Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Tea



There is a gentle snowfall outside reflecting the quiet of the forest... only broken by the rare car or pickup truck driving on the narrow county road. The silence reflects my need for pondering and reflection after the glitz and glitter of Christmas.

The season of Advent (for me) is all about anticipation.  This year it actually began with the rustic colors of autumn offering breath taking beauty... through Thanksgiving and birthdays... into the time of Advent... and Christmas Day... all bringing sensory overload (even if in a good way).

We come to the week between Christmas and New Years Day.  Most of my life I've considered this week as separate from any other week of the calendar... the in-between days when most of our normal schedule is set aside as we are tucked between two significant holidays.

It is not uncommon for me during these days to ponder what has been left on the highways and byways of my life this past year.  Both that which didn't matter and those parts of my life that circumstances left of no further importance and those  parts of my life which were of significant importance but I let slide off my daily routine as a result of laziness or lethargy... or most often choosing the urgent while letting the "good" die a slow death in the midst of busy-ness.

Just as His mercies are new every morning, He gives us a fresh calendar every year to revisit our internal "due north" and put our lives back on track for the purpose for which He created us.  This is symbolized externally as we hang up a new calendar, take pen to paper in a journal with clean and unwritten pages, and ponder where we have been and where we are going.

While the Bible tells us are are "fearfully and wonderfully made", our Creator also understand we are "formed of dust"... in other words, the spirit is willing but the flesh is often weak.  Sigh...

So, being a pondering type person... this "in-between" week is perfect for thinking back on this past year and placing back in my daily basket those items in which the flesh won the struggle between the important and wanting to do things my way.  Also, those parts of my life which were lost to the urgent and need to be picked up, dusted off and shined, and placed back in the basket.  The spiritual version of pushing that "reset" button.

I will also pray and ponder the coming year and that which must be new to the basket.  Perhaps a needed skill to be learned, books to read, habit to form, or finally saying "yes" to something in my life He has been wanting in which I have only given a "maybe" in the past.

I love this in-between week.  I will do my best (as daily "gotta do's allow) to become quiet and ponder and pray and plan and read and write and just... think.  Knowing full well that all desires and plans will be set at His feet in prayer to bless what He wants me to accomplish and receive wisdom for the "setting aside" of the good for the best.  Wisdom often provided one moment and one day at a time throughout the next year.

15 comments:

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Hi Brenda! Hope your Christmas was peaceful and blessed. I am a ponderer too! I've really been blessed this past year by your sharing of your experiences and wisdom. I pray that the Lord will grant you strength and joy this coming year.

Jan said...

Yes. Yes...for me this,too, is a week out of the year, an in between time both to look back and look ahead.

Barb said...

I really love this idea - I have been feeling the same way. There are things I would like to change this coming year and things that I would like to keep the same forever! You always have such an eloquent way of making me think about life - thank you.

Blessings, Barb

Anonymous said...

It does seem we are also in the more reflective time of life, doesn't it? When our children are raised now and life changes into more of the pattern it will take for the rest of our sojourn here perhaps. I have been thinking a lot and praying for strength and guidance as well...there are some needs I have for fellowship. That is not the easiest to find; it will take efforts on my part. And as to what I should do, not just for me, or my family, but for others. Many needy people these days. Friends of friends in the last couple months, who have a ministry all over the globe, had gone to West Virginia. They say the poverty there is beyond anything they have seen in 3rd world countries. We are all kind of stunned, but working on gathering up clothing, etc...to do what we can. It is being administered by a preacher who drives nearly 4 hours each week and preaches at 3 churches there in the hills. (Areas I think left behind, in mine closures, with no other source of income to speak of). Many hurting people in our world...we cannot help them all...but we can help some!
Blessings, Elizabeth

Heather said...

I love the 'in-between' week as well, it has always been special to me, and for many of the same reasons it is special to you! I am hoping to use it wisely, and impart some of it's specialness to our children!

scrappy quilter said...

Beautiful!! I'm also a ponderer and have been pondering this week as well. This too is one of my favorite weeks. Hugs

Vee said...

Hmmm, seems as if we're thinking alike, but you're saying it so clearly and completely. Lovely, Brenda, as always.

Mindy said...

Brenda..this is beautifully written...so ministered to me! Thank you and Happy New Year...
Be Blessed,
Mindy

Anonymous said...

Since my grandparents people came from West Virginia I read with care the letter by Elizabeth abouot the needs there. I have heard of problems all my life in these areas. They are a proud people and do not want to be looked at as backwards. They do not have much of anything but they are proud to be part of large extended families. Families that have usually lived in this area all their lives. Many used to grow up not even knowing they were poor till during the era of President Johnson told them they were during the War on Poverty. Living in pockets where everyone is at the same income level they think everyone everywhere lives like this. That is very understandable. Thankyou Elizabveth for alerting us. Yes I like this time as a reflective time to readjust our lives and hearts. Not a time for resolutions but a time for revaluating and rededicating our lives. A time for quiet reflecting and interspection. Shifting priorities if needed.

Anonymous said...

I think you must be a mind reader...at least my mind. My morning prayer time was spent praying some of these very thoughts of yours. I have been thinking on the things I have neglected to do this past year and the way I have spent my time. I have heard that still small voice encouraging me to make some changes. I was feeling sorely disappointed in myself and along came your encouraging post. So many times throughout the year you have been a blessing to me. Thank you Brenda - may God bless you and your family richly in the coming new year.

Sharon said...

Brenda:
I really like your blog template.:)And this post as well.I have been pondering some of what has remained undone and am asking God to help me begin to do those things He has asked me to do.:)Blessings~Sharon

Lynn said...

Lovely post, Brenda. You put into words a week that is hard to describe. Lovely.

Mrs. Staggs said...

Hi Brenda,

I've once again, enjoyed catching up on your posts. I too feel the need to take more quiet time this week, to recover from the the sensory overload, and to reflect on the year past, and the one to come. For me, this quiet time extends well into January, and beyond. I love winter. For me, it is the season of reflection.

My thoughts are with your sister, her husband, you, and your family, now. I bid each of you, peace.

Lena

Anonymous said...

To the anoymous reader...about W.VA. people...we heard that too...that they are not people who ask for anything. I think sometimes we think of helping people far away, and maybe we need to look closer around us. Even if not poor, those who need some encouragement of some sort are usually nearby. Or so it seems...

Today (Monday) is a good day here!! No needed laser surgery again on my eye!! Now I can even sleep better!! We tend to take such things for granted until we find ourselves in such a state!!
Blessings, Elizabeth

Adrienne said...

Brenda - I, too, am pondering and taking time for quiet to hear the 'still,small voice' of the Father for the year(s) ahead. Thank you for this beautiful post. ~Adrienne~