By Kathy Parish
The ending of another year and the dawning of the next always finds me reflecting on the past and wishing that I had done better in facing whatever challenges the previous year brought. Many of you may experience the same mental and emotional (and spiritual) turmoil. I have come to believe that it is the human longing to be in control that results in the longstanding practice of New Year resolutions, promises to ourselves and others designed to make the coming year better than the last. But it seems to me that our human frailty dooms those resolutions to failure. After all, we are not designed to be in control, God is. It is His plan for our lives that we should be seeking. These verses have been on my heart this week, and I sincerely wish, long, and desire to do better in these areas in 2018.
- To be truly joyful even when life events are disappointing, frightening, challenging, and sad. After all, Jesus suffered all things just as I do and willingly gave all so I might have eternal life, joy and peace.
- To pray better. Unceasingly, coherently, consistently, devotedly, faithfully fulfilling all those promises that “I’ll be praying for you.”
- To be truly thankful in all situations, recognizing the multitude of God’s gifts of love and goodness and beauty and salvation and family and friends and opportunities and calling—the list is unending when I open my heart and mind to acknowledge these blessings.
- To never quench the Spirit. I believe the Spirit gives me words, thoughts, and stories to share with a purpose for the finished product. I may not know the purpose and may never personally observe the impact that they have. But I need to trust that they are intended to touch some heart, change some life, speak to some need. I regret my excuses of lack of time or busyness or fear of failure that keep me from following through when His inspiration is felt.
The tragedies and struggles of this life can be tools to sharpen our awareness, focus our attention, strengthen our resolve, and fit us better to serve our Lord through writing. May each of you have a 2018 filled with joy, prayer, thanksgiving, and Spirit-filled writing.
Heavenly Father, Forgive me for excuses and laziness. Help me to do better, doing all things “as unto you”. Thank you for showing me in my life that walking with you is a journey and that it is only through your grace and mercy that the journey is possible. Thank you for being my Savior and friend. Open my heart and mind and eyes and ears to your guidance. Strengthen my focus and commitment and diligence. Cast out my fear of failure and rejection. Fill me with the peace, hope and joy that can only come from your love, grace and mercy. Bless this year, Lord, to your honor and glory. Amen
Kathy Parish is a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother living in central Arkansas. Her faith is the foundation of her life and family and writing, her joys. An actively practicing cardiology nurse practitioner, she has indie published two inspirational romances, Freely Given and Colorado’s Choice.