First I want to say happy new year, and wish you the very best that 2016 can offer. You might remember that last January, I wrote about my one word for the year: Savour.
Scripture: I’ve read the Bible, starting with Genesis and concluding with the gospel of John. John 21 is a brilliant read on new year’s eve, all about Peter being restored and given new direction.
Almighty God: I don’t think I savoured Him as much as I could have. In fact, when I thought back to my one word, I remembered what the other letters stood for but had forgotten the letter A. Whoops. Big whoops, as God’s command is to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I listened on new year’s eve to a tribute to Cilla Black on my local radio-station. It was a collection of rare interviews from the BBC, with her reflecting on her life’s journey in her own words. Lovely in the main, but one incredibly sad moment. She said she used to talk to God every night, thanking Him for her success, but since her husband Bobby died, she hadn’t spoken to God because she’d fallen out with Him. That really touched me, and wow – if there was ever an example not to follow. It can be easy to feel disgruntled with God when something or someone precious has been ripped away from you, but that’s not your only option. Though there’s room for improvement, I do try to give God at least a small part of every day, and when one area of my life isn’t going well, I try to remember all the other ways He’s come through for me.
Volunteering: I continue to enjoy the voluntary work I do. In 2015, I trained to support people recently diagnosed with sight loss, and I should be matched with my first client very soon – a great privilege and also a great responsibility. I hope and pray I’ll manage to give them the degree of support they need.
Others: Alas, no improvement on last January. Though I’d like to give the best of myself wherever I am, I still find I’m at my best when around close friends. Being in a big group doesn’t come easy to me, and it seems to be getting harder to make the effort.
Unusual: Sorry I’m unable to share photos of my adventures, but I did attend my friend’s wedding. The church was friendly, I knew many of the songs, and my favourite part was the theme of the service – not just for the bride and groom, but for those already married, as a reminder of the vows they had made. I did meet Crystal and her family. I hope to write more about them and the little girl they’re in the process of adopting, and I did go on my holiday – one of Jen Rees Larcombe’s amazing retreats. I heard the waves for the first time in 5 years; I felt really at-home; I met so many people and was impressed by their kindness.
Reading: I reread last January’s post and saw my aim to read 20 books in 2015. Later in the year, I joined Goodreads. The Goodreads app for the iPhone is very accessible and easy to use. On Goodreads I set myself the challenge to read 40 books, and I almost nailed it with 37 – probably the most I’ve read in a year. My favourite of them all was Kayla Aimee’s “Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected”. It’ll give you some laughs and make you appreciate the difficulties parents of premature babies go through. Another recommendation would be “The Chase” by Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky – a great book on relationships, written by a couple in their twenties who show such maturity. Ideally I would gift this to every teenaged girl. I wish it had been around when I was a teenager.
I feel my word for 2016 is Restoration and perhaps I’ll write about that in a future post. If you focus on one word for the year, please share in the comments.