Well, this year is off to a roaring start. After a month of visiting with friends and family and taking it easy, I was ready to get started back with schedules and school. I made myself a new schedule (something I'm forever doing), and I feel like I've accomplished so much this week. Except for blogging. It's there on the schedule, but I never got to it except in my head. There are lots of thoughts and pictures to be shared though. So I'll start with a little of the thoughts for now. Pictures tomorrow, hopefully.
I'm not much for New Year's resolutions. Never really have been. Maybe it's my non-conformist attitude about pretty much everything. Maybe it's just that I don't feel like I can suddenly be something different just because I turned a calendar page. Whatever. But something's been sticking in my head lately, and I'd really like to make it a big focus of my life, call it what you will. It's just this:
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
I'm not the shiniest person in the world. In fact, I think I look pretty gray. If I'm in the room, you're either not going to notice or you're going to want to leave. (You don't think so? Well, blogs are deceptive. It's true.) I stink as an ambassador of heaven. I think a smile would help. I think focusing on what is best for those around me rather than myself would also help. I think a big sign on the inside of my brain that says, "I AM NOT HERE FOR ME!" would be very helpful. But can I really be something different than I've always been? Can I put myself out of my comfort zone in public? In my own house?
"But Jesus looked at them and said, 'With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.'" Mark 10:27
He's looking at me and He knows just what I am, but He loves me and He's working on me. Praise be to God!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17
This verse always seemed like a one time deal kind of thing. We are lost in sin, God changes our hearts, and Ta-da! All new and shiny and that's done. But I think He continues the renewal, because we always need it.
"This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“ The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“ Therefore I hope in Him!”
The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him."
See! Every morning! So I hope in Him, and I trust in Him. To make me new and to make me shiny. Not for my sake, but so that He may be glorified through me. Oh, that He would use me for such a thing, for what is greater than to be a reflection of His great glory and goodness?