Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Announcing: Picture for 2015

I started a photo for the year my second year of blogging. Mary Demuth suggested it, as well as seeing it other places. At this time of year, you hear: word for the year, naming your year and the ever popular, forgetting the past year. We grow though in each year's passage and from what we learn we strive to achieve to a greater depth in the coming year.
My first year was the picture of an empty yoke with the sun shining through it. I could see it in my mind clearly on a frigid clear winter's day, but could not find such on the web images. Finally in August or September that year, I found the old oxen yoke at Munnell Run Farm. My verse and what I tried to do was take on Jesus' yoke, for it easy and His burden is light. I tried to surrender to Jesus.
The next year, a new sculpture at Buhl Farm Park of a stylistic lion set the scene of "Lion in Winter," my courage reminder. So often the Bible tells us to be strong and courageous. I snapped pictures of that lion, my inspiration for courage, through that year as I journeyed on the publishing path for Summer Triangle.
Last year, I chose the theme of "Abundance." I tried to shake off that pauper spirit lying that I never have enough, not just a supply of money, but sleep, time, health, dreams. ambition or resources. I had to stop saying, "If only I had more of..." Jesus plus nothing is still everything. I filed through my own photos of the year and came up with the early summer picture at Buhl Farm Park at the upper half of Lake Julia. Early summer with promise of a rich, fulfilling season before heat and humidity bog me down.
This picture came mid 2014 to me. I desired to make a half year picture, but as the theme of it rose to my mind, I knew I had to wait. My word for 2015 with this image is "Rest." I have schemed not only with my writing career but with life. I worried what is the best thing I can do to promote myself, as a writer and a witness to Jesus. I looked back on my life and felt very much like Jacob of the Old Testament, grabbing a goat skin to smell and feel like someone else to achieve a blessing. We all have a bit of Jacob in us. Jacob encountered his own cunning in his future father-in-law and uncle Laban, tricking Jacob into marrying Leah first. But God used Leah for the blessing of the world, not Rebekah, the one Jacob loved and wanted. Jacob tried to hold on to his family when encountering his brother Esau again after the initial tricking and running from him. Yet, Esau only met him with love, as far as I can see. Still we often need to be wary.
Jacob struggle the one night with God. At the end, his hip was touched by the divine wrestler, causing Jacob to never walk the same again. He also was re-named for a new identity. When we encounter God, we should never walk the same again.
As I settle into the second half of my life, I see I must rest in the Lord. Rest does not mean cessation of work, but I don't struggle to get ahead. I don't give up my dreams, but I place them in God's timing. I also see things are beyond my control. I can't manipulate people. I can love them, but love in return is not guaranteed. Not only be still in God's presence, but in others, as well. Or as the popular song chorus reminds us, "Let it Go."
This photo calls me to sit with Jesus. The bistro table and chair settles on busy State Street in Sharon, Pennsylvania. In the midst of my busyness of pursuing my dream of published writing, I repose at the table in communion with Jesus. And believing there is some truth in all religions, I find it interesting that this set is lime green. A card carrying Native American exclaimed when I pulled my stethoscope of that color out of my bag, "That is a healing color in our beliefs." When I choose to sit with Jesus this year, healing will come as well. Rest and healing I claim for 2015.

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