read this over and over.
9.Blackberry Winter and The Bungalow both by Sarah Jio the romantic in me loves all her books
8.Blessed Beyond Measure by Gloria Copeland underlined, circled and read aloud
7. Sea Change by Karen White a library find, haunting
6. No Other Gods by Kelly Minter God really spoke to me through this book
5. 7 by Jen Hatmaker prepared me for lifestyle changes
4. The BookLover by Maryann McFadden Great read for booklovers
3. Slow Dancing on Price's Pier by Lisa Dale a great find at a book sale, I cried
2. Coming Home by Karen Kingsbury Hard to say goodbye to this family. excellent end and i dont read all her books
The Hunger Games Trilogy
This is a departure for me but my granddaughter said I just had to read it. She was right I was hooked and read all three. I couldnt put them down.
What was your favorite read of 2012?
Posted by GraceGal at 4:44 PM
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
After two months away (with the exception of an overnite trip), I drove home last Thursday. I wasn't feeling great but wanted to prepare for Christmas. I had shopping to finish, gifts to wrap and maybe even do a little baking if time allowed.
When I arrived home, I stripped the bed, cleaned, unpacked and settled down by 3:00 with tea and toast. Unfortunately, the pain I had been experiencing grew worse. By 6:00 pm I was in the ER.
To make a long story short, I never got to sleep in my own bed. I spent three nights in the hospital with an attack of pancreatitis. I have long had problems with my pancreas caused by a birth defect, but no acute attacks for twenty years.
It is Christmas night now and what a strange Christmas! No tree, no big dinner, no pile of gifts, and especially no family gathering.
It is time to practice Eucharisteo once again.
What I am grateful for tonight:
~FaceTime on iPad and iPhone- we got to see all the family. Our grandson lined up all his gifts and gave us a tour.
~My girls had a good day, despite their first Christmas alone
~I was able to eat a bit of potato, albeit plain, and a few grean beans (much better than chicken broth)
~Hubby with me all day
~sisters and bro-in-law popped by
~a few gifts from a friend
~cozy warm home
~more facetime with our girls
~and I am shortly going to climb into my own bed
Merry Christmas Bloggers!
Count your blessings before you lay your head on the pillow tonight.
Posted by GraceGal at 9:10 PM
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
"A flawless performance is not what mattered, but the complete obedience of filling jars to the brim, holding nothing back." Kelly Minter
Curling up in the recliner while Lily sleeps, I turn to "No Other Gods" to read a bit more. Kelly Minter's words resonate with something deep in my spirit.
Complete obedience. Not partial.
I think of my prayer a few months ago.
"Lower my resistance to the Holy Spirit."
Today, much is pruned away. I find myself in a new world and a familiar one. The familiar is the world of toddlers, diapers, and Dora the Explorer. Learning about autism and appointments and case managers is a new and unfamiliar world.
Complete obedience. Following God's plan, one day at a time. Sometimes moment by moment. Trusting without understanding.
I remember when Jesus told them to fill up the water pots at the wedding in John 2, he was preparing the way for his first miracle. The servants didn't know this, they simply obeyed...completely.
Slowly I loosen my grasp on understanding and bow my knee in surrender to the One who knows what he's doing. Holding nothing back as much as I am able.
This is my worship this Christmas.
Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Posted by GraceGal at 3:20 PM
Monday, December 17, 2012
"He is the God who performs miracles." Psalm 77:14
A few weeks ago, I didn't think there would be a Christmas tree for us this year. Yet here we were last night, putting up the "transition tree."
We laughed as Amber put the stand in wrong and then we couldn't get it out. White plastic needles covered the floor by the time the stand was upright.
Lily took off with two red bulbs, attempting to eat them. The chase was on :)
A hunt ensued for an extension cord to plug in the lights.
An angel tree topper ( well, sort of) was the finishing touch.
Let there be light! Hurrah!
He is the God who performs miracles, bringing hope and laughter into the midst of loss and pain.
Sharing a pocket of joy from my corner of the world this Monday morning.
Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Posted by GraceGal at 8:22 AM
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
If you follow my blog then you know a bit of the difficulty of the last two months.
I am adding the flu to the list. I have been sick for a few days now.
It's time to take a blog break. I am at the bottom of the barrel creatively.
Hopefully returning soon.
Posted by GraceGal at 7:45 PM
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Your way in delivering your people was through the sea, and your path through great waters, yet your footsteps were untraceable.
Psalm 77:19 amplified translation
Now I will arise...Psalm 12 NIV
With My eyes as your guide. Psalm 32 passion translation
Jacob was in a hard place. He couldn't see anything that dark night when he laid his head upon a stone, alone and all his life shifted. Then everything changed. In the night God opened a portal of hope through a dream. He gave Jacob His eyes to see that God was right there with him and He had a plan. Genesis 28
Matthew Henry's commentary says that when the people were despondent and at their end, God moves.
He arises that we may see him, perhaps not as we think of seeing. Yet when the sea parts, we know He has been there even when his footsteps are untraceable.
Posted by GraceGal at 9:33 AM
Friday, December 7, 2012
I tossed and turned much of the night.
Stilted, quiet sacrifice of praise rises from my mouth.
I will not fail you!
I keep hearing Beth Moore repeat these words from Joshua 1.
I will not fail you!
Still small voice echoes
I will not fail you.
Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Posted by GraceGal at 6:14 AM
Thursday, December 6, 2012
I have always loved this time of the year. I love the decorations, the homemade gifts, working around the house, Christmas lights, and Hallmark movies.
This year is different.
Just when I thought it wouldn't get worse, it did. How can someone we embraced as family inflict so much pain on those I love?
We've watched the stories on Oprah of women in other countries who experience unspeakable evils.We are inspired by their courage and a little afraid of that unknown world, where hatred of women is overtly displayed.
I am beginning to sense a different type of warfare on women here in our country, a covert operation of darkness where families are splintered and left broken and confused. Emotional wounds, harder to identify than outward ones, become heavy burdens for women to bear. The stories have always been there to a certain extent but my own pain and that of my girls has awakened me to that of others.
I cannot take on the burden of the world tonight however. I sit before this screen and wonder, "Am I brave enough to share the questions that are weighing me down? "
Ann Voskamp writes that God withholds no good thing from us in the midst of our suffering.
Over at Moments and Invitations another woman struggles with the question, "Can all the hurting hearts believe that He withholds no good thing from us?" as she moves through her own pain.
Can I believe it?
the breakthrough we have longed for
in need of great grace tonight
He withholds no good thing.
There are times when it takes digging deep to believe.
Posted by GraceGal at 9:45 PM
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
The weather has been a gift.
One of my prayers since I relocated temporarily has been for good weather. I am staying with my sister-in-law and driving to my daughter's home each morning, a twenty minute drive on good roads. The weather has been unusual for December in Maine.
Both Monday and today, the sun came out long enough for Lily and I to go for a walk. Today we didn't need gloves or a hat. It was beautiful.
Thank you Lord.
Posted by GraceGal at 1:55 PM
Sunday, December 2, 2012
|Paul Cyr Photography|
If you are following my blog, you already know that over a period of several weeks my life has changed.
Yesterday, after six weeks away from home, I returned to the County.
That's what we call this part of the state. I live in a farming community in the northern part of Maine. In recent years there has been an influx of Amish families to our area (which I love by the way). You can visit Paul Cyr's site for more photographs of Aroostook County and the Amish.
I am sitting in my living room watching the snow lightly descend. Soon we will be on the road southbound to begin another week.
I have been pondering taking December off from blogging but not quite ready to let go. We will see.
Posted by GraceGal at 9:05 AM