“So, teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12
At the end of each year and the beginning of another I like to reflect back on the year I’m leaving behind. Realizing that I will never live those days again it’s always encouraging to look back and see the progress that was made; the pounds lost, the projects completed, and the little differences I was able to make along the journey. Well, let’s just say it usually doesn’t take me very long to cover that ground. But, as 2016 came to a close I had something even better to reminisce about. Looking back from the beginning of January through the end of December, I recognized that the Lord had blessed me with so many memorable times and joyous events. Don and I had the privilege of returning to Norway, England, Italy, Switzerland, and Romania, as well as, the joy of visiting France for the first time. In addition to our ministry outside the USA, we were also encouraged in the opportunities the Lord provided for us to serve in our own country and our neighbor to the north, Canada. It was such a wonderful blessing to work with so many dear brothers and sisters in Christ, and to see God move in various ways. I reflected with great pleasure on our dear little faith family, and the wonderful times of worship, prayer, fun, and work we enjoyed together over the last twelve months. There are also memories of sweet visits with friends scattered throughout the year, and of course, precious family times including two baby showers and our family vacation in August.
But, the highlight of my year had to be the births of two more GRANDchildren, Graham Nicklas Peoples in March, and Evangeline Clementine Currin in September. I never dreamed that I would love this season of life so much! Just let me know if you’d like to hear more about my GRANDchildren, as I always have new stories to tell. Along with many joys, 2016 also brought its share of sorrows, disappointments, and trials. Even in those God graciously brought our family closer together, and made His presence and love so very real to me. Overall, I would say 2016 was a very good year.
However, as I looked back over the year I was reminded of some things I would like to do better in 2017. When I considered these things I realized that everything I want to increase also involves something that I must decrease. I want to improve my health by losing more weight (sad to say this is at the top of my list every year). Of course, that means less indulging in the sweets that I enjoy so much and learning to appreciate the bounty of naturally sweet things God has blessed us with. I want to read more, which means I must spend less time doing something else. I am deliberately trying to leave my phone out of my hand and limit my time on social media. I used to love to read, but find that I am not reading like I once did. Well to be honest, I am still reading a lot, but other than my Bible, it’s primarily about what’s going on in your lives, at least those of you who are my “friends” on Facebook. So, I have started working my way through a systematic theology that I started several years ago and didn’t even get half way through. I also want to listen more. Of course, that obviously means I must talk less. But, I’m talking about more than just spoken words. I want to REALLY listen more intently to those who bear their hearts with me. I desire to enter into the pain and struggles of so many hurting women I am privileged to hear from, so that I might earnestly intercede for them. In order to do this, I will have to somehow find more time to correspond with the women of all ages and walks of life who contact me for counsel and prayer. I desperately need to discipline my time to respond more quickly, search the Scriptures more diligently, and pray more fervently for them.
As I meditate on my goals for 2017, other than my lifelong goal of trying to shed unwanted pounds, I can sum it up in three words. I want to learn more; I want to listen more, and I want to love more. I guess those are pretty good goals, so with the Lord’s help this is what I’m shooting for. Each of my goals will take discipline; discipline to refuse the yummy dessert, discipline to put my phone down and pick up a book, and discipline to listen when I am tempted to keep talking. Most importantly, these resolves will require discipline to spend more time communing with the One who can change me and change the ladies I hear from as He works in my life and in their lives for His good purposes. Well, now I have made myself accountable to everyone who reads this blog. Feel free to ask me throughout the year how I’m doing in these areas. Better than that, pray for me. That’s the greatest way you can help me in my pursuits. With that in mind, I guess it’s time to get off the computer, grab some carrot sticks and pick up that book I’m reading.
Soli Deo Gloria