Have been thinking of my 'word of the year' which I let roll around in my head each year after Christmas, and have come up with a word that's sort of odd. It's SHED. To shed myself of personal expectations that are unrealistic. To shed relationships that are unhealthy. Shedding occupations that hurt me rather than help me. Maybe shedding pounds, which should be near the top of my list, but I'm also not going to overwhelm myself with things that weigh me down. Not meaning to be funny, but losing weight can be weighty, if you know what I mean. And the word SHOULD is another one I want put limits on. If I base my life on shoulds, I'll set myself up to fail. For example, I should lose weight, but I need to shed the thinking that losing weight will help me to love myself. Uh, no.
Prayer needs for the New Year:
For God's guidance in my children's lives, for one to lead our oldest daughter as she seeks the Lord's will regarding marriage. She's not dating anyone, but has a heart to be married and have children. Praying for His timing and her continued patience to wait. To rise above her disappointment when she feels forgotten by Him. Timing.
That my 3 children who have yet to leave the nest to be wise and listen. To trust the Lord to make their paths clear to them. To grow up gradually and not in one fell swoop. And for me to pay attention to what they don't say to me. To watch and listen to them, and for me to be slow to grow angry and speak harshly.
For our son in California, with his wife and little girl. For a willingness for them to be patient as well. So often as believers we jump ahead, forgetting that God often moves slowly. This son wants to be out of California, partly because of the isolated place where they live, but also because of the fires and unpredictability of safety because of them. Thankfully they don't want to be impulsive.
Our son in the military: Thankful that he's back in the US and won't be leaving again for eastern Europe to complete his tour. Change of plan within the Army for part of his platoon. So thankful. This son is a believer, but has left his first love. Praying for him to refocus on God and to remember how He's held him up throughout all he's been through. That his time overseas was diverted is a clear answer to prayer. Still amazes me. Hazel and her sweet mom are also overcome to have him near.
That our oldest son will be able to hear God's voice in the midst of his worldly way of living. That in some tiny way the irresistible words of God Almighty will pierce his hardened heart. That he'll remember what he used to practice. And that he'll listen and surrender before he grows much older.
For our son who's chosen a gay lifestyle: Being in the midst of a breakup in a 4 year relationship, he's a concern now since I don't believe he's ever surrendered to the Lord. He knows the truth, but only that. Head knowledge, and not heart knowledge. Praying God can use his present heartache to heal him and direct him. He seeks fulfillment in human connections and not a spiritual one.
And for my husband who's offered a kidney to a fellow parishioner at our church. He's begun the tests at the hospital, and in the coming weeks we'll find out finally if he's a good match. This is huge, both for the man who's going through nightly dialysis and our family as we worry about this sacrifice. I'm two ways about this whole situation. Admiring of my husband's generosity, but I shake my head. How to do that? Don't tell him I've shared this. He's not keen on word getting around.
In reading what I've typed it seems the underlying focus is patience, surrender and trust. Sounds so basic, but maybe that's what it's all about anyhow. The Christian life isn't complicated, but that we make it so.
Ready to put this year to bed.