There’s a lot of talk about what is anticipated when a new year rolls around. Let’s not forget the anticipation in the new year. New beginnings . . . new anything is great!
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Not that I LOVE things, but sometimes new stuff is glorious. For example:
- A new, soft, cuddly little baby
- A new, clean house
- A new, fabulous pair of shoes (my downfall)
- A new trip somewhere you have never been
- A new season: football and fall, swimming and summer, winter’s wonderland, and new life in spring popping up with fresh scents and colors
But there’s another truth to new stuff. Our anticipation is often colored with a lot of excitement because we somehow cling to unrecognized expectations.
Here’s the bummer: Typically the “newness” of something wears off when we realize . . .
Hope shows up when we share our struggles and stories and find there is a way to survive . . . and even thrive. And surviving and thriving starts with Scripture.
An Interview with Kathleen Bolduc
Not many of us would put together the words love and suffering. Suffering feels like anything but love. One of life’s greatest struggles is to resolve that our all-loving God allows us to suffer; in fact, Scripture repeatedly reminds us that God is love and we will suffer.
Kathleen Bolduc understands suffering, as she raised a son with disabilities. She has experienced bitter-cold sorrow and has been warmed by God’s loving embrace for more than thirty years. Her book The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities helps us understand that God’s love breaks through most often when we are broken open.
If you are enduring pain and questioning God’s love, Kathy’s words will warm your soul.
Watch the Interview
Love is a word pregnant with warmth and hope, joy and happiness. If love were a season, it would probably be spring; and as a color, we think of red or pink. Suffering, on the other hand, feels void of warmth and life: cold, lonely, painful, and for some, hopeless. If suffering were a season, it would be winter—icy, bitter, bleak, and void of any color.
Falling in love is exciting, falling into pain is excruciating.
God can use our pain for a greater purpose if we allow Him to take charge of our lives. Self-protection rejects Christ’s miraculous care over all our lives.
The success rate of people keeping resolutions is around 8 percent (tops). Resolutions fell off my to-do list years ago. However, I’ve heard that more than 50 percent of Americans still firmly believe in making resolutions.
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And let’s just say old habits are hard to break; the ritual of making resolutions began long before Christ was born.
I finally nailed down my New Year’s resolutions:
- Gain 20 pounds
- Create chaos and conflict with family and friends
- Stop reading my Bible
- Stop exercising
- Dive deeper into debt
- Get fired
- Have a nervous breakdown
Courage is not natural to one’s character. But it can appear when a person is forced to face fears and depend on Christ.
TIRED! That was the only word I could think of. Typically, my husband—who leaves for work by 5:20 a.m.—sends me a text asking how the morning routine and getting out the door went.
For us, that can be a risky inquiry since, quite often, departing for the day is something just shy of the Exodus.
In spite of appearing quite normal, my son’s global intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) require a lot of assistance—which isn’t that big of a deal.
The bigger deal is me: the mother who hates mornings, rarely has “anything to wear,” and struggles with ADD and focus challenges.
I kept thinking, all moms juggle morning routines. I’ve been at this for over 20 years. Why is this still such a big deal?
Loving a child with great limits allows me to see just how many gifts God gives us in life.
I don’t think there is any other time of the year when we are faced with intense conflict than at Christmas time. While we sing about it being the most wonderful time of the year, would you say that’s your experience?
If it really is the happiest season of all, why do the mental health statistics reveal December has the highest suicide and depression rates than any other month of the year?
Your circumstances may not change immediately, but your spirit will soar and your bindings will be released as you focus on God’s truth.