Counting Down to the New Year

IMG_1621

(Picture by kungfoodie.org)

This has not been my favorite year. Out of the 27 years of my life, 2014 is one of the most unpleasant years I have had the pleasure of living through. It easily ties for first place with the year my husband was deployed and I first fell horribly ill. The year 2014 has been full of grief, sorrows, unpredictability, crisis, stress, physical and emotional pain, and regressing health. It has held tears and groans, restless days and nights, innumerable physical therapy appointments and orthopedic treatments, and wild and unpredictable ups and downs that have left me exhausted and uncertain of what will come next. There have been good things and many blessings, but those have felt far outweighed by heartache and difficulty.

I am ready to move forward, and I am truly excited for 2015. It can be argued that the slate is wiped clean with each new day full of new mercies and challenges. But for me, the slate doesn’t truly feel wiped clean until the calendar page turns and a new year of possibilities begins. I love starting fresh, writing out new goals, and facing a new year with a renewed hope and determination for change.

I suppose there is always the possibility that 2015 will hold greater challenges and sorrows than 2014, but for now, I am choosing to hope for better days.

In anticipation of 2015 and a fresh start, for the month of December I will be counting down to the New Year in a series of 12 posts:

12 Ways to Make the Best of the Rest of the Year

11 Things I Am Thankful For

10 Top Posts of 2014

9 Things I Learned in 2014

8 Goals for the New Year

7 Best Recipes for Spoonies

6 Verses that brought me through 2014

5 Blogs to Check Out from 2014

4 Best Moments of 2014

3 Worst Moments of 2014

2 Prayers for 2015

1 Word for 2015

Stay tuned! And if anyone wants to join me, shoot me an email 🙂

15 responses

    • This is an interesting thought. I am not sure yet if I do or don’t want my view of 2014 to change. I do want to see the reality of it though, and perhaps I have not seen everything clearly yet. Guess I’ll see what happens 🙂

  1. Hello, friend – commenting on your Reply to the Comment… do views really change or do we just come to a place where holding views seems less and less important to us? There is some old tale about an old man whose son fell from a horse and broke his leg. “How terrible”, said a neighbor. “Not good, not bad”, said the old man. Then, war broke out and the son could not be drafted because of his broken leg. “How wonderful!”, said a neighbor. But again the old man said, “Not good, Not bad”.

    • Thanks for your comment and making me think! I did think about this for awhile, and I am not sure I want to view things neutrally. I’ll explain why….

      I definitely believe it is important to distinguish between “good” and “evil.” Isaiah 5:20 comes to mind, which I was thinking about a lot the other month – “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” We definitely need to call evil as evil and not netural. And good as good and not neutral.

      But… that might be a bit different than good versus “bad” in terms of the circumstances that happen in our lives. Even “good” and “bad” circumstances I feel nervous as seeing neutrally. I see so much display of emotion in Scripture. I see this in the Psalms over and over again in which various Psalmists cry out about good and bad things in great emotion – they are definitely seeing different things as good and other things as bad. I see Jesus respond with weeping when Lazarus dies (a bad thing) and in response to good things (food and friends) he celebrated in community.

      I also feel a little concerned about not seeing things as either bad or good because that almost seems like Buddhist comment to me. Admittedly I’m fuzzy on the details, but my understanding is that in Buddhism one goal is for us to transcend our “desires” and part of that is seeing things neutrally or nonjudgementally (where modern mindfulness meditations come from).

      But, I would be interested in you are thinking of any particular Scripture that talks about your statement? And also where that story came from? And also interested to hear what you think about my thoughts….

      • Thank You for taking your time to ponder this further. I am grateful to share thoughts with you. I believe that the Good and Evil as spoken about in Isaiah was addressing the intentions to cause harm as being sinful and evil, and advocating the doing of good, yes. There really isn’t Anything neutral about that, is there?! 🙂

        In the matter of circumstances and good vs bad, I don’t feel it to be an issue of having a viewpoint of Neutrality, though. Rather one of Faith and Experience, I think. When something tragic would happen in Scripture, the people would cry out to God, indeed, as Jesus Himself cried out when Lazarus died, in the Garden of His agony, and from the Cross, and as we cry out today. But, Scripture also teaches us that All things work together for Good when one has Faith in God. In the Crucifixion itself, with all its horror, the greatest of all God’s works came to pass. It is about Faith then, not neutrality. That blessed Belief we share as Christians, and the Hope in things unseen, especially when all seems most dark.

        That story of the Old Man… I believe the part about his being an OLD man had a role in that he had the Experience of many years of having seen so many circumstances that started out most unfortunate and wound up otherwise. I think someone told me the Story, so I don’t know its Source, sorry. St. John of the Cross, though, does say that when one has reached the innermost center of one’s being in union with God, one is neither picked up nor thrown down anymore by the changing circumstances of life because one is in the center of one’s humility.

        How good to be in communication with you! God Bless and keep You!! May I remain at your service. *Theresa

      • I definitely understand where you are coming from. And I think I agree with many of your concepts, but not the terminology that we see things as “not good and not bad,” While all things together, collectively throughout our entire lifespan work for our good to make us “conformed in the likeness of his Son”, this is not indicating anything about the individual events that happen in our lives. Those individual events, the combination of good things and bad things that happen through our lifetime come together to work in this way. This can give us faith and hope in the bad moments, but I think to see circumstances as “not good and not bad” takes away from the mourning, outcry, and outrage that should happen in the face of the bad circumstances people find themselves in.

        But I do appreciate how you say it is about Faith and not neutrality. That definitely makes sense to me. However, I think we can still have faith and call something bad because we know that God is working in the bad situation. But it is still bad.

Leave a Reply