Wednesday, January 1, 2014
2014 A year of Hope with a side of Serenity
I started to wonder at the beginning of December if I even dared to hope to have another 'yearly word' for my focus. Up until that day Dec 7, it had not even crossed my mind...I certainly have learned alot about myself from the past two (Joy & Peace) it has enriched my spiritual journey beyond measure. I didn't want to be greedy expecting that I'd get three in a row though.
So I did what has become such an integral part of my life, I prayed...not a faux prayer, like you might do when you're looking for a parking space close to the front of the store, "dear Lord, help me find a close spot' but a real heart to heart with my heavenly Father & friend. I asked if He thought I should have one; if it would benefit me for staying the course, that He would reveal it to me. I have learned through the years that IF you are willing to listen for the answers, more times that not, you will hear something.
Well, the very next day, totally out of the blue, my dear husband turns to me and says, "I think your word for next year should be Serenity." I just stared at him a second with my mouth open until I could speak. Mind you I had not mentioned to him my prayer the previous day for fear he'd think ...I don't know...something unflattering. lol We had not had any conversation at all about a 'word'.
I asked him WHY he said that because honestly I have always wondered if he'd paid attention enough to know I even HAD a yearly word! His answer? "I don't know why, it just popped into my head. We could use a year of serenity don't ya think?".
Hmmm, Serenity you say? I know what that means but let me look it up to be sure...Wiktionary says: The state of being serene; calmness; peacefulness. A lack of agitation or disturbance. That sounds lovely!! And for it to come up the way it did gave me pause, for sure...
It certainly does seem to be the natural progression doesn't it...joy begets peace and to actually incorporate those things into your life the results would be serenity. I liked the idea of it and we sure could use a focus on it...but there was still time before the end of the month...So I prayed again, if it be your will then I'll know for sure...I just want to know for sure that it's from You...In the years past, there was no mistake of 'the word' because it kept popping up everywhere. So I put it all on the back burner, not thinking on it at all actually.....until a couple days prior to the end of the month.
I kept hearing 'hope'....on the radio, in a blog, on a sign, it was everywhere..and it really stood out to me like never before! Then on New Year's eve day my friend posts on facebook this scripture and commentary...
"Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. (NLT) ( Lamentations 3:21-22 )
Have you stopped daring to hope? At times, our hope in our dreams and plans on this earth to do great things diminish when we don't see a sliver of success. But don't let that stop you from believing in yourself. Remember, even though we may not see God, our hope in His love and grace is always there. Keep hoping no matter what."
It really did seem like the culmination of things...cause those comments were very similar to the meaning my husband had about serenity....getting back to encouraging, uplifting peace in our lives...Looking at the positives, and eeking out time for us & the things that gave us joy instead of always working.
I told my friend, "I was just thinking of 'hope' yesterday and today!! If my daily scripture also talks about hope this morning, I will definitely feel that this is to be my word for the year! however I have also had strong feelings for serenity as well...but I think that through hope we also find serenity..."
I immediately went to my email inbox to check my daily scripture..Instead of my scripture from my devotional site I had this...are you ready?....
" Dear Kathy,
What an exceptional year 2013 has been. We have seen God take us through a shift into victory, favor, and blessings. And with your prayers and support, our ministry has brought hope to people all over the world. As you invest into the ministry, know you are also investing in the lives of millions that may be unreachable without your help. Together, we can continue to share the HOPE of Christ all around the world."
The capital letters in HOPE was theirs, not mine, by the way....
How could I possibly question it now? So I went to my trusty stack of blank journals (ya, we won't go there as to why I seem to collect these empty books just waiting to be filled.)...I was excited & anxious to get ready for the new year of HOPE....I eyed the stack and grabbed the one that seemed to be the right size for what I wanted.....you will never guess what I pulled out...
I laughed out loud at seeing this!
So here's to a year of HOPE and side of SERENITY! Yep, two words!!