Monday, December 31, 2012

A New Year's Meditation

Today 2012 draws to a close. It was a tough year in many ways, but it was also filled with God's goodness and blessings. Life is like that. And the trials will always remain with us until we go to be with Christ. It's part of His plan.

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation."
~ I Peter 4:12-13

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

~ James 1:2-4



In our humanness, we seek to ease our pains, remove our trials, extinguish all evil. We chase after it and seek solace in so many things that only prove to disappoint... not just drugs or alcohol, but in relationships, money, homes, careers, achievements, etc. None of these will ever completely fulfill. No, instead, within them, we often bump into the very thing we seek to avoid... trials and tribulations. Conflict and confusion.

We all do it. We all seek that which is beautiful and perfect, a life of ease and void of trials. But we seek amiss. And we know that, too.

We know we need God. Jesus. His Holy Spirit. But so often we seek solace in everything but the only One who can satisfy. 

And let me clarify just a bit... even in seeking God, as long as we remain on this earth, we will only see Him as through a mirror dimly (I Cor. 13:12). Our sinful human nature and the constraints of this finite earth distort our view. Only when we reach heaven and enter that eternal state will we see Him as He fully is. What a glorious day that will be! 

Friends, I don't know what 2013 will hold. I look at the headlines, read blogs, talk to friends, and meditate... perhaps too much on the wrong thing. It looks scary. Health concerns and financial hardships of the future seem inevitable, but not nearly so frightening as the growing persecution of believers. In my humanness, I want to run back to the past and hide in memories of "better" times and pretend this reality isn't so. It seeks to consume me. 

But real freedom is in the good fight... by seeking the face of God. Drawing near to Him. It always comes down to the same basic things that we too often neglect...

• Read the Word
• Study the Word
• Pray
• Believe
• Trust
• Obey

Dear friends, many of you are kindred spirits in that you love homesteading and homemaking. These are good things and worthy of our time and pursuit. But these are finite things. 

Will you also be a kindred spirit with me even on those things which are eternal... the things which will help us face 2013 like true soldiers of the cross? Will you take up the only armor that will really protect you in the battle against good and evil... the battle we face not as "Americans" but as human beings?

Dear sisters, we will not perfectly achieve our goals. No, we will fall short in some way. I challenged myself to read the entire Bible again in 2012 and I only made it about 3/4 of the way through. Did I fail? NO. I read 3/4 more than I would have and I am that much closer to knowing my Savior better than I did in 2011. 

Does that mean I'm home free? Not hardly. I'm like an Israelite of old. Without the Holy Spirit, I would/will do what is right in my own eyes (Judges 17:6) and would/will turn to my own ways (Isaiah 53:6). I must hold fast to the Word and My Savior. And I need constant reminders to do so.

This post has been for me as much as anyone. I must rehearse these truths over and over so that I don't forget and lose sight of that which is eternal and those things that will carry me through 2013. 
I pray it does the same for you.

How will you cling to God in 2013? Let us encourage one another and share here in the comment section so that we know we are not alone!




31 comments:

  1. I loved your post. It hit on some much that I my self have been thinking.

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  2. Sorry hit the wrong button . I do need to take more time for the lord,to read more of his word.

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  3. Well said Amy! I may not be a "homesteader" but our hearts are together in seeking and growing in the Lord. You are so right, when trials and tribulations come our only hope is in the Lord....Keep up the good faith and run the race set before you. Blessings!

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  4. Wonderfully written . I am not a full blown homesteader yet but I was raised as one and slowly getting back to my roots ! Hope you and your family have a Happy New Year !

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  5. Thank you for this beautiful post. It strikes home in many ways, and I, like many others, need to read the Word more frequently and passionately. I will come back to this post often.

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  6. Thank you for this lovely post. My thoughts have been on this very thing. I am not a homesteader but I am a homemaker. I must say that homesteading has me intrigued.

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  7. Beautifully said Amy ~ I'm with you.

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  8. I too have felt this way - we do need to be alert as to what the Lord is doing and what He wants us to do in our own individual walk with Him; it starts with spending time at His feet which is what I need to do more of and your post was a reminder of that. I do also with you sense a time is coming when we will have to stand for our faith and be a light in the darkness!! It's good to know we have the Lord and also have each other!!

