Sunday, January 1, 2012


How do you start off the new year? What do you usually do on January 1? What traditions do you look forward to this coming year?

For the past few years I've ended the old year and started the new one praying. I've been alone at home, and somehow it just seems like the right thing to do. Well, that, and eat any leftovers in my fridge. (I used to go to the New Year's Eve service at a local church but the last time I went it was kinda icky. At midnight we were to turn to the lonely person sitting near us and give them a 'New Year's hug'. And then? Give another person a hug. And then? AGAIN! And then, from the pulpit, we were reminded that for some of us, these will be the only hugs some of us get all year... {which, can I say, does not make them any more meaningful. I mean, that was likely true for me. That those awkward hugs were the only ones I received in months. But really - they were from strangers. Not from the people I was aching to love me. Shudder.} In my section, at the back, there was nothing but single women. It was all kinds of weird; clearly we were all there because we had no family interested in ringing in the New Year with us.) Anyway, I never went back.

Avoiding awkward social situations has become a hobby of mine, so I spent an hour talking to God.
I used "A Diary of Private Prayer" to get me started:

O God, may I grow more sure of Your reality and power;
May I attain a clearer mind as to the meaning of my life on earth;
May I strengthen my hold on life eternal;
May I look more and more to things unseen;
May my desires grow less unruly and my imagination more pure;
May my love for fellow man grow deeper and more tender and may I be more willing to take their burdens on myself.

To thy care, O God, I commend my soul and the souls of all whom I love through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. 

This morning I continued:

(Sometimes old English just seems appropriate when addressing the King, no?)

Eternal Father, let my first thought this year be of Thee. Let me first impulse be to worship Thee. Let my first action be to kneel before Thee in prayer.

For Thy perfect wisdom and perfect goodness;
For Thy perfect love;
For the great and mysterious opportunity of my life;
For the indwelling of Thy Spirit in my life;
.... I worship and praise Thee.

Let me not, when this prayer is said, think my worship is ended and spend the rest of this day (year) in forgetfulness of Thee. Rather, from these moments of quietness let light go forth, and joy, and power, that will remain with me through all the hours of the day:

  • Keeping me chaste in thought
  • Keeping me temperate and truthful in speech
  • Keeping me faithful and diligent in my work
  • Keeping me humble in my estimation of myself
  • Keeping me honorable and generous in my dealings with others
  • Keeping me loyal to every hallowed memory of the past
  • Keeping me mindful of my eternal destiny as a child of Thine.

O God, be my refuge today in every time and circumstance of need. Be my Guide through all that is dark and doubtful. Be my Guard against all that threatens my spirit's welfare. Be my Strength in time of testing. Gladden my heart with Thy peace through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.


Three things I'm thankful for:
1. New years. New months. New weeks. New days. Second chances.
2. Books. 
3. Tuna casserole.


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