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New Year thoughts

I am putting off writing my next book review post until I have gathered my thoughts about how I intend to spend my time in 2021. So I am procrastinating already!

Many bloggers are looking back over the past year and forward to the next. It can be a useful exercise. On the More than Writers blog, to which I have been a regular contributor for a few years, there was a post about #myoneword.

I chose a word for 2016 and another for 2017. Since then I have not picked a word, but have aimed to use my time productively. (Is spending time on social media productive?)

This year I have been wondering about picking a word again. Listen was a contender. It occurs in the Bible hundreds of times, a good example being in Proverbs 1:5

I prefer Focus, which could include attentive listening and an element of mindfulness. I tend to be thinking about other things, when I am doing routine tasks. It is not particularly healthy. Sometimes it leads to not remembering what I have done or not done! I also have a bad habit of reading, writing or doing puzzles while the news is on the radio. I can knit (easy things) or colour pictures from a beautiful book (Images of Joy by Jacqui Grace) and listen at the same time.

In the hall of residence of my student days a small Christian Union group used to begin every meeting by singing the chorus, Turn your eyes upon Jesus. That is one way of focussing.

Looking back at how my life has changed over recent years is easier with my hand-written journal and my blog. Occasionally I notice that someone has viewed a blog post I had completely forgotten about. I read it myself and find that my life has moved on in some way from that point. For example, I used to update my journal every few days, trying to remember what had happened. Now I write about the previous day as part of my quiet time every morning. It is easier to remember from one day to the next. I had intended to make this more of a spiritual practice, but I find it very difficult to write my feelings down.

Perhaps that is something I should focus on. It isn’t that I am unable to do it, as I found out in a journaling workshop led by Tracy Williamson and Marilyn Baker on Zoom in September.

My regular readers will know that words fascinate me. My three words (2016, 2017 and 2021)  have a progression of shared letters – ReST – TRuST; TrUSt – FocUS.

Have you chosen a word to help keep you on track in 2021?

Whether or not, Happy New Year!

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Christmas Greetings!

This year has been difficult for everyone, but there is still hope. In John’s gospel 1:5 we read, The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

I prepared a digital Christmas card before the UK government announced a tightening of restrictions over Christmas. Now people are only allowed to meet on one day, forcing any plans for extended visits to be cancelled.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come; let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare a room. and Heav'n and Nature sing.

My card is a reminder that Christmas is still about the positive aspects of God’s gifts to us including Love, Joy and Peace.

Whatever your circumstances at this time, I pray that you will be blessed with a knowledge of the Giver of all good gifts.

The picture is one I have coloured from Images of Joy by Jacqui Grace, published by Just cards Direct.

(In 2013 I wrote a Christmas Eve prayer, which is still relevant today.)

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Some reflections about words

Last week I joined in with Cee’s ‘On the Hunt for Joy’ photo challenge. This was a new challenge, although I have joined in with some of Cee’s challenges in the past. When ‘Get outside’ came up in my WordPress Reader, I had just loaded up my photos from a walk on a hill that day. I had not been hunting for joy because I believe that joy is something, which I already have. However the walk was very enjoyable. It was a longer walk than usual for hubby and me, involving more climbing, but the slopes were relatively gentle. The views were well worth the climb. The post I wrote is on Sue’s words and pictures.

Hubby commented, “I really enjoyed that”.

A view on our walk

Did you notice that JOY is in the middle of enJOYed? The French word for joy is joi. We use it in the phrase we have borrowed, joi de vivre. It forms the centre of our word reJOIce.

So why do I say I already have joy, or that I am joyful?

The Bible tells us that those, who believe the Good News of salvation are marked by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (otherwise known as the Spirit of Christ or, in older language, the Holy Ghost). 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 and Ephesians 1:13-14 are some of the verses, where this is stated.

Part of the Holy Spirit’s work is to make believers more like Jesus Christ. He does this gently. In fact gentleness is one of the characteristics listed as fruit of the Spirit, the results of the Holy Spirit’s work in a believer. Joy is another. Click the link for the full list. Galatians 5:22-23

The Photo challenge is a blog hop. One of the contributors to the More than Writer’s blog has written about blog hops his week. If you have time, have a look at what she has to say.

Even better click on the links to Bible Gateway and read the Bible verses I have mentioned.

Please note: If you are reading this post because you follow this blog on bloglovin’ please be aware that I shall soon be deactivating my bloglovin’ account. There are other ways of following Sue’s Trifles and Sue’s words and pictures, for example, via the WordPress reader or following by email. Links to my posts are also shared on Twitter and on my Facebook page.