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Saturday, December 31, 2016

I waited until we were well into Autumn before finally opening the pages of Christie Purifoy's gem, Roots & Sky. Partly because her story begins with Autumn and partly because I sensed her words would speak deeply to me and I needed to be ready for them.

I'm reading slowly. Savoring. Meditating on the truths and emotions evoked by her words. Taking what fits and leaving the rest. I just closed the book on December. All of January, Spring and Summer lie waiting quietly between the pages.

As I look back over 2016, Christie's words from the fourth chapter keep coming back to me:

"We live so much of our lives with our hands tied behind our backs."
"Some days we have more freedom than others, but we are always, to some degree, hemmed in by weakness, by need, by lack, or by loss."
These words define much of my past year. It's true, the struggle Christie talks about has always been there - will always be there this side of heaven. Yet, I seem to be feeling the weight of it more acutely these days.

You may remember that last December I shared that I felt as if 2015 was more of an ending and that 2016 was the start of something new. Indeed, there have been many changes and new experiences this year. Some more difficult to embrace than others.

These images, my year in review, tell only part of the story.

The top image, the view from my Dad's final resting place, holds a bittersweet memory. Yet, our month-long trip to bring him home includes some of our happiest memories from the past year. It was a welcome respite after eight long months of enduring tests and finally receiving a challenging medical diagnosis. Not all new experiences are welcome.

Another new experience in 2016 was giving up our cottage to live in temporary quarters while we build a new home. A mixed blessing.

I faced 2016 like a person might face the waves coming into shore. As I stood still, they hit me one by one. The roar of their coming will forever echo in my memory.

Looking back, I feel like I could have done better. So in 2017 I want to do more than just stand against the waves.

I want to embrace them.

I want to know more days of freedom than of weakness.

More days of freedom than of need.

More days of freedom than of lack.

More days of freedom than of loss.
"If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (Joh 8:31-32)
Abiding in Him is the key to freedom. It is the key to embracing the waves of this life.

I've thrown a lot of potential words out there: stand, embrace, freedom, abide

The bottom line to being able to do all these things is spending time with Him. Real time. There is no short cut, no gadget, no app to make it time with God easier or faster.

Just do it.

My one word for 2017.

Wishing you all
JOY in 2017
Happy New Year!

Sharing inspiration here:
Small WondersTestimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June