May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself. —Neil Gaiman
I was going to post a recipe for the coconut citrus kabocha bisque that I made today but it's 1120pm (early for me, really), and despite coffee, I'm falling asleep trying to keep myself awake... and that, despite the crazy fireworks going off in my neighborhood and landing on my roof... So I'm going to give in to the sleepiness and go journal a little and fall asleep and wake up in a hopefully better year than this one! Well this year actually wasn't bad - it was fair to middlin. It was, I think, a year of transition between the old and the new. A year for breaking bonds and choosing wisely - choosing to care for myself, and to follow God's leading even when it is hard.
And the year goes out with an absolutely precious memory tonight of listening to the Top Twenty Songs in Christian Radio from 2011 on my local Christian radio station - KSBJ - and just feeling like God was singing to me in nearly every one. I have heard all these songs umpteen times, but something about tonight... several of them moved me to tears, but in gentle, sweet, loving ways - the voice of my Creator whispering to me that He loves me and He will provide... He will care for me, and I do not need to worry. I need to just live, love, breathe, be... and things will all happen as they are meant to. And then as I thought to myself that God was speaking to me through the music, I remembered that just yesterday I had tweeted a passage from Zephaniah 3:17 (that I had heard on the radio right when I tweeted it in fact) - "He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing" - a passage which is breathtakingly beautiful and one of my favorites. And I was like, dude! That's exactly what the Lord is doing - rejoicing over me with singing!
I once heard that we often think that "God loves us" but the reality is not that. God (and Jesus) is IN LOVE with us. Think of how it feels when you are in love with someone - it has a totally different feel/image/reality than saying you love someone... the God of the universe is in love with us, he pursues us, he desires us to know him, he wants to spend time with us. He's interested in us and cares about us - in our dreams, our fears, our worries, our joys. He deeply desires our joy and our happiness (but not pursuing self-gratification for its own sake). He wants our best. He wants to bring out our best. He is enthralled by our beauty and - as the lover to the beloved - sees beyond or does not even see the flaws - and this truly, is grace.... And so... go into the new year with these thoughts in your heart.. because that is a God I want to follow and know. And I want you to know too.
Peace out - see you on the flipside.
But wait - there's more! (Do I sound like an infomercial yet?) I want to leave you with a video of one of the songs that really moved me tonight - by one of my favorite artists, TobyMac we have seen him in concert twice).