As we wrap up another Christmas season, with all the trappings and commercialization that seem to become more invasive every year, I ponder why we really do all of this. It would be so wonderful to simplify it all and get back to the real reason why we even celebrate this holiday. Even within the church, we seem to become so harried, getting ready for Christmas Eve services and focusing on how to best get the message of new life out to as many people as we can. It was a very low key Christmas for us, with only the two youngest home and it seemed rather quiet, but pleasant at the same time. Now that it is over and we have experienced yet again the wonder of Christmas and anticipate the challenges and blessings that 2011 will bring, I ponder what I will do differently.
I have just finished reading 'The Power of a Whisper' by Bill Hybels, which raised some questions about how I have lived my life in relation to the whispers that I have ignored, the ones I have chosen to listen to and why I don't respond more readily and eagerly to the ones I receive daily. It is thought provoking to realize that God continually nudges our hearts and yet I tend to push that aside and carry on with the way I want to live. I would like to think that I aim high in all my intentions and ambitions, but lately I think I have only scratched the surface of what God would have wanted for me. How many blessings has He arranged and I've missed?
The beautiful children of Kenya.
My thoughts wander back over the past 12 months and I realize how blessed I am. We welcomed two new beautiful granddaughters into our family this summer. We spent 2 weeks at our cottage in NB, learning how to 'operate' our two new kayaks. Andrew had a unique opportunity to spend 2 weeks in Africa, visiting rural Rwanda and Kenya.
Sarah (16) and Anna (15), Christmas Eve 2010
It has been a full year and we look forward to what 2011 will hold for us. We realize the two youngest are quickly becoming young ladies and before we know it they will be pursuing their own interests and making their way in this world. We are so very proud of them both and know they will excel in whatever they choose to do.
A new year is upon us - will I continue to do day to day, week to week, month to month as usual or will I dare to step beyond and ahead.
'And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.' Ezekiel 36:26