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New Year Themes & Eagle Inspiration

     Last week I explained how instead of making New Year’s Resolutions, for several years—perhaps 20, although I don’t know exactly—I have instead chosen a single word or short phrase as the year’s theme.

     This practice began when a fellow in our small group challenged us to set a new year spiritual goal. At first, I ignored the suggestion, thinking it was, well, not very ‘spiritual.’ The thought kept nagging me, and finally, I wrote in my journal:

I want to learn to be a better pray-er!

     That goal transformed my spiritual life and made me believe in the power of identifying a year-long theme. A friend recently asked me to pray with her about her theme. I’m doing that, but thought I’d help my friend—and perhaps you—with some possibilities Some are themes I’ve used, and others are ones I’ve heard or read about.

Adventure                                                          New Beginnings

Bearing Much Fruit                                         Now

Courage                                                              Perseverance

Dare To…                                                           Restoration

Excellence                                                          Risk

Freedom                                                             Significance

Growing in Faith                                              Simplify

Hope                                                                     Soul Care

Intentionality                                                    Wellness

Learn to be a Better Pray-er                        Wonder

Letting Go                                                           Yes!

Loving Better

     One of the unexpected joys of writing the Listening on the Journey… blog has been partnering with my husband. I include at least one of Ron’s photos with each post.

     Ron and I have been married almost 40 years, and without a doubt, he’s my favorite person in the whole wide world. He’s not only a great hubby, but he’s a very talented person. One of his passions is photography.

     Ron loves nature and enjoys capturing with his camera the wonder of God’s creation. One of his favorite subjects is eagles that come through our region during December and January each year to feed on the kokanee salmon in area lakes.

     A record number of eagles arrived extra early this year, and Ron has spent many hours hanging out with them. I’m sharing a few of my favorite photos with you today and will share a few more next Monday.

     I hope you’ll let me know if you choose a yearly theme, and please, enjoy these majestic eagles…

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.
Isaiah 40:31 MSG

The eagle has no fear of adversity. We need to be like the eagle and have a fearless spirit of a conqueror!
Joyce Meyer

The eagle does not escape the storm. The eagle simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It spreads its mighty wings and rises on the winds that bring the storm.
Jack White

The eagle, he was lord above.
William Wordsworth

Blessings on your journey through 2019…

Sue Reeve

(Sue signature)

All eagle quotes, except those from Bible found on http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/eagle-quotes

We Need One Another…

     After my last post, I received an e-mail from a friend from the past. Sharon and I served together in women’s ministry several years ago and participated in a regional women’s ministry consortium composed of some highly admirable women. That ministry season and the association with the women in that group were pivotal in my faith journey.

     Sharon responded to my post about choosing a yearly theme. (Mine for 2019 is ‘Learning to Love Better.’) She asked me to pray with her about a theme for her new year.

     Memories of friendship and ministry partnership with Sharon reminded me how much we need one another while traveling through various seasons of our life journey and as we continue to grow in our faith.

     I feel honored whenever someone asks me to pray with or for him or her. I once heard Dick Foth say, praying for someone is the highest form of affirmation because when I take a person before Almighty God, I am validating his or her incredible worth.

     Today’s post is simple. I simply want to say, “Thank You!”

     Thank you for your friendship.

          Thank you for willingness to read the words I write.

               Thank you for praying for me even when I don’t ask.

                    Thank you for trusting me enough to ask me to pray for you.

     And, I also would like to ask for your specific prayers in the upcoming months.

     When I was a little girl, I said I wanted to write a book. The thought never died. It’s been tucked away since childhood in the part of my brain where hopes and dreams form and are than filed away until some interior voice whispers, “Okay, it’s time.”

     On New Year’s Day, I began the draft of a devotional book. I figure birthing a book must be somewhat like birthing a child. Since I carried both of my daughters a little more than nine months before their earthly entry, my goal is to have a final draft of the book ready by mid-October 2019. If you feel led to do so, would you please pray for me as I work on this ‘heart’ project?

     Thank you! In my next post, I will be giving a list of possible suggestions for a new year theme. I hope you’ll join me again then.

Blessings for a Happy 2019!

Sue Reeve

Happy New Year!

     Several weeks ago, I told you that instead of making New Year Resolutions, I choose a theme to guide me through the year. I began this practice almost 20 years ago when challenged by a man in the small group Ron and I attended to set a spiritual goal at the beginning of each new year.

     My goal that year was a simple statement: “learn to be a better pray-er.” Those words changed the trajectory of my spiritual life and made me a believer in the power of choosing a single word or thought as the theme for each new year.

     My theme for 2019 is: “learn to love better.”

     For the past few days, I’ve been asking God this question: How can I exercise my free will to love in a way that aligns more and more with Your character?  I have a feeling this is a question God is anxious to answer.

     A part of me doesn’t welcome the answer because I suspect I’m not always going to like what God reveals to me about my very flawed character.

     But, another part of me—the part that really, truly wants to act more like Jesus, the part that’s courageous enough to rise to the challenge—is anxious to lean into the process of learning to love in a more Christlike way.

     How about you? Do you have a theme to guide you through this new year? If so, please comment. I’d love to hear.

New Year blessings sent to you…

Sue Reeve