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  9. Amy, you have written a beautiful meditation from your heart. Thank you! I am not a homesteader, but spent my younger years on my grandparents farm. I love your blog & so enjoy your writing. Blessings.

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  10. Trust is my "word" for this year! Trusting God. I posted a beautiful prayer on my blog that we are praying to help us really put God in the center of our thinking and planning.

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  11. Thank you for sharing, Amy. How kind of the Lord to provide kindred spirits in this most interesting place called the blogosphere. :) I, too, had the goal of reading through the entire Word in 2012 and am embarrassed to say that I didn't even make it half way through. I'm encouraged, though, by your positive attitude and thank you!

    May the Lord continue to richly bless you and yours in 2013, and may He have mercy.

    In HIM,

    Lisa

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  12. Lovely. Reading the whole Bible again in 2013, keeping a journal of 1000 Gifts of His and meditating each day will allow me to get closer to Him. Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Years!!

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  13. Lately, I have found myself focusing a lot on all of the negativity and doom-and-gloom predicted for the new year. I've decided that, although I will continue preparing for what lies ahead, I will not allow myself to be consumed with worry or fear. We still live in a beautiful world, and there are still good people out there. We have so much to be thankful for, and to look forward to. We all must remember to keep our hope in the Lord, and move forward with our heads up and strength in our step. There will be many blessings among the trials.

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  14. A beautiful post, Amy! I too hope to continue to grow in Faith through active participation in both my prayer life and in reading His Word. I am also standing with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and engaging in particular prayer activities such as praying the Rosary and fasting/abstaining from meat and sweets (typically a Catholic Lenten practice) on Fridays throughout this year in support of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.

    Wishing you a blesed and peaceful 2013,

    Valerie

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  15. Amy,
    Thank you for sharing this post. It hit home and fit right in the lesson we had at church yesterday. God isn't finished with us and holds a future so divine we can only dream about it. All things will past and become New.
    Even my blog Bible verse for the day goes hand and hand of what you said...
    “This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” -Isaiah 43:16, 18-19

    Happy New Year, Amy, and may it be a blessed one

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  16. I want to wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year! I enjoy you blog and look forward to seeing your achievements in 2013.

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  17. Wonderful post Amy, and a powerful reminder of where to keep our focus for the coming year! I too have felt the fear grabbing at my hem and must be reminded daily of God's power and mercy.

    Blessings for you and your family for the coming year- please keep sharing from your heart!

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  18. Beautiful post Amy! Similar things have been on my heart as well for several days now. May the Lord bless you and keep you in 2013!

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  19. Amy~ Thank you so much for sharing your heart,as you always do, but also for sharing your strong faith.
    I appreciated this post. There is so much in the world that is frightening, worrisome, and unknown. Not just now but for all of time past and future. I only hope is in Christ Jesus!
    I say that...and I sit here, frightened, worried, and NOT knowing. I need reminding everyday that He is LORD. I must...MUST, put Him first in my life. I must put more emphasis on His word and reading it daily.
    I've lost sight of the Word...if it were not for Him putting in my heart and rubbing it in like a salve...I'm afraid I'd all but forget it totally.

    I want to commit more intently on reading His word. Praying, Fasting and Fellow-shipping with other believers. We must steadfastly encourage one another. I for one find all of that here, encouragement and fellowship.
    Thank you and Happy New year.
    Pat

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  20. Amy, this has to be one of the best posts I've read. You are so encouraging & have such a sweet way of making us all feel more secure not only in our walks as homesteaders & homemakers, but also as daughters of God. Thank you for that. I will stand with you in prayer & in faith that together in 2013 we all walk closer to our Father, Lord, & Savior. For years it has been my goal to read the entire Bible in one year...I believe that 2013 will be the year I actually do it. God bless

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  21. Thank you for your encouraging words.

    God Bless,
    Sally

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  22. Agree with all the other comments, a beautiful post indeed. Thank you for your encouragement and the many reminders I needed to hear, to keep my focus on Him and not the things of this world which will soon pass away. Thank goodness, right? I've really been enjoying your blog. You got me hooked on Happy in Dole Valley too.

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  23. Beautiful! You said so much of what I have been thinking about this evening. I'm so thankful for a New Year to start over again.

    God is so good and faithful!

