Happy New Year

by | Jan 2, 2012 | 12 comments

The Minters attempting a poised family photo.

Poised Family Photo.

I’m about to pluck the ornaments from the Christmas tree and wrap the lights into a quasi-organized ball of tangles. The mantle will be cleared, and my Vietri santa sugar and creamer that my Mom graciously splurged on for me will be put away until next November or so. The shimmering green, silver, and red wrapped Hershey’s Kisses will remain on my dining room table until they’ve been eaten, because I think you can get away with those well into January. It’s when you’re offering them to guests in August that they become a problem.

Gathering up the Christmas decorations and making way for a new year’s reality can be both disheartening and invigorating. Though I’m always sad to see the holiday season come to an end with its family gatherings, rich foods, post-season football games, times of relaxation, and of course its unparalleled focus on Christ’s birth, I am usually ready to begin the year anew. Like most of you, I’m sure you’ve been pondering the experiences that you were ready to see vanish into 2011 and the ones you hope to see dawn in 2012. I hope the following will be of some encouragement to you…

I was reading in I Samuel 25 last week, and was stirred by a phrase in verse 28 that will usher me into the new year. The following words were spoken by Abigail to King David, “…the Lord will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the Lord’s battles.” I don’t know what battles lie in front of you, but in the spirit of transparency I have wasted precious moments of my life fighting battles that were not the Lord’s. I have spent valuable nights worrying about relationships I wasn’t supposed to be in in the first place. I’ve needlessly toiled over obstacles in my career that weren’t part of God’s plan. I’ve fretted over finances when the Lord had already promised to provide for my needs.

When I read the above words that characterize David’s life, I was inspired to specifically seek God’s direction for this coming year. “Lord, I don’t want to waste valuable time that I can never get back fighting battles that are meaningless.” This year I want to learn more of what it means to fight where it matters. Whether it’s struggling in prayer for those in the Amazon region of Brazil, studying the Scriptures, designating money to the needs God has put on my heart, spending time over coffee with those who could use encouragement, learning a new skill, cooking a new dish… I want to contend where God’s asked me to.

How beautiful that according to John 15, we don’t have to do this alone. Christ is the vine, and we are the branches that naturally grow out of that vine bearing the fruit He authors. I am excited for this coming year; Thankful for what God has done in my life in 2011, and looking forward to the ground He will ask me to fight for. In the meantime, I’m going to cook some kale, cannellini bean, sausage soup for tonight, and watch pieces of the numerous college bowl games. I may even take a nap.

Thank you so much for your incredible support of me over the past few years. I am thankful for each and every one of you, even if we have yet to meet. May God’s favor rest upon you in 2012.

12 Comments

  1. Vikki De Los Santos

    Wise words to be applied in our lives as we enter 2012. Keeping our minds focused on Him will help us discern if the battle is the Lord´s our ones we are not to fight because they are not His-thus not ours! Happy New Year Kelly!

  2. Dana Goodwin

    Great word, Kelly……he fights the LORD'S battles….as should we!!! Praying for discipline and discernment to live by the Spirit!! Love, