Thursday, December 30

A New Year's Name

I've been basking in some beautiful words lately at the blog of Ann Voskamp.
You should absolutely go and be there for awhile.
And take your favourite hot drink, and bask in her carefully chosen prayer-filled words.

Yesterday I read about how she names her years.
A beautiful idea.
And, considering I've been doing some new year's reflecting anyway, I thought I'd think about a name for the year.  A way of shaping it with meaning and intent.  A way to remind me where to focus.

As we busied ourselves about from place to place over Christmas, I became increasingly aware of one of my not-so-nice attributes.

I am a control freak.
I want things done my way, in my time, to achieve my ends.

The dear (poor?) Saint James had to do his holidaying with a frantic and frazzled woman, as I stressed about arriving on time, having the stuff organized to take to each gathering, leaving the house clean, fitting a nap in.

And then after all that was over (it didn't all happen according to my blueprint, but it all happened nonetheless), we sat down to prepare for a week of rest.

Yes.  I prepare for rest.  With a pad and paper and calendar.

Have I mentioned my husband is patient?

As we did some thinking and planning about the year to come, and talking about what's important to us, and important for us as a family, I kept realizing how much I struggle to be in control.

I also came to the realization that as the one who is working outside of the home full-time, there are a lot of things that will be beyond my control.

That's been a bit hard to swallow.  Especially as this dear boy is reaching a stage where he's so teachable, and growing and learning so fast.  I want to be a part of that.  I want to be directing that.

And, for the majority of the time, I can't.

And I can't determine how James will spend his days, and what things he'll prioritize, and what things might not get done.

And I need to make myself okay with that.

I need to release control.

And so, I've decided that this coming year will be the Year of Open Hands.  An open hand can only hold so much.  I need to be diligent and disciplined in taking care of the things that are mine to manage, and graciously release the things that are beyond my control.

I need to trust that as they fall from my open hands, they will fall into the hands of One who is capable of managing them far better than I, and whose outcomes are probably beyond my meager imaginings.

And so, I wave goodbye to the year that has been, and reach out for the good things the new year has to offer.

And, if I'm able to release my grip, and open my hands, I just might find them filled with good things.


  1. Hi, I found you from Ann’s.

    Loose grip and open hands – I can tell you’ve put a lot of prayerful thought into this – and it sounds perfect.

    You sound like a manger or a CEO and you are having a hard time delegating critical stuff to employees. It has to be hard to “delegate” this job.

    I’d like to let you know that I have prayed today for your year of “loosening and opening” to be a close one with Him where he helps you each step of the way.

    My word was “connecting” – look – did it already :)

    May God richly bless you, and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.

  2. Craig - thanks for connecting, and for your encouragement, prayers, and words of blessing. I read the most recent post on your blog and was blessed by the opportunity to slow down and watch Jesus as he interacts with people. Thanks for that.

  3. I really enjoyed this post - you have a gift with words too. I empathize with having to let go of control over (one of) the most important things in your life while at work. I'm praying you find peace and contentedness through your Year of Open Hands.
    roz xo


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