2014 - Climb

Hello!  That first week (almost two now!) of 2014 whipped right by me, and the rest of the year will probably do the same.  This post is a good example because I've been writing it for 4 or 5 days and keep getting interrupted or side tracked.  (Poor neglected blog!)

On the morning of the new year, I got up early to meet my Jesus in prayer and scripture.  I spent some time looking back over past journals, especially New Years' entries.  This is one of the joys of even slightly diligent journaling: being able to see - in their proper place - all the questions and fears and struggles of which you couldn't imagine getting to the other side.  Huge life experiences reduced to pages you can flip through in an hour.

I don't mean this in a sad way, and I don't mean to trivialize the very hard things.  But I think about (for example) the passing of my long-time friend this year: how once I knew she was dying, I tried to look into the future to see how my heart could carry on and remain soft, and (of course) I couldn't.  Looking back through my journals at that time, and many others, I can see how constantly my God walked with me.  How I prayed and begged for relief in the night and woke to find I did have the strength to manage just one more day.  God is faithful, friends, and the testament is there in the pages of our lives.

image by Lori Ulrich

Like many others, I usually choose a word or three to define my goals for a new year.  In 2012, my words were rooted, gentle, and brave.  2013 was just servant.  Some years I have a big long process I also go through, examining all the areas of my life, and writing out goals for each area.  This year, I didn't feel like it was necessary (or I was too lazy, hard to be sure which).

At any rate, I went seeking one word, and as I read through my journals on New Years' Day, I got crazy chills up and down my back when I came across this quote:

Yet Jesus is never so near to me as when I lift my cross, lay it submissively on my shoulder, and welcome it with a patient and uncomplaining spirit. . .
We do not know what is lost by our self indulgence, what glory awaits if only we have the courage to climb, or what blessings we will find if we will only ascend the mountains of God.
 L.B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert*

Life is full of the unexpected.  I'm fully prepared for God to lean down and give the pinball that is my life a little flick that sends our family careening off in a new direction.  But this year could be also be simply a year of staying the course, of determination and thanksgiving as I put one foot in front of the other.  Managing our home, growing and educating our chicklets, supporting Mr. Cyrus in his career, enjoying and maintaining friendships, attempting to read and write as much as possible. . . that's a full and fulfilling plate for me!

Tina Sommer on the climb "Scarface", Indian Creek, UT
“Scarface”, Indian Creek, UT photographed by Mark Fisher

I love this word climb because it feels so purposeful and so courageous, both of which I pray to be every day of this year.  I'm not near the top of anything right now.  I'm in the intense middle, where, if I look too far down, I get really dizzy, and if I look too far upward, I sob a little.  *wry grin*

So I climb.

What about you?  How do you plan for the new year?

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