The end to 2011

Two thousand eleven has come to an end. It was a good peaceful day, a good way to end the year. Ironically, this year began on a Sabbath day and ended on Sabbath. My sister in law said that the way you begin the year is how your year will be. I began 2011 peaceful, enjoy the restful Sabbath with family. This year however, was anything but peaceful, it was full of trails.

I had decided early this week that since it was New Year's Eve on Saturday that we should forgo attending our regular church, but instead sleep in and visit our former church. When we arrived, the church was full beyond capacity, there was nowhere to sit. I stood at the back with the kids and my husband wandered around half inside and outside the church. At one point I was bothered that the church was too small to hold all the attendees comfortably. I headed outside towards my husband and told him that maybe it had not been a good idea to come here. Just then I noticed that my dad and an old family friend got up and signaled for us to go sit down. So we did. All I have to say is that God wanted us there that day.

The pastor was preaching about the Valley of the Dry Bones and at the conclusion of his sermon he addresses the congregation to search within their hearts for whatever problem they had brought with them. For example he asked if there was anyone there who was thinking about divorce because they felt it was the answer to the their marital problems. He looked at everyone and said, "do you realize that divorce is NOT the answer to your problems, that greater problems will arise after the divorce?" "The only answer to your problem is God!" I thought about the truth behind that, yet we always try to handle our problems on our own and when things don't go as we want, we blame God. He tell us in Matthew 11:28, "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest." Not matter what problem we are facing, He wants to help and give us that rest, the peace that comes from trusting that God is there for us.

Aside form a great sermon we ended up seeing a lot of our old friends and enjoyed a delightful potluck with them, reminiscing about old times and now watching our kids playing together. Later that day I prepared for our family New Years Eve dinner. We spend a quiet peaceful evening with my dad enjoying the last few hours of 2011. We rung in the new year and hoped for a brighter tomorrow. My resolution for 2012 can be summed up in one word, HOPE.

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