gentle new years thoughts for this year

January 2, 2024


caravan sonnet

gentle thoughts on starting 2024 for those who are in what @robinjonesgunn spoke over me in the spring, "a gathering season"...

I know that for many, like myself, 2023 seemed like a unique year that was extremely brutal and difficult in some ways with some very dark valleys and in other ways held miracles in abundance that have left me speechless with gratitude... A few dear things have been shared in this space, but the personal and private moments behind the scenes abound with tender treasures learned only in this unique year and in many ways I purposefully took time away from consistent social media, withdrew in a lot of ways and spent these last months to fully step into some of those things... Most of all, I found that I was gently reminded of my deep need for God's grace to meet me every single day and every moment.

I read a quote recently and it said, "Please never forget how brave it is to continue to show up in a story that looks so different than what you thought it'd be" and this has truly stuck with me. Maybe you limped towards the new year with deeply personal prayer requests and longings still awaiting the provisions that only the Lord can answer and provide. Maybe you are in a season of joyful answered prayers and maybe you are in between. Both seasons are worth celebrating, holding onto expectant hope in, and thanking the Lord for and both, I am convinced in different ways, are "gathering seasons"...

A few verses that are treasures to me as we start this new year... I hope they encourage you in whatever gathering season you are in...

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and the farthest seasons, the one who by his strength established the mountains... who stills the roaring seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe of your signs. You make the going out of the morning and evening to shout for crown the year with your goodness and your paths drip with Abundance // Psalm 65

He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat // Psalm 147

The lowly will possess the land and live in abundant prosperity // Psalm 37

I am ready to begin a new year and start fresh. Not to set a bunch of resolutions that are impossible to keep, because in many ways I don't have the strength to create a "new life" that will ensure that 2024 will be better than the difficult and hard moments of 2023. But as I look back on a most tender year, I am most grateful for the promise that mercy meets us each and every morning, not just when the calendar date changes on a new year. Mercy and hope and grace to embark into new seasons with expectant hope. 

One of the most beautiful gifts is the beautiful friendships and community here that God has placed in my life. Thank you for your love, for your support, and most of all, thank you for faithfully and consistently praying for myself and my cherished ones. I look forward to growing in grace with you this upcoming year. 

Happy New Years friends. 

May our God bless you abundantly as we close out 2023, and as we embark on a new season and year in 2024.

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