Monday's Musings - A New Year

A New Year is starting. 

I hope next year will be a little easier than last year. We buried my mom and hubby's dad two weeks apart. 

Then, my daughter got married. That was the highlight of the year for sure. But we had just buried my mom May 4 and my father-in-law on May 18. My daughter married June 2. Yes, it was bittersweet. 

One week later, my son had surgery. Two weeks after that, I had shoulder surgery. 

And now, I find myself on the cusp of shoulder surgery once again. My body doesn't seem to want to heal properly. At least I have a good surgeon. I'm thankful for that. 

By far, 2013 was a difficult year for me. 

But what amazes me is that I'm still standing. And it's not due to me. 

God has walked me through this valley. And He has provided comfort.

So once again, I find myself calling out to Him to get me through. To start the New Year out in His strength, not mine. 

I hope next year is easier. Who wants difficulties? No one I know. 

But I've learned that it's in the dark times when God's provision shows the most. 

My mom was a rock for me. I could, and did, talk to her and daddy about everything. Since my father-in-law was in hospice care, we knew his death was coming. And I talked to mom about it. She and I talked about her suffering. 

I have to say I'm so grateful for those conversations. 

Mom learned to lean in to God the more she suffered. She became more convinced He was in control, especially of her suffering.

And so, here I am, facing great physical pain. I'm honestly dreading it. I have to have this surgery to fix my shoulder. It won't be easy. But it is necessary. 

So, I'm realizing that if this pain draws me closer to God, then it's a good thing. 

I also want to end every year being closer to God than the last. 

That's been true for 2013. I'm closer to Him now than when I started. Even though the year involved great loss. And great joy. 

As I ponder next year, I hope once more that I grow closer to God. Through the ups and downs that will come. I just don't know what they are yet. But that's okay. I know someone who does. And He promises to never leave nor forsake me.  Deuteronomy 31:6

I'm clinging to that verse. 

What's facing you this year? Do you have a verse to cling to? 

My prayer is that you end 2014 closer to God and His love. 

Happy New Year! 


  1. Hi Mary What a moving and honest post. I would be saying good riddance to 2013 I hope that next year will see you stronger and fitter. Sending you some Aussie sunshine to brighten your day.
    Happy New Year to you and your family
    Wren x

    1. Thanks for the Aussie sunshine! It hit the spot!

  2. It's been a tough year for you, but you're absolutely right. We draw nearer to God during the difficult times because we see our need for Him. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

    1. You've had your share of adversity Ellen. And you've handled it well! Here's to leaning on God! :)

  3. My prayer is that indeed, I too, will be closer to God by the end of 2014. Some things that I just learned in church...Luke 1:30..."Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." vs. 37.."nothing will be impossible with God." How precious it is to know that we can find all that we need within the pages of our bibles. I am learning this more and more as I say goodbye to 2013 and ring in this new year full of wonder at all God is going to show me. I am learning to fear less and trust more. Mary knew her bible. The pastor stated on Sunday..."my view of God determines my response to circumstance." Powerful words to live by. It sounds like you are definitely on the right path Mary. God has you in the palm of His hand. He has walked with you through the valley of the shadow of death. He will be with you throughout this physical thorn too. May you be richly blessed in this new year. Warmly, Gail Helgeson

    1. Gail, I can't say thank you enough for your words of encouragement. "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God," is definitely what I needed to hear!

      May God also bless you this coming year! :)

  4. Happy new year to you too Mary. I hope the Lord will provide a wonderful new year for the both of us:) Hope your surgery goes well so you can get back to shooting. ~Judy

    1. Judy, let's pray that we see God's hand working throughout the year, in the good times and bad!

      And yes, it's hard to put my camera down! Especially with my right arm out of commission!

  5. I hope you have a wonderful 2014.

    1. Joyce, I hope you have a very blessed New Year! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Cute and fun year, I congratulate you on this wonderful post sharing with us your great photos! Happy 2014! Leovi.

  7. I'll be praying for your shoulder, operation (if it hasn't happened yet) and healing. My son had grade 1 shoulder pain for all of 2013 and still has it. Physio didn't fix it, so end of Dec. he saw a surgeon and had further X-rays and a sonar done. The next step will be an MRI. A couple from our church is giving about $500 toward his medical expenses, which is a huge blessing. We don't have medical aid. Wishing you all the best and a blessed 2014!

  8. I'm just saying hello. I miss seeing you around and so wanted to send over a greeting. :)