Hey friends (and family)! The title today reads like something you’d say after the final cut for a movie. It’s also a good way to tidy up a topic for moving out of one year and into another. In this case, it’s just a wrap up of Christmas.
Technically, Christmas is not over. It really ends January 6, 12 days after Christmas Day. I thought about leaving out our Nativity set until then but didn’t do it. So, we’ve taken down the decorations and packed them back in the bins ’til next year. The house appears fresh and clean because the extra decor is gone even though the decor was special and symbolic of Christ’s coming the first time. The cleanliness of the house now makes me think of fresh starts and the approach of a fresh year.
As I finally find a few minutes to relax I ponder how will I do Christmas differently next year? What resolutions do I think I might try? Even one? Most of the time my resolutions are quickly broken and that leads to disappointment in myself. I’ve pretty much resolved to not make resolutions anymore.
I decided a while back that for me at the beginning of every year, I would set aside a day while Rob’s at work and the boys are back at school. On this day, I go list crazy but prayerfully, mind you.
Here are the supplies:
pen and paper
tissue (invariably I cry)
coffee or tea and water.
Here’s what I do:
fast from the computer/tv/phone/housework
fast from food if God leads
and then I pray beginning with praising God for Who He is.
Next, I confess sins that have gone unconfessed.
Then, I thank God for His goodness to forgive me, for His answers to prayer during the year, big milestones in my walk with Him, etc.
Then, on the paper, I list in prayer things about my marriage, Rob, our boys, their girlfriends, ministry God has called me to, extended family, our church, our nation, personal concerns, etc.
For each of those areas, I ask God to point me to Scriptures that could be prayed during the year for those people, that ministry opportunity, my own personal growth, etc.
I think you get the idea.
It’s a planning retreat with the Lord and I wouldn’t miss it for anything. It’s never the same from year to year. Prayer concerns change, growth is noted, weaknesses are revealed, but always God meets with me and it’s a precious time.
My old prayer journal for the year gets gutted and a fresh one begins. And tucked into it are the Scriptures God pointed out to me to pray for those people during the year.
So, we contemplate the end of a year and look forward to a new one, or maybe we dread a new one with all the things going on in the world.
Ultimately, I rest in the knowledge that God is the only sure thing. Jobs will change or end. Houses will need to be sold perhaps. We will need to be wiser stewards of everything God has given us (family, money, time, talents, ministry opportunites). Maybe we find it difficult to think in terms like this because we’ve never had to. Now we are a bit uncomfortable maybe because we aren’t as confident in tomorrow. For some reading this, they’ve lived like this for a long time. This is nothing new. They’ll be a big help to the rest who are adjusting to leaner times.
Although I do not know what tomorrow holds, I know the One Who holds tomorrow. And I am grateful for today and a fresh start. His mercies are new every morning.