2023 has arrived. My granddaughter (11 years old) texted me to find out if Grandpa and I were going to stay up until midnight to greet the new year. I assured her that we were planning to do so, and we did. She was pleased to report the next day that she stayed up until 1 am. We did not! We were tucked in by 12:30.
Rather than making resolutions, I review my goals each year – do they still match the vision I have for myself in my various roles in my life? My daughter made a wonderful visual showing all the books in the 2023 United Women in Faith Reading Program on floating shelves so that I have an easy way to keep track of the books as I read them. That will make my goal of reading at least 20 very easy to track.
Jan 1, we welcome our newly appointed Bishop, Bishop Carlo Rapanut, and wish him well acclimating to the Desert after spending many years in Alaska. He has done a prayer run for the last month, praying for each church and appointment in the Desert Southwest Conference. He is an inspiration to all in this, new to me, physical way of praying. While running is not in my capabilities, I have added praying to my daily walk. This fits my goal of adding a new prayer behavior to my life.
These are just a couple of examples of how I am starting my new year. In 2022, I took what, for me, seemed a big leap. I posted prayers on the DSC Laity Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/DSCLaity) page during Lent. Then, for Advent, I went all out, posting each day with a simple idea for a random act of kindness, a Bible verse, and a sentence prayer. It was a blessing to me spending the time in thought and meditation, coming up with ideas, and enjoying the responses from readers.
As the Conference Lay Leader, I am praying that God will shower his blessings on all of us this year. I know that happiness is not always possible, but God is always with us through both joy and pain.