Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Back, Moving Ahead

It's been a difficult year, but God's unfailing love is sweet as I am learning to abide more fully. Here are a few highlights of what I've learned in 2013 to help me live better in 2014:

  • To abide more fully in the Lord. My most desperate times (Ted's weeks in ICU, then learning to live without him) caused me to cling to the Lord, looking fully to Him for whatever would come next, especially when I had no clue how things would turn out. Clearly, that it is the Lord's intention for our lives, each day and every day and I will focus on continuing to live that way.
  • To grasp God's grace. I'm letting go of things I worried needlessly over in the past. Grasping God's grace is realizing He has the whole world in His hands, the very best in mind for each one of us, and He's orchestrating the ultimate, beautiful plan for everything here and into eternity. There are things I can't comprehend, but when I rest in His grace, I know that whatever happens, I am still in the palm of His loving hand.
  • To be a truer friend (daughter, sister, mother, grandmother). Family and friends have never meant so much as when walking with me through the gullies of grief this past year. Relationships have been deepened and strengthened by the experience shared. I have deep gratitude for those who have shone their light into my life in so many extraordinary ways, wrapping me in compassion. I will strive to pay this compassion forward in everything I do.
  • To use my gifts and not squander them. Forsaking other distractions in life, I will pursue the activities that give God the most glory. God created each of us with unique gifts, and if they are not nurtured and shared, not only do we miss out, but others around us do, too. When I use my gifts, I feel His pleasure -- and God intended it that way! Why wait until everything else on the to-do list is accomplished? -- this is what I've been created to do!
  • I won't sweat the small stuff. And most of it is small in relation to life, death and eternity. Does every detail have to be perfect? Does everything have to "fall in place" before we act on something? Probably not. Ted and I had very little grumbling in our relationship, but if I could do it over, there is NOTHING worth grumbling about! I want to love well the people God has put in my life.
  • To live my influence. Where God placed me in life is a divine appointment. What He has poured into me is meant to be shared for the good of others around me. That may mean telling my story or listening to another's, passionately pursuing or patiently persevering, encouraging or correcting, lavishing love or sacrificing. Life on earth is short. There is meaningful work to be done. Jesus is coming back for us soon.
What will you pursue in 2014?


  1. This is beautiful Marilyn. The gifts you have been given are so evident in this. God has an amazing plan for your life. :)

  2. Your words are so true. How amazing and wonderful it is that Jesus is coming for us.
    And also to remember that through ALL of life; whether we are in our highest ---or our lowest moments, we can "choose rest", grasping His grace, with the profound truth that He is always there faithfully holding onto us. Marilyn, thank you for your Godly heart, and your willingness to teach about all that you are learning.

    Unused gifts are like those found years later in their original box in the back of the cedar closet...however lovely, but still lacking the life originally intended. Here's to making 2014 a great year for Him, as we try to "wear out" the presents He's so graciously given to us! Love ya! vic

    1. I love reading Abiding and I learn so much from you. Thank you for sharing. God is so good to us .I see Him daily all over the landscape, the people, the sky the beautiful animals. All trusting in Him to keep them warm during this cold snap. I have 5 Eastern Blue Birds drinking from my bird bath and 2 robins eating from my Winterberry. Our Lord shall supply. J

  3. Thank you for commenting. I find such pleasure in sharing the Lord's gifts to me and only hope it can encourage others, too.