Saturday, January 10, 2015

Hello there, 2015!

10 days into this brand new year...
And I'm just logging into this space for the very first time. Well, Happy New Year, friends! I hope you all had a great Christmas, one full of hope and meaning and joy and peace.

Just the other day, we were reflecting on our Christmas and the whole family whole-heartedly agreed that it was one of the best ones we've had in recent memory! Not only were we able to have a quiet and restful couple of weeks, we were also blessed to have been able to celebrate it in an others-centred and counter-cultural way!

And, in case you missed it... here is our family's year-end newsletter.

New Year's Eve family selfie.

On this Saturday after the first week back to school and work...
I am sitting here at almost two o'clock in the afternoon not wanting to get out of my pajamas! I guess I am missing the relaxed pace that we had over the Christmas holidays and I'm wanting to recreate and relive it. :)

The quiet and rest during the Christmas break also afforded me much time to think and to reflect... it was a balm to the soul for this introvert mama! I used much of that time reflecting on Bible verses to find one that would serve as a guide for me in this New Year... where a One Word can be found which would give this New Year a name.

You see, for the past few years...
I've chosen to focus on a One Word at the start of each new year and God has used each year's One Word to guide and steer me... for which I am truly grateful!

My One Word for 2012 was soar...

Soaring birds. Downtown Toronto, Summer 2011.

For 2013, it was surrender... 

In a reflective mood and deep in thought. ~ Cape Cod, Summer 2012.

And it was still for 2014...

By the Christina River, Wilmington (Delaware). Summer 2013.
Being still and capturing the beauty of God's creation on camera.

This year, it is once again an "S" word... 
I am starting to wonder what my fascination is with words starting with the letter S?!? :)


In my quiet reflection, I felt God saying to me, "When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me." --- from the verses found in Jeremiah 29:13-14.

Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal, Montreal. Thanksgiving Weekend, 2014.

But this time, my One Word didn't just get highlighted in one verse during my reflections. The word seek jumped out at me in Matthew 6:33 too, where it says --- "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

And in Matthew 7:7 where it is written --- "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."

Seek... seek... seek... 
- attempt to find (something).
- attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something).
- ask for (something) from someone.
Yes, upon reflecting on the meaning of my new One Word... I've come to realize that it truly is what my heart and soul is craving to do this year.

2014 had been a year of many revelations, awakenings and changes...
- Work, for both hubby and me, has taken on new normals... new normals that we are still trying to embrace and understand.
- My girl is finishing high school, has started driving and will to go university this September. My boy started high school and is now quite an independent young man. My days as a work-from-home and stay-at-home-mama looks vastly different these days.
- God continued to write our family's story in ways that are vastly higher than our own... leading us to places where we wouldn't dare go ourselves.
- With our beloved Papa's home-going to heaven, we've been reflecting on the brevity of life... even when one departs this life having lived 85 beautiful years!
- God continually challenged us to keep our eyes open and to be brave... and He went on to show us more brokenness and more beautiful things and what our role in all of this should be!
- And He continued to write some more of our story and used it in a way that blew us away... such wild grace!
... and I have suddenly found myself, at the start of this New Year, in a place of seeking what God's next steps are for us this year and for the longer term.

And so, I will seek... because...
"When you seek Me in prayer and worship, you will find Me available to you. If you seek Me with all your heart and soul, I will make Myself available to you," says the Lord.    

Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!

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