January 02, 2009

Hope for the New Year

I'm not sure why this has been on my heart, but I suspect it might have something to do with the fact that I'm a mother of two teen girls and two pre-teen boys. There are days when you just hang your head and breathe a prayer that God will be merciful and make something out of them. I have really great kids, I do. I'm very blessed. But like I said, there are days when you just wonder...

Those are the days when I have to look back—look back to who I was at 12, 15, 18, 22, etc. While we were in a room of teens last night, Lance and I both concurred, we do not want to go back to that age. You couldn't pay us to go back. Why?? Well, we don't want to have to vie for social position and feel compelled to seek out a mate. We don't want to go back to the constant self-consuming thoughts about our adequacy as a person and our place in the world. I gotta tell ya, mid-forties is pretty nice.

So I ask myself, am I the same as I was some thirty years ago?? Praise God, by His mercy and His work, no I am not. God has brought very rich experiences into my life, some very exciting, others very heartbreaking. All, as Romans 8:28,29 says, have had the good purpose of conforming me to the image of Christ. This gives me hope on two fronts: I am not likely to be as foolish as I am now in another 20 years, and by God's awesome grace, my children will not be as foolish in 20 years either. Hooboy! That is a real comfort!

So as we enter 2009 and set goals for ourselves, or look back to 2008 and evaluate our growth, lets remember what the Apostle Paul said: Philippians 1:6 "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus"

"Praise God I am not the person I used to be, nor am I yet what I will become" (paraphrase of a quote from John Newton)


  1. Boy, all so true. I would absolutely hate to be a teenager again. The only thing that was nicer was having fewer (minor) aches and pains.

    We mothers do agonize about stuff like that. _Where_ are they going to find good husbands in a world like this? _What_ are they going to do with their lives if they don't? How is it all going to work out?? Thanks for the lesson in trusting God.

  2. Well, I'm sharing a lesson I am still very much in the process of learning, which brings up a good point -- if I'm still "in the process", should I be impatient with my kids, my mate, my fellow parishoners, my pastor, etc. if they, too, are still in the process? Oh Lydia, I have SO MUCH to learn, and you know how hard-headed I can be. Praise God for His mercy or I would surely have been consumed by now!!!

  3. Mary, what great thoughts!

    I am currently talking to one of the pastor's wives at our church. I called her one day, asking her to pray with me for my children. In particular, one of our girls (we have three girls, and they will be turning 20, 17, and 10 this year).

    She prayed with me, then a few weeks later called me and asked me how I was doing. I was SO appreciative of her follow-up call, as I put it. She said it wasn't so much "follow-up" as she was wanting to be a friend. She's in her sixties, and I turned fifty a couple months back, and her children are grown and married, so she's been through it all and is now relating to them all as adults.

    Like you, she gave me her perspective of when she was a daughter, and prayed with me and for them and for me, and assured me things were going to be all right, that God answers prayer, etc..

    We are still in the thick of some issues, and I guess compared to what other people go through they are minor, but our standard isn't what the world considers to be minor, but our standard is also the
    source book of great hope. We desire hearts that beat for God and seek to please Him, and hearts that know what it means to be in Christ. And God tells us we don't have because we don't ask, and that He desires for us to pray at all times. So we have hope, not only on account of remembering where we were and where we are now, but hope in God who will do the same for our children if we keep praying for them.

    And it takes a lot of years to come to maturity, and we never do stop growing in this life.

    I'll pray for you and yours, Mary, and I'd appreciate you remembering me and my family in your prayers.

  4. Thank you, and yes, I will stop and pray for you when I visit the blog -- that will help me not to forget. I am thankful for the new friends I've met here!

  5. Very good thoughts, Mary. Thank you for this post.

    I think one of the blessings of being able to look back and recognize our own immaturity and how we've changed is being able to unreservedly accept the immaturity of others, knowing that by God's grace they will also grow and mature. As my father used to say, "A sure sign of an immature person is that they think they're already mature!"


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