Just minutes ago, it seems, we welcomed the New Year. And now, I am pausing to reflect on the first month of this new year. It has come, and it has gone. But it will remain a part of me, for all our days are gifts from God.
It was a month of new beginnings ...
My first digital scrapbook page (above) for the year captures a few of the new beginnings that were part of January: a brand new calendar (a gift from daughters) filled with sweet photos of grandkids; some of our younger grandkids now old enough to play the games that we as adults love (such fun to play Settlers of Catan with them!); new planners and journals for a new year (and a post about it all - Planning 2017); and a brand new Fitbit (my first!) to motivate me to be more consistent with exercise (I love it - and it is helping me even more than I expected!).
It was a month of celebrating ...
The photos from another scrapbook page hold a few of the very significant things we celebrated in January: my hubby's continued amazing recovery from some health issues a year ago (a doctor's appt early in the month revealed that all continues to go very well after his stroke early in 2016 and after the two heart procedures that were done to correct some problems); after putting many, many hours, month after month throughout 2016 into preparing a family home for sale - the sale was completed the end of January! And another significant event during the month was a grandson's 8th birthday, and his decision all on his own to be baptized on Jan. 8 (his 8th birthday)!
It was a month of growing ...
By God's grace, He continually gives us deeper glimpses into who He is, and into all that He has for us. I received some deeper insight last month into how He longs for us to be one with Him. He desires for us to abide in Him, communicate with Him about everything; actually inviting us to be one with Him, as He is with the Father. (John 17:20-24) This is too beautiful to even grasp completely, and beyond my comprehension ... but I am learning more, bit by bit.
I am learning more about what it means to rest. To pause, to listen, even in the midst of our busyness. And I am drawn to focus more on rest in the midst of our busy days throughout this coming year, and will be reading through Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller. The author has also made available some beautiful monthly calendars.
I am also being impacted in a deep way as I am reading through The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp. So many good quotes to keep! "The very thing we are afraid of, our brokenness, is the door to our Father's heart. ... There's brokenness that's not about blame. There's brokenness that makes a canvas for God's light. There's brokenness that makes windows straight into souls. Brokenness happens in a soul so the power of God can happen in a soul. ... Is this how you live with your one broken heart? Your one broken heart is healed by a oneness with Him."
And now we are in a new month -
filled with opportunities for new beginnings,
more celebrations, and room for much growth.