Monday, January 6, 2014

A Year of Extremes Leads to One Step at a Time in 2014

by Brenda Black

The past twelve months proved to be a doozie of a dozen, offering up some of the most emotional, exhausting and exhilarating moments I've experienced in my five decades. I endured more surgeries than I've had accumulatively in my entire life, hit that big 5-0 the first day of summer, watched a family member struggle through a frightening diagnosis, earned three incredibly high honors in Missouri Ag, published my fourth book and began work on number five. I lost weight and it found me again. I turned grey and cringed. I celebrated 28 years with a sweetheart of a man and stood by helplessly as our baby turned 21. Through troubles and blessings, wonderful memories and days I'd sooner forget, I lived my life last year.

Mistakes and victories mark the journey. Words beautifully intended and those that never should have been spoken line and litter the path. Smiles and tears left wrinkles and stains on my face and in my mind. And it is now all behind. A new year is underway and the future looks like an untraveled highway stretched before me with unseen curves, hills and hazards; but also with breathtaking scenery, delightful surprises and leisurely side roads I'll learn of in time. It continues on and yet it just begins, this changing from past to present to future. And it's a good thing I know not all that awaits. I might never take that first step if I could see what lay ahead.

So I'll live each day as it comes just as Psalm 118:24 suggests: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I'll trust the Lord to meet me and provide my needs every day that the sun comes up, just as Jesus asked us to do when we He bid us come to the Father and pray: “Give us each day our daily bread.” (Luke11:3) No matter what comes, good or bad, I'll know that the experience is teaching me something necessary for the journey and that every step forward is a new opportunity to begin again as we're told in 2 Corinthians 4:16 when “...we are being renewed day by day.”

Maybe by the end of 2014, I'll be able to look back and see that another twelve months of extremes is the life for me. And for you! In all reality, it's the story for every one in humanity. Life is colorful, volatile, horrible, delightful, unpredictable, supernatural and incredible when we live it one step at a time.

May your journey be filled with more hoorays than heartaches, your days be more sunny than gloomy. May you know peace of mind no matter the trial; and be surrounded by love and laughter often and in great abundance! May you rest from well-placed labor and receive satisfaction for acts of integrity. May you experience thrilling adventures of unexpected pleasure as well as enjoy days of calm, smooth and predictable sailing. Above all, may you trust in the Lord every step of the way down life's highway.

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