Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
            ~Romans 7:15, NIV

Here it is already: 2014.  It's New Year's Day, and everyone (it seems) is making resolutions for 2014.  I have never made a New Year's Resolution, at least not projecting out for the entire year.  I understand it's an inspirational, empowering way to start the new year.  I understand it challenges us to better ourselves.  I understand most people don't keep their resolutions past the first few months, but that some succeed and have a great sense of accomplishment at the end of it all.  And I understand that I would be one of the former.  That's why I don't do it.

But this year is different.  This year I am putting my hand in the hand of God, and stepping out into the darkness, trusting that it will be better for me than a light, and safer than the known[1]And so, I am making a few New Year's Resolutions.  The first is to get back to work building up this blog.  My goal is to update it no less than monthly.  The second is to self-publish my poetry collection, with a goal of having it 'on the market' by the end of February.  The third is to be more disciplined in pretty much all of my habits, but I'm not sure how I should quantify that yet.  More later.  And the fourth and most important is to not only put my hand into the hand of God and step out into the darkness, but to then move forward in trust.

As we all bid farewell to 2013, I am bidding farewell to sitting still, and embracing the uncertainty of having nowhere to lay my head[2].  I am saying goodbye to putting my hand to the plow and looking back[3], and hello to John 14:13-14[4].  Goodbye status quo; hello change.  Goodbye self-reliance; hello God.  Goodbye comfortable; hello terrified.  I'll shake the dust of 2013 off my feet and move on.  No amount of doubt on my part will stop me, because my God feeds birds and clothes flowers[5].
I am ready for the New Year[6].  Are you?

[1] From the poem God Knows, by Minnie Louise Haskins
[2] Luke 9:58
[3]Luke 9:62
[4] And John 15:7-8, John 15:16, John 16:23-24 and Philippians 4:13, and so forth.
[5] Matthew 6:25-34
[6]Not really, but I am determined to meet it head-on anyway.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Bit of Fun for Christmas


5 to 6-foot Douglas Firs
The day before Christmas Eve
Were just 5 bucks - I know, I know!
I could scarce believe.

I held my breath as they rang it up,
My nice little Christmas Tree.
Five dollars was right, plus 40¢ tax;
That's good enough for me!

I stopped for provisions before I went home,
For I had been gone for some time,
Then hurried on back to set up the tree
While humming an old Christmas rhyme.

So, listening to Sara Groves and Amy Grant
Sing Christmas songs new and old,
I wrangled the tree into the worst stand
That I ever hope to behold.

Finally, though leaning a bit,
The tree seemed fairly set.
Beneath it lay a red-green quilt
And I was fairly spent.

But!  Nothing daunted, I went on,
Unraveling the lights,
And layering them bit by bit
Until the tree shone bright.

Next I unpacked my ornaments
From Christmases gone by,
And new ones from my nephew, Zeke;
Then Grandma's caught my eye.

I hung each piece with equal joy,
Then added bulbs and such,
Distributing the colors so
No one spot had too much.

And then I finished (with the tree)
But there was more to do:
I set the mantle with some boughs
And dried-out berries, too.

I added lights (now it looks fine!)
And placed nutcrackers - see?
They're standing guard and looking fierce,
All made in Germany.

Poinsettias make the centerpiece
Above my stocking there,
And now the mantle's looking nice,
Where it had been so bare.

On top of my piano, next,
I set two lamps with pine,
And placed my first Nativity
Just so - it looks divine!

And now it feels like Christmas-time,
Despite the rainy skies;
It's nice and cozy in my house,
Much to my great surprise.

-23 December 2013
(C) Rachel Lulich