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  24. Thank you, Amy. I just discovered your blog, and pray that it will be an encouraging spiritual companion to me as I learn to live alone for the first time in my life and draw closer to the Lord in the process. As a young married adult, my heart was into homesteading, although it did not materialize in actuality, and a few years ago I gave away all my books and such to a younger friend. Now, as a senior adult, my nest is empty, with my children living far away; and my husband is with the Lord. As a result, even the role of homemaking is somewhat of a dim memory. However, reading just a few posts from your blog has inspired me to once again use my influence whenever God gives me the opportunity to encourage the younger generation(s) to be Titus 2:4-5 women. I have also read your January 1st post, and SO understand what you're saying. I want to be a praying, encouraging woman -- a woman of influence. In order to do so, I too need to simplify, both the literal clutter and the time "clutter" that electronic media has brought into my life the last two years. I got rid of the TV, but more than made up for it by spending time on the new laptop! My goal this new year is to physically declutter my house and my lifestyle, to get back to basics, and to live a much simpler, less harried lifestyle -- one that allows me to minister to others' needs "at the drop of a hat," as we say. My prayer is that by this time next year there will be no more excuse-making as the first reaction when confronted with a need, thinking: "I don't have time; I'm too busy and have too much to do; I'm behind on (the bills, recordkeeping, housecleaning)" .... fill in the blank. From the little I've read of your blog, I believe that your past posts will be an inspiration to me to get back to those basics. May God bless you as you re-focus your life in order to live out your mission statement. Thank you for setting this example.

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  25. Amy,
    I have just started following your blog and what a wonderful time to start. Thank you for your words and allowing God the Holy Spirit to work in and through you to remind us that He is in control. Our nation needs we who call Jesus Christ our Savior to STAND firm and be SALT. We need to pray for our nation and one another. I'm reminded of scripture:“Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness …” Eph 6:14
    “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure,whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.” Phil 4:8
    “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord;
    walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth)trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness,
    but instead even expose them…” Eph 5:8–11
    We serve the God of Truth (Psa 31:5). Let us diligently pray that He will bring the truth to light, that we will grow in the grace and knowledge of Him and for the sake of His glory, and for the preservation of this nation! I look forward to 2013 knowing He is in control. I look forward, as well, to His soon return! Rapture practice anyone?!?

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  26. It's so encouraging to hear from a wise woman who's strength comes from the Lord. We may never meet here on earth; but I know we are sister's in Christ and will meet in heaven one day. Your posts are so encouraging and often reflect the same thoughts that the Holy Spirit has placed on my heart. Thank you for being willing to share your faith walk with us.

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  27. Beautiful post. Haven't read your blog in a long while, haven't had much time for anything lately. Have been wanting to change that for a long time.

    Very encouraging words. I too am afraid for the things that are to come, but I must remember to have faith in our heavenly Father. For He knows all and will take care of His people.

    A quote I read the other day that has become a motto for me: "God provides the bird with its food, be He doesn't throw it into their nest" I know God will take care of me if I work for Him and stay close to Him.

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  28. I think that the thoughts you shared today are the thoughts of many Christians around the world and we're just now coming to grips with these thoughts here in America. I, too, am troubled by the things of this temporary world, but holdfast to what our Lord has for us. It is one of my goals this year to pray without ceasing (as best I can) and to grow in the Lord, following the Holy Spirit's lead, as best we can as a family in what He has for us. Thanks for your rawness in how to intend to continue your blog. What a great Titus II example you are to so many of us younger women. If only we could sit down for a cup of tea and I could glean from you from time to time. Thank goodness for blogging. :) Blessings and prayers, Kelli

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  29. Thank you for the post. I will cling to God's promises in 2013. This morning I was reflecting on John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." By clinging to His word and His promises, I can face the broken world. May you find peace in 2013, Amy.

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  30. Out of the hundreds of thousands of blogs I have viewed this one has spoken the most truth for me in my life, where I am at, right now in this life I have been given. Thank your for letting God speak through you for your sharing. To me this post mimics Gods grace for us.

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  31. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you in this post. Very reassuring and speaks truth and follows Jesus commandments to teach others about Him.

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Thank you for visiting Homestead Revival™! Please feel free to contribute to the conversation by leaving your comments. "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear." Eph. 4:29

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