Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fresh and Following

Another fresh new year is here...
another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear;
to love and laugh and give!
-William Arthur Ward

We ushered 2012 in asleep... as we had big plans coming with the new year.
A small celebration... family dinner... in honor of my parents' 40 years of marriage.
Then Ms. Books and I off to a four day youth retreat with our church youth group.
Kissing Mr. Steady, Sassafras and Mr. Conductor good-bye to spend four days with approximately 45 teenagers, knowing sleep would not be a priority.
And it wasn't.
The theme of the retreat was Surrender.
I spoke of that defining moment in my life when I realized I had to totally and completely surrender all that I was and all that I had or thought I had to God and become nothing.
Jesus couldn't be my everything to me until I was broken and willing to be nothing.
Perhaps some day I'll share that here... it was quite the deal to crack myself wide open and spill it all out for those teenagers. I was amazed at how quiet they were... I saw how some of them began to see me differently... just because they knew another piece of my story or maybe the first piece...
I came home yesterday... sleep deprived and emotionally turned inside out... I hugged my babies and cuddled my man and simply was.
Was in the moments right there... nothing expected but just being. Just being together, connected. The evening was quiet. We ate pizza and piled into the living room with blankets and pillows and watched a fun family movie. I wanted to laugh and to just simply be nothing more than in the moment.
I needed to recharge.
Four days into the new year and I was inside out and upside down.
For real good reasons.
I have always spent each new year with family and friends, having fun, eating too much good food, playing games watching football and dozing...
This year I spent my new year in a new way... not for myself but for others...
Most importantly I spent the first day of the New Year for Him. Setting aside my plans and desires to spend my time and talents for Him. What a concept!
Lives were changed over the course of those four days. Teens came to Christ. Others surrendered pieces of themselves they never could let go before. Others spent time renewing and reconnecting... I really don't think anyone walked away without a change of perspective, new eyes to see things differently.

I am still inside out and a bit upside down... and I think that is as it should be. Four days left their mark on me-- physically, emotionally and spiritually.
You can't just jump back into your normal everyday reality without an adjustment period... even though my schedule and my children expect it.
Today is discombobulated... I put in laundry, add the detergent and forget to turn the washer on. I make breakfast and leave it sitting on the stove. I make notes and more notes, start a project and wander off to start another. However- My mind is focused. It is reviewing the past four days and praying for kids who shared pieces of themselves with me, kids who need prayer, powerful purposeful prayer. My mind and my heart talk with Jesus today. Sharing with Him my thoughts, talking through some important and not so important stuff, sharing hopes and goals, going over my to-do list with Him and making Him an integral part of my everyday reality.
My heart is jumping up and down excited for the new and crazy I believe He has just around the corner for me. It makes me want to run ahead but I will not.
In order to be a Christ-follower I've gotta follow.
That's key.

Lead the way Jesus... 
2012 is gonna rock.

Photos from Youth Retreat: Everyone had a white flag and was given the opportunity to surrender... tying their white flag to the cross. What an incredible visual. As you can see- there is still an empty nail there. Waiting...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy! I found you via See Jamie Blog, and I'm glad I did. My mom is a homeschooling mom of three (only one still schooled at home). I'm reading "One Thousand Gifts." And the title of your blog was familiar to me...not because I use the Book of Common Prayer regularly (I'm Lutheran :) ) but because I've read Jan Karon's book that has a similar title, drawn from the same prayer: "A Common Life." I'm also a fellow sister in Christ, wife and homemaker. :)

    I like what I have a new follower!

    In His peace,



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