Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Because God Declared It!

I love to be organized. Actually...the truth is more like I love to organize.

I enjoy the process of getting everything in order...I'm just not always as good at keeping things in order.

I love organizational supplies as well: baskets, plastic bends, my label maker, file folders, pink ink pens, paper clips, freshly sharpened pencils, and (one of my favorites) - calendars!

I keep several calendars every year. I have one on my computer that is linked to the one on my phone. Those calendars keep me on schedule wherever I go. They have all our appointments listed as well as all birthdays, holidays, and special events.

I also have a notebook one that I carry back and forth between my desk and the Hug Chair - depending on where I am working. I hand write my daily schedule into that one - including my daily and weekly To Do Lists.

The one hanging on the fridge in the kitchen has all our monthly activities and plans handwritten on it. That one is to help keep the guys informed with our comings and goings.

My aunt gave us a beautiful cloth wall hanging 2014 calendar with all the months printed on it. It was even personalized with our last name and I hung that in our kitchen. It's great when we need to see a whole month or the year at a glance.

Mom gave me a two year pocket calendar that I plan to use to keep track of what I will be doing on this blog. I have mapped out ideas I want to write about for the month on this calendar. I love that it is small and I can carry it with me to jot ideas or thoughts down as I go throughout my day.

I also have a little pink calendar book that I plan to use for a special project I will be working on this year. I'm just starting to fill in some of the pages of that one. It's so pretty and I love the polka-dotted pages inside.

For me, one of the joys of starting a new year is opening a new, blank calendar. It's a great visual reminder of a Fresh Start. Whatever issues, worries, troubles, or sadness marked up the pages of last year's calendar are gone. It's a new year.

As I flip through the pages of upcoming weeks and months...I'm struck with the possibilities and potential of those empty days.

Oh sure, two weeks into the year and I already have appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, a wedding, Bible studies, meetings, the guy's schedules, and reminders filling up some of the squares of the next few months...but as I thumb through the entire year...there is so much unknown for us.

It's exciting to think about the journeys...celebrations...news...friendships...and life changing moments that are to come. I don't yet know all the wonderful adventures that will be marked on these fresh clean pages.

Of course...those with a little less Rosie Outlook on life might also think of the "doom and gloom" that might come with this year. But I'm not. I am not planning on those days. I hope to skip through the sad, bad days quickly and soak up and enjoy all the good this year will bring.

By now you may know this...but my very favorite set of verses from the Bible are found in Jeremiah 29:11-14a:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.

I love these words so much. They were written by Jeremiah in a letter to the Jewish elders that King Nebuchadnezzar had sent into exile in Babylon. This letter was such an encouragement to those who had endured the exile, because after seventy years, God was going to return them to their homeland.

As I look over my fresh new 2014 calendars...there is so much I don't know about those blank pages. No, I do not know what this year will bring for my family, friends, or me... But I do know that whatever fills these days ahead, "burdens" or blessings...God is with us just as He was with the Jewish Exiles.

He stayed with them. Even throughout their seventy year exile. God had plans. It took seventy years to complete part of the plan, but God never left them. He knew the plans. And I love that he declared this! And God's plans were good. God's plans gave them hope...a future.

And just like those exiled people, we too can call on God...go to Him in prayer...and He will listen to us. As you look over the blank pages of your calendar for 2014...I encourage you to seek God with all your heart in all you do. Because God assures us that if we do this, we will find Him.

"I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.

These words are exactly why I can excitedly flip through my blank calendar and look forward to a great Fresh Start in 2014. If we seek God with all our heart...we have hope and a future.

I know this because God declared it!

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