Hope for 2019: Is it an Oxymoron?

We are 15 days in to 2019, and I’m just now getting around to a New Year’s post.

Hey, I’m retired. I’m allowed to be on my own schedule.

Yesterday, was my first day of my second retirement. I did Meals on Wheels in the morning, made white chicken chili for dinner, read 5 chapters in My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante while drinking cinnamon tea in front of the wood stove. And looked out at the snow. And contemplated not having to go to work tomorrow.

Today, my second day of retirement, I studied Psalm 44, cleaned the kitchen, made a loaf of sourdough bread, and contemplated whether I should continue this blog, or just let it die.

I still haven’t decided. Yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted on a regular basis. But now, the complicated life of the past six months is behind me, and I’m contemplating what my new life will look like. Did you notice I’ve used the word contemplate three times in the last three paragraphs?

I’ve never been one for New Years’ Resolutions. Why set yourself up for failure? For awhile the one-word for the year thing was popular, but one-word for the year is not enough for me. Perhaps I’m easily bored. But as I was cleaning my office of personal effects, I found this tacked on the wall:

Immediately, I knew that those would be my ten phrases for the year. One for each month + the two that are hardest for me, I would do for two months…

I clipped it on the side of the fridge by the coffeemaker — no missing it there — so I can see it every morning. Mr. H.C. commented on it right away. We both need reminders — especially the Answer Without Arguing one…

We need this in 2019 more than any other year I can remember. We need love, compassion, and listening; we need to remember how to speak without accusing; we need a “good news” channel; (I have once again sworn off watching the evening news –I figure if something bad happens, someone will tell me!); we need to remember how to enjoy without complaint…

Well, really, we need all of them. All the time. But I’m doing the best I can, with one a month.

And I’m going to be a good news channel.

January is listen without interrupting. That’s going to be a tough one for me. It might even be a two-monther. But it’s okay, because I have time to listen.

After all, I’m retired…

125. 2,015 Little Blessings

My word for 2015 is content.

I struggle with contentment,

though I shouldn’t.

I have everything I need.

except I need a better car, a new blender, new sliding glass doors for the bedroom…

More than enough.

yes, I sure don’t need more junk; we don’t have room for what we have.

My cup runneth over.

yet still I yearn.

Not only for things

but for emotional peace

Not only for me

but for the people I love

Not only for this life —

I yearn for God.

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In order to stop all this yearning, I’m keeping track of my blessings again this year. He has given me. So much.

2,015 blessings for 2015 = 167.9 blessings per month = 5.5 blessings per day = the practice of contentment for what I have been given.
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January

  1. A beautiful sunrise on the first day of 2015.
  2. The ability to look at the sunrise from my bed, thank God for its beauty, and close my eyes again.
  3. The one day of the year when we can lounge in bed with coffee and biscotti and not feel guilty.
  4. First fire in the stove in the mudroom.
  5. A delicious dinner of pork Bo-ssam lettuce wraps.
  6. Starting and ending the first day of the new year in prayer.
  7. Easy cookies to make from a jar — a Christmas present from my sister.
  8. Time to work on my blog.
  9. Time to get needed work accomplished.
  10. Leftovers so I don’t have to cook.
  11. Making arrangements to volunteer at a new place in a new year.
  12. A thank you card from our sponsored child in Rancho Los Amigos. He’s handsome and growing up.
  13. The money to spend on a sponsored child.
  14. A warmish day, with dots of blue sky and No Snow!
  15. A beautiful aura around a large, bright moon.

This is the beginning of my blessings project for 2015.  I’m only publicizing it  for encouragement. Your encouragement. I’ve been blessed (?) with a personality that is more pessimistic than optimistic, tending toward depression rather than enthusiasm — especially in the winter. This is my way of change — to express joy and contentment for the little everyday blessings.

I do want to encourage you to do your own “resolutions” or changes for God’s glory, not your own. Are you trying to lose weight? Do it for his glory, not yours. Are you trying to organize your life? Do it for his glory, not yours. Are you trying to work on your marriage? Improve your prayer life? Exercise more? Do it all for his glory, not yours, and …

…before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” –Philippians 4:6-7 The Message.