Friday, January 2, 2009

The New Year, Aprons and Friends

Human beings are hardwired to hope, to desire forgiveness and to start over. Don't you think? Personally, I think this is because we are all hard wired to search after God. Thinking on this opportunity to start over everyday -- and this year in particular, I've been singing the song "Your mercies are new every morning". Actually, come to find out it's titled "The Steadfast Love" . . .
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end
They are new every morning, new every morning
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Oh Lord Great is Thy faithfulness.
This song comes in part from Lamentations 3:22-24 (New International Version)
22 Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassion's never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
At the start of this new year, what ways will you be examining your life, looking for ways to improve and setting new goals? Here are a few of mine:
  • Read through again the bible in total. It's been about 5 years since I last did. (Anyone want to join me?)

  • Take time to exercise more regularly. In Serve God, Save the Planet Matthew Sleeth talks about how hard work around the house serves to provide exercise. And, it does to some degree -- but not quite enough. Thankfully, my exercise of choice is running. All it takes is about 45 minutes from beginning to end and a pair of running shoes. Thanks to my running buddy Bethanie, I usually manage to run once a week. This year, I'm joining up with some local women to run on a more frequent basis (look out Bethanie!).

  • Cultivate the fruit of patience, gentleness and self control in my life. Galatians 5 talks about the Fruit of the Spirit in the life of a Christian. It says: "22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control." The gist of this is that as you become closer to God, through Jesus, the fruit (or the evidence) of your relationship with Him will flourish and grow. This fruit will be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When the boys are at each others throats and we are running late, the phone rings and the dog won't come inside -- I'm not the picture of patience, gentleness and self control.

  • Make sure to spend quality time with friends! Don't you think, in this day and age so many people lose sight of investing in friendship? And, I don't mean texting someone, emailing someone or waving as you pass by -- I'm talking about inviting people that you see throughout your daily life over to your house for coffee or dinner or a glass of wine, for good meaningful conversation. Relationship is what life here on earth is all about -- PEOPLE. They expose our flaws and help us to improve. They make our lives rich. All of the verses in the bible are meaningless unless you "work them out" with people in meaningful relationships.
  • Having people over doesn't have to be fancy or complicated. On Sunday, with friends Michelle and Carl, we watched the Patriots win, but lose their opportunity to be in the playoffs, and chatted about nearly everything under the sun -- much to Victor's chagrin. Depending on the subject matter -- he teased us that we were being way to serious for football.
  • Carve more off of our budget spending.
  • Organize job lists and do a better job holding my children accountable to do them. Give my 9+ year old more responsibility.
  • Attack problem areas of clutter. Recipes, pictures, crafts, the Laundry Room!

How about you?

I didn't mention to you that this Christmas was the YEAR of the APRON! A total of eight aprons were given on Christmas Day! I received 3!!! (Gee, what? Is it that obvious that I love to cook??) I thought you might like to see them. They are fabulous!

A Cupcake Apron . . .

A Ruffley Apron . . .

A Cheery Cherry Apron . . .

Ripley had fun with his friend Ian too . . . they had some fun with uh . . . milk.

While we were watching the Patriots, the boys were in the kitchen eating their pizza and . . . having a little fun.

Good grief.


Anonymous said...

We used to sing that song at a church I went to when I was in college. I've never found anything to match the feeling present when we sang in that church. I finally stopped looking for another church or group of people like that. It was a lesson in letting go. But I think I may have so used to letting go that I don't know how to hold on to much. And maybe that's okay for me because I have grown so much from contstantly being set on a new setting along the Path. I have been fortunate, though, to have closer family ties than ever. I enjoy reading your thoughts and seeing your pics of warm family and friends. All of our love around the world is what is holding the world together, you know.

geisme said...

Sandy, great post. When are you starting your bible reading? And boy do I hear you about the gentleness, patience or self control. I really dislike yelling at the girls & lately every once in awhile, they'll call me on it. "Stop yelling at me, momma." To which I have to step back, lower my voice & tell them that if they listened to me I wouldn't need to be yelling at them.
ARRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!! God tries to teach us so much through our children, it can be really painful at times.

a. borealis said...

Cute aprons! I particularly like the ruffley one. Adorable. I got a couple of aprons for Christmas too, for which I am so grateful. I'm tired of ruining my clothes in the kitchen.

I've got to keep the fruit of the spirit in mind. It is so easy to let oneself go to get caught up in "life". I suppose that is where prayer and patience comes into play.

Sandy said...

zoe, don't give up finding a suitable spot -- but remember, just like people aren't perfect, there is not a perfect church. still, it's well worth it. Gail, Gonna start the reading ... well, NOW! I have this read the bible in a year book that divides everything up into days with something from the OT, the NT, Psalms and Proverbs. Raingarden, yea! for aprons! I've gotten to the point where I can't comfortably cook w/o one. And ... "amen" to the prayer. Well, that is the relationship part, right? Seems as of late for me I seem heavy into "forgive me. forgive me. forgive me." Gotta work on the zip-zip. (of the mouth that is). :) Blessings to all. -Sandy