New Year = New Hope

I am a complete sucker for the idea of "New Year." I love anything that's NEW, fresh, clean...like getting a new calendar...with nothing yet filled in. It seems filled with promise. Even though I have lived through 30-some-odd new years now, I still get a little giddy at the idea of turning the page to a new chapter in life. I have my usual list of resolutions...they don't really change much from year to year. I'm ok with that now. I hope I am always interested in living a little more healthfully and desire a stronger relationship with the Lord and others. January just offers me a little respite to order my life a little and take inventory on what needs to be tweaked.
As of today, we have very few commitments penned in to the calendar. That is such welcome relief from the last few months. I have several creative projects up my sleeve that I'm excited to get started on...as soon as my computer gets back from the "doctor" with her new hard drive. Saying goodbye to 2010 is bittersweet. It's the year that brought us Shepard Giles Jones (my little sweetpea!), but also buried our dear Papa Jones. 2011 stands to bring even more change, as we adapt to being a family of three and generally moved forward with life, family, church and friends.
I am focused on finding some rest and peace in the presence of the Lord. Especially in light of a little lesson I learned over our holiday break. First, we had several challenging days and evenings with Shepard while traveling. Our usually happy and routine-loving baby was suddenly replaced with a little screamer. Granted, he was being asked to eat, sleep and play in new surroundings...his usual quiet-ish days being completely disrupted by slightly familiar smiling faces and lots of attention. I don't blame him. I think sometimes we all feel like just screaming or crying in the face of so much change, but we've learned how to cope or at least mask/hide our feelings enough to get through without letting the whole house-full of people know.
As I held him in the nice, quiet sleeping space we had provided and tried to feed him, he opted to wiggle, stretch, arch his back and refuse the nice warm bottle available. As his mother, I was frustrated. There was no good reason for him to refuse the food and sleep being offered. I knew he needed both. I did everything in my power to provide them and gave him every opportunity to accept them. It tried the outer edges of my patience, but of course, I was determined that he would eat and sleep. But what a more pleasant experience we both might have had if he could have submitted willingly to the process. Now, I know he's a baby and has no sense of this...but...
As I traveled I-85 North last week, without my too-sick-to-travel hubby, I listened to some praise music, as that always puts me in a frame of mind to hear from the Lord...and it's just enjoyable. I reflected on our time over the holidays...very challenging in many ways...the Lord let me know that I had been acting much like my little guy lately. Resisting REST in His strong arms and NOURISHMENT by His word and presence. OUCH. Of course, He knows what I need so much more than I do. He stands ready and patient, but He won't hold me down and force me into the quiet place. He just keeps gently trying to hold me and work with me until I comply. How beautifully patient He is. I not only want to enter a SEASON of rest, but also a lifestyle of more faithfulness in this area. Even in a flurry of activities, there can be rest in Christ if I will continually rely on Him for my strength and wisdom in how I spend my time. REST. REST. REST. And not the sitting-in-front-of-the-TV kind (that should be called UNrest).

Two-week-old Shepard rests and praises.
 Deep breath. Rest. Worship. Welcome, 2011. Let's do this.

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