Every Year With Jesus Is A Good Year

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I HAVEN’T BEEN IN THE “ZONE” for seven months! (*gasp)

I dropped the ball, broke my promise to all of you, and I’m sorry. I have some free time now, and I’m energized and more like my normal self. Decluttering–not writing–is currently at the top of my agenda (I’ve been inspired by Becky’s blog about minimalist lifestyle, and I’m stoked to try some of her ideas in 2018). But I still have two pet projects that I’m determined to publish this year. And since my friends and family appreciate the personal touch, here’s a recap of 2017:

There were some growing pains. Skeletons came out of their closets. Idols toppled. There was a lot of pressure at home and at work and many adversities that only God knows about.

My brain was tired and my heart was tired.

I was tempted to shed faith and morality like a dress that doesn’t fit anymore. I had to re-evaluate my convictions and my relationships while getting involved (way over my head) in the family business; and I found out just how hard it can be to juggle business and personal life. I crept out of bed in the mornings like an old woman, feeling disoriented, depleted, stuck in a rut, missing my dreams and wanting them back (you probably know what that’s like).

My little niece had a meltdown one day because nobody had time to play with her, and I picked her up and burst into tears like a real basket case–much to her surprise as well as mine.

But I’m here to tell you that it was a good year!

In 2017, I was reunited with my long-lost Gypsy sister in LA, who had been dead to me for fifteen years. In 2017, I had a beautiful Passover celebration with my family (a rich, new tradition in our Christian home). In 2017, Jewish believers “came out of the woodwork” and threw their prayer shawls over me. In 2017, for the first time in my adulthood, I had the luxury of consistency–consistency in a routine, consistency in a relationship. In 2017, I got my fight back, and I saw God’s grace flow freely in the unworried areas of my life.

Continue reading “Every Year With Jesus Is A Good Year”

His Work, His Way

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“God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”–Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT

THE SUICIDE AND ALCOHOLISM RATES in my neighborhood are well known facts. Teen suicide is 62% higher than the national average. Alcoholism is 510% higher. We have the highest unemployment levels in the state. One out of three females are sexually abused. The average life expectancy is forty years…

God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.–1st Corinthians 1:27-29 ESV

What is not well known is that God is doing good things here. He’s using common clay. He is personally invested in His creation, and nothing is too hard for Him. He’s working in unexpected ways, through unlikely and unassuming people. He’s doing His work His way, and unseen miracles happen all the time.

I was reminded of this today when I interviewed a certain unsung hero. (Notice all the uns in this: unexpected, unlikely, unassuming, unseen, unsung…)

“God don’t make junk,” he said.

No, Precious, He doesn’t.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.–Ephesians 2:10 NLT