Sunday, January 1, 2023

Out With the Old, In With the New ~ Happy 2023

Hello dear friends, 2022 zipped right along until it is now in the past. Today we've been blessed with the first day of a new year. May we all find peace, be gracious to others, find contentment, live each day fully, and be thankful. 

My word for this new year is 'serenity', the state or quality of being serene. 

Serene ~ calm and peaceful.


The past three years have been filled with anxiety, fear, unknowns. For me it's been a time of reflection, of looking to Jesus for peace, comfort, provision and protection. There has been more negatives in mainstream media than positive stories to boost our morale. There is a great need to not listen to or watch stuff that fills us with fear, dread, anxiety. There is so much beauty, love, peace and joy in this world, we just need to stop and consider what they are.

 In the Bible we find what we should be thinking about. Philippians 4:8.

 "Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
think about such things."

I have been blessed during these times of uncertainty, with large and small blessings, and I am thankful for them all.  Jesus has drawn me closer to him and has shown me that He cares for me. He is always with me. He cares about me in my ordinary life.

The day before my dear husband's birthday, I was sitting in a quiet spot that I'm working on. It's back under the pole barn's awning and quieter back there away from the busy road out front. There is a layer of gravel on the ground where bits and pieces are always shifting about.  A little rock caught my attention. I needed to clean it, started brushing away the dirt and lo and behold, I was blessed with another 'heart'. My husband was a bringer of 'heart shaped' things to me and I miss those little gifts, but Jesus has supplied me with quite a few in these past 10 years since He called my husband home. This is one of them.

I have a goal to make this property 'serene', a haven or sanctuary, from this crazy world that we live in. I've made a start, with friends, in clearing the property, but there's still more to do. All in good time.

I'm not getting any younger, my mind thinks I can keep doing things I've done in the past, but alas, my body says different. The heat and humidity of summers take a toll also. I can only work outside mornings.

Here is a section from a wonderful book given to me by a  blog follower just after God called Mark home in December 2012. The name of this book is 'Sanctuary ~ Gardening for the Soul'. Beautiful photos, and wonderful thoughts and ideas.

"Creating a peaceful sanctuary garden is just one step toward honoring a different vision of the world.  If you are able to rediscover peace and balance with yourself while safe in your sanctuary, you can learn to carry those feelings with you outside. You will have created a place that is sacred, like a temple or a church. Our gardens help us maintain the delicate balance between the external demands of our lives and our internal emotional needs. They are places that heal us emotionally and physically. A peaceful sanctuary is truly a little paradise on this earth."

God created the first garden. I've been blessed to be able to create garden spaces here on this 1/4 acre. When people visit they say what a hidden little place this is off a busy 5 lane road. The gardens are good exercise, mentally, physically and spiritually. There are colors, textures, scents, butterflies are always flitting about, birds sing their songs, hummingbirds visit, and felines visit from the neighborhood.

So, serenity is my desire for this year. I want to share this place with others so they can soak up some peace when they visit. I want to live a life pleasing to God, to share his love with others. 

Another goal is to "create an enchanted oasis called 'home', a tapestry of beauty. To be the homemaker that God wants me to be." (Don't know where I found that quote.) I'm decluttering, trying to quit procrastinating in doing this. I want to enjoy this life God has blessed me with. I want to be still and know that He is God. He has a plan.

I am thankful for a wonderful church family, for a lovely group of ladies that meet together each week for prayer and Bible study. I'm thankful for online friends who have encouraged and prayed for me.

Here is a lovely, peaceful song that has been speaking to me this past year. I sort of lost my get-up-and-go, have dealt with some depression too. We also have hurricane season every year, 6 months of watching and hoping none hits us. Actually this song is good for any circumstance that comes into our lives. Sickness, financial struggles, relationships, death of loved ones, emotional struggles. God is there for us. We can call on Him at any time, anywhere.

So, friends, have a wonderful 2023. Count your blessings, learn through any hardships that may come your way, be thankful, love, forgive and encourage others. 

We have a new year to enjoy, each day is a gift.

Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady



Red Rose Alley said...

Your rock is very special, Lorraine. And a wonderful story about finding the other rock the day before your husband's birthday. When you mentioned de-cluttering in the new year and creating an oasis called home, I thought that was really nice. So many of us are doing that as we age. And I want you to know that the verse, Be Still And Know That I Am God, is my favorite one. Thank you for letting me hear it again today, and on New Years!

It's good that you have so much support from the ladies at your Bible Study, and also our blog friends are the best, aren't they? Have a bright new year, Lorraine!


Mrs. White said...

Serenity is much needed. I love the way you describe the beautiful benefits of tending a garden! Thank you for your uplifting words! God bless you!

Melanie said...

It is good to hear from you again. I had been missing your posts! May 2023 indeed bring you more peace and serenity. I'm so glad you found that rock with the heart on it...definitely a sign from above!


Deb J. in Utah said...

Hello Lorraine! It's always good to hear what is going on with you. I love the heart rock that reminds you of your husband's love and the love of Jesus for us all. I think Serenity is a beautiful word for you this year. Have a blessed 2023!

Terra said...

Lorraine, I am glad to see this post from you so I know you are well. God sends you hearts when you need them, isn't that a wonder? Philippians 4:8 is perhaps my favorite Scripture, especially when surrounded by ugliness in the mainstream media. Your word for the year suits you.

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

It was good to see your post today. Your new rock with a heart is very pretty.

Happy New Year to you!

Lynn and Precious said...

I wish for you a Happy New Year with continued success in your gardening and your spiritual friends. It is wonderful to see you post any time of the year. I am grateful I live with hurricanes, earthquakes and not too many tornadoes. I am sure it can be stressful for any of these. You always post such uplifting verses of the Bible and I appreciate those. Lynn and Precious

ellen b. said...

Happy New Year to you, Lorraine. May God give you His peace this year with lots of joy in Him and contentment.

Gretchen Joanna said...

What a joy to find that rock <3

I'm sure your home and garden are 95% places of serenity and peace already, but it will be very satisfying to build on that and consciously create, and receive from God, anything still lacking. God bless you in 2023, Dear Lorraine. Your perseverance in hope is encouraging to me.

Rebecca said...

Happy New Year, Lorraine! My word is "Quietude". So similar to yours I have list my ability to figure out blogging, but continue to be active on Facebook. Hope to "see" you off and on in 2923. I SO watch your creative touches in your sweet home and in your property. ❤️

Karen said...

Serenity is definitely something we all need, especially in the last few years. You are inspiring me to get moving on things I've been putting off. I love the heart rock, a blessing from above.

Victoria said...

Peace and serenity are sorely lacking in the world today. I think gardening is one of the things that we can do which will bring us large quantities of both these emotions.

It's good to hear from you again, I always enjoy your posts

Cheryl said...

Such beautiful words in that song, inspired by Scripture! Being still is something that we all need to learn . . . being still in our thoughts and hearts, knowing that He is God! Thank you for that reminder!

May the New Year find you "still" in His presence!

Rose ~ from Oz said...

A poignant post and lovely sentiments for a new year Lorraine.
I'm trying to inch my way back into blogland!
New year greetings

M.K. said...

Hello, Flower Lady!
I've been absent from blog world for a bit. Life has gotten busy, even in January. I love your thoughts on creating serenity and peace in the garden. I struggle with this because I don't know HOW to make such a space outside. But I do want to try. Thank you!