In the months leading up to my oldest child’s departure for college, I’ve been consumed with emotions and lengthy lists.
The fact that I’ve got lists should come as no surprise. I’ve got lists of items I need to purchase for her, tasks to get done, and wisdom to impart (all the things I’m sure I never taught her!). I suppose the emotions should be expected, too. (Note to the wise: do not purchase the airplane ticket for firstborn’s college departure when premenstrual; extreme risk to computer keyboard.) Yet in all the activity and tears, a single question has proved to be the most helpful in preparing me for this emotional milestone.
The dawning of a new year brings optimism to my perspective that isn’t normally there. I find myself eager and undaunted by the enormity of my goals. While it’s true that we have opportunity to make changes and set goals every day, the January 1 juncture catalyzes my review of year-past and desires for year-future.
After reflecting on the recent months of blogging, one post stood out to me: the post that we wrote together for Thanksgiving. It expressed the true desire of my heart for the purpose of Eight Twenty-Eight, that we would see God’s redemptive purpose achieved in all the happenings of our lives. We are often the tools He uses — through our shared stories, mutual encouragement and burdens borne. And yet, the tagline didn’t adequately capture that. So, I present to you the new Eight Twenty-Eight tagline:
All things. Our good. His glory.
We’re on this journey together, for God has brought us here. Participate with me, as you already have, through your comments and emails. Be a part of His work in the lives of “those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”
What are your hopes for this year? Are you reading the Bible all the way through? Memorizing scripture? Committing to prayer at a certain point in your day? Joining a study? Aiding widows, orphans or those suffering injustice? Finding new ways to love your neighbor? Reducing your spending to increase your giving?
Whatever it may be, I pray your resolve includes allowing others to see how God is using you, shaping you, growing you. Invite them into your heart so they may see the work of Christ. I’d love to hear about it, too.
Some passages to consider as you ponder and plan for 2012:
Remember what we have gained in Christ, and what we strain for.
1 Corinthians 10:
Our choices should glorify God and not cause others to falter.
Live as a redeemed person, and help others do the same.