Wednesday, December 29, 2021

As The New Year Draws Near

🎆🎆🎆 Happy New Year 2022 🎆🎆🎆

Hello everyone!  I'm wishing you a very Happy New Year a few days early. I hope that you enjoyed Christmas Day in whatever form it took. I was (and still am) recovering from the bad cold I mentioned in my last post, so I stayed home and even missed the outdoor Christmas Eve service I was supposed to be at directing the handbell choir. It was a disappointment for sure but I didn't want to infect anyone else with my cold or possibly expose myself to any other germs, so I know it was the right choice. The Mr. and I opened our presents together and enjoyed good food throughout the day. We both saw our families via Zoom and FaceTime and those "visits" were blessings indeed! Believe it or not, our Christmas decorations are packed up and put away. I don't typically leave the decorations up until New Years since I put them up pretty early in November. I know lots of folks do but it somehow feels good, after Christmas Day, to put it all away and get the house back to a more normal feel. I can very easily go into a bit of a sadness around Christmas so this helps with that, as well. 

So, as I look toward 2022, I am really looking forward to better times for the whole world. A time when people are willing, and have the resources available, to get vaccinated and when Covid variants aren't popping up all the time. A time when it is not necessary for people to wear masks because Covid is no longer around to cause illness. A time when people around the world don't live in fear of war, sickness, hunger, poverty and there is peace for all. A time, personally, when I don't have fears about illnesses within my own family and worry over what the future will bring for my family. 

Even as I write this, I don't feel that all of this will happen in 2022. But, I pray that these times will come soon. I have faith that God is ultimately in control of all situations, both in my life and around the world. And I have spent some time, in recent weeks, pondering about how often I am like Thomas in the Bible who doubted that the disciples had seen Jesus until he was able to place his fingers in the holes in Jesus' hands and his hand in Jesus' side. The scripture that follows is from John Chapter 20.

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The thing is, l have times of doubt, just like Thomas did. Perhaps you do too. But deep down, I know that God is faithful, even when bad things are happening all around us, or even, within our own lives. And so, I am listening to the words of Jesus, "Stop doubting and believe."

You all know that I typically choose a special word to reflect on throughout the new year. Some years the words seem to resonate in my life more than others. Last year my special word was "Intention." I tried to live with more intention in my life as I went about my daily activities. But I can't say that I have any big news to share from having had this as my word. Perhaps intention is still working itself into my being. 

This year's word has been popping up and being noticed by yours truly quite a bit in the last few weeks and that is usually a "sign" to me that this is a word that I need to pay attention to and incorporate more of in my life. And so, without further ado, here is my special word for 2022:

I think Hope is a perfect word for me to dwell on, both in my faith life and in my daily life during 2022. It is a perfect word to dwell on for the world as well. We must have Hope that times will be better and that God will bring us to better times. God brought forth Hope in the stable on Christmas when Jesus was brought into the world. God gave the world Hope when Jesus suffered and died on the cross for the sins of the whole world. And God still offers each of us Hope this day as the New Year of 2022 draws near. May each of you dear readers feel the Hope that God offers each of us through Jesus Christ. 

Last year, I began a new tradition of selecting a scripture, as well as a word, to dwell on in the new year and this year I am selecting a familiar verse from Jeremiah 29 verse 11. This verse speaks to having Hope.

"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."

Happy New Year And Many Blessings!
Until Next Time,


Unknown said...

Spot on Debbie. We share so many views, experiences and hopes! I am adopting that word for this next year also. Thank you for sharing.

Lay said...

Thank you for your inspiration. I need to find hope right now. I will meditate on the verse you shared and on that precious word - Hope.

Happy new year, Laura

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

I loved this post especially the Scripture!! I may have to borrow that idea...I too chose One Little Word for each year but over the past years, I chose a word and a theme for the year...Gratitude was my word which I am keeping for 2022 and my theme was Mindfulness...This year, instead of going with a concept for a theme, I am going with an action ...BUY NOTHING!! This year, I am going to challenge myself to use what I have and be more creative in doing so...We will see how it goes....Hope is a great word and one I had a few years ago!!
Happy New Year, Debbie!!!
Let's all HOPE for a better year...

Karen Anderson said...

That's a good word for any year, frankly. I kind of gave up on choosing a word because I rarely remembered that I had picked one. If I was to do it, my word would be "experience". If the Lord allows me, I want to focus on taking some trips to experience different places. Nothing big, just within driving distance. I'm hoping it works out that one of those will be an extended stay at the beach. I don't mean to sound like a downer, and let me preface by saying that I am so grateful that God is in complete control and that I trust Him completely, but I don't think things are going to get better. Maybe a little, but I think it's meant to be that times are difficult. As humans, we never seem to learn the lesson that we are supposed to lean on and trust God. We try to do it all by our own efforts. I know God has it all under control and so I don't worry, truly. Of course, I don't watch the news or go on social media which has given me great peace in life. I don't miss what's going on around me, but don't need the negative messages sent on the news. Whoa! Better get off the soapbox! Just saying that God can handle this world and I can't! I'm leaving it with Him!

Sharon said...

Happy New Year, Debbie! I enjoyed your blog post, and I always like to know what your word of the year will be. "Hope" is certainly a good word for this time of difficulty and uncertainty. I share your hope for 2022.

Iris said...

Happy New Year a little late, I'm really trying to catch up. Love your scripture - and a really good reminder.