It’s that strange in between time with Christmas Day passed and New Year’s Eve within sight. We’ve given up celebrating all twelve days of Christmas so we don’t quite know what to do with these days as the year hastens to its end.
It’s traditional to look back on this almost over year, especially here in Blogland. I was interested to find that my most read post was KNOWNS AND UNKNOWNS written in November. It’s strangely apt for this time of year so here it is again if you haven’t read it or would like to again: https://thestufflifeismadeofblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/15/knowns-and-unknowns-five-minute-friday/.
The Queen, in her Christmas Day speech, spoke of 2019 as ‘a bumpy year’. I know how she feels. But rather than go into detail about that , I’d like to share something that has sustained me through the good and bad times.
No, I’m not going to talk about God or my family (although I echo Matthew West’s lyrics about how I ‘hit my knees and thank the Lord for Jesus and you, every day I do’). That’s perhaps, I hope, a little too obvious.
What so often sustains me is words. Writing them or reading them.
Writing poetry, blog posts, reviews, or my prayer journal. Documenting the things, large and small, that I am grateful for. Capturing and defining thoughts and feelings with ink and paper or keybaord and screen. Helps me figure things out, figure me out, sometimes even figure God out. Encourages me when others comment.
I’ve also linked up more with others through my writing by contributing to a group blog each month http://morethanwriters.blogspot.com/ and joining blog tours for book launches:
- Paul Alkazraji’s The Migrant https://www.amazon.co.uk/Migrant-Paul-Alkazraji-ebook/dp/B07M8XWS84/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+migrant&qid=1577558443&sr=8-1
- Tracy Williamson’s A Desert Transformed: Discovering God’s Joy and Presence in the Wilderness Seasons of Life – A 40 Day Devotional https://www.amazon.co.uk/Desert-Transformed-Discovering-Wilderness-Devotional/dp/1908393904/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=tracy+williamson&qid=1577558497&sr=8-2
- Lucy Rycroft’s Redeeming Advent: Pursuing Christ through the haze of tinsel, giftwrap and Lebkuchen https://www.amazon.co.uk/Redeeming-Advent-Pursuing-giftwrap-Lebkuchen/dp/1999722485/ref=sr_1_1?crid=YMXSD1LIVF4I&keywords=redeeming+advent&qid=1577558678&sprefix=redeeming%2Caps%2C169&sr=8-1
Books and articles to hide in, an escape from monotony or stress. Passing the time productively in queues and waiting rooms. Reading myself to sleep at bedtime or to conquer insomnia. Extending my knowledge of history, theology, geography, science. Immersing myself in the Napoleonic Wars, the forensic developments and political fallout resulting from the Marchioness disaster, the beauty and social impact of embroidery. Exploring fantastical worlds. Learning all the time from my fellow writers.
During 2019 I’ve taken part in a reading challenge and been grateful for how the discipline has both structured and widened my reading. It’s been good to share suggestions and reviews online, bonding us into friends. We’re doing it again (with new categories) in 2020. I thoroughly recommend it.
So rather than ending 2019 and looking into 2020 with the standard resolutions, I would encourage you to explore words more, whether your own or others’. Try a reading or a writing challenge – who knows what knowledge, strength, and comfort you might discover?
God bless and see you in 2020.