Monday, December 31, 2012

Good-bye 2012 :)

My mind cannot wrap itself around the fact that this is the last day of the year.  2012 is almost the past.  Thoughts of resolutions, goals and dreams for 2013 have barely had time to formulate in my heart and mind.  Even as I look at this blog, I realize during the holiday months, I barely wrote.  Life took most of my time.

2012 was a good year for us.  Not necessarily in terms of what the world calls "good".... the jobs were few and far between, but each and every ministry trip was provided for.  We watched our pennies, but God was incredibly faithful as we continued to support the missionaries we care about and believe in their efforts for the Kingdom of God.  Jim ministered in 10 different locations around the world and I was able to accompany him on two of the journeys.  The heart of a father and the heart of Our Father was conveyed to many who needed to be reminded of His deep love and compassion for them.  We saw hearts open up and lives healed.  We experienced Him freeing people.  We felt His anointing and knew that all that took place was because of Him and we just got to be a part of it.  At the close of 2012, there are sons and daughters worldwide with a smile on their face because they know their Father loves them.  To God be the glory....great things HE HAS DONE.

2012...we .....

**loved people
**welcomed two older children back into our home to provide an environment where they can get on their feet, find work in their field of education and begin to pay off school loans
**celebrated young friends beginning their lives together in marriage
**rejoiced as young couples began their own families
**celebrated 26 years of marriage and marveled at God's goodness to us in all those years!
**had our hearts touched and challenged over the human trafficking situation in the world, especially in the area of the world where we are mostly involved...Russia and central and eastern Europe.
**ministered for the first time in new nations, Moldova, Tadjikistan and Kazakhstan
**visited family for first time in Kazakhstan
**had for the first time the surprise opportunity to minister and teach in a discipleship training school here in the U.S.
**sent our youngest daughter off to Germany to do a discipleship training school and be involved in an outreach into Asia.
**had the blessing of having my mother with us for her 84th birthday in July, and Christmas this year.

For us....2012 was a good year :)

So many blessings, so many opportunities to see God work in and through us and see Him show us how much He cares for others.  So many stories.   I know one of my desires for 2013 is to write those stories for others to hear.  Been a desire for a long time, but making the time for it requires discipline and effort of which I have yet to master.  2013...could be a year of that desire finding fulfillment.

2013 is already taking shape with travel plans to share the love of the Father and His great heart for people.  I'm sensing "new opportunities".... maybe new beginnings....all I know is we want more of His heart for the world.  His love for us.  Even as I ponder my "resolutions", my "dreams" and "goals" for the coming year, what comes to mind is the Scripture that says "I resolve to know Jesus and Him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2  I love the Message version:  "when I came to you, I didn't try to impress you with polished speeches or the latest philosophy.  I deliberately kept it plain and simple...first Jesus and who He is, then Jesus...and what He did."  My deepest heart's desire for 2013 is to know Jesus, plain and simple....who He is...and what He did...and what He continues to do.

This morning I got up to get myself a cup of coffee and sit back, relax and write.  Out of the window I saw our family of deer meandering through the trees.  They were so peaceful, not at all worried about what a new year might bring.  I felt peaceful as I watched them.  Then... I ran for my camera, and opened the door as quietly as I could.  As usual, a deer's "antennae" are super-tuned, and they heard me.  I got a photo, but the moment was spoiled.  How many times, I reflected, are our moments of peace ruined because we move too quickly or let busy-ness steal the moment.  Sometimes I think I need to just sit and enjoy the peace, capture the moment in my mind and heart where it can last forever.

As I reflect back on 2012...all the joys...and all the horrific events that took place in our world, more than ever....we need to have an answer.  I know of no where else to look, but Jesus, who "alone has the words of eternal life" and can bring a peace when no other can.  All I "know" one else has brought me peace and clarity in my life as Jesus has.  Each year in passing, as I looked back... some years I have never wanted to see again, other years were incredible, all different and all left a unique feeling....of gain, of loss, of joy, of sadness, lessons learned, victories won, battles fought, mountains climbed and valleys of rest.  As we close out the year of 2012....whether it has been good or bad for you.....whatever those 12 months held for you....I wish you peace....I wish you a new found joy in 2013....and I wish you the love of the Father and His Son to be refreshed anew in your heart.

Tomorrow is 2013 .....wrap up 2012 as a gift and the lessons it held for us.  Open 2013 as a new gift and may it reveal surprises of joy and new life!


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