How many people take five days to write a New Year’s post? At least one, apparently. It has been bitterly cold here in central Illinois all week, along with most of the country. I have been hibernating in my home office, completing 2017 Christmas cards (it IS still Christmas!) and prepping for a 12th Day of Christmas party this weekend.
And I am trying to get in a new and improved “groove” for my spiritual life for this new calendar year.
Like my sore muscles and arthritic bones on a cold day, my spiritual makeover has had a slow start. Thank goodness for modern day tools like iBreviary to help me when I feel too lazy to flip pages in my Christian Prayer book! Today, I am expecting the arrival of some highlighters and tabs to go with my new Catholic Journaling Bible. No excuses not to dig in God’s Word!
As I have been pondering goals for 2018, I keep coming back to a need to be even more trusting in God’s Providence for my life. Bruce and I live comfortably (not extravagantly,) thanks to his very good job in our affordable community and our belief in good stewardship. But Providence isn’t just about being able to pay the bills. God also provides the tools and skills we need to live out His purpose for our lives. In other words, if He calls you to build houses, He will give you the ability to build houses. I have felt different callings over the years, and have second-guessed myself more than once. Feelings of insecurity are not of God…it’s time to drop those insecurities at the foot of the Cross! When I sense a new direction coming, I need to embrace the change as a gift, not a burden. This doesn’t mean I won’t have struggles; I can always count on those. But it does mean that truly surrendering to God’s plan, even as it shifts over time, will bring lasting peace and joy in my life (and yours!)
I found the prayer from Saint Gianna Galgani (above) in a recent internet search. It resonated with me so much. I don’t know what is going to happen this year. Illness may strike, friends move away, job changes…only God knows. And I do feel a bit weak, physically and emotionally, after a difficult 2017. But I do know, absolutely, that I need to make some personal changes in order to draw closer to God. More Scripture reading. Less Netflix. More letter writing to friends and family. Less eye-rolling at political posts on Facebook. More silent prayer, including more trips to Adoration. Less noise…of any kind.
I love this line:
And my aspirations and all my affections will be for You.
This is the key. Everything I focus upon must be Christ-centered if I am going to live out His purpose for my life. Far from making my life boring, as non-believers often assume, a Christ-centered life is vibrant, creative, and fulfilling. However, when I become self-absorbed with my own plans, I become overwhelmed and stagnated because I am not where I should be. Time to refocus and regroup for 2018…including more writing here!
Yes, I hope and plan to live closer to God this year. I hope you do, too. Prayers for an amazing and very Blessed New Year!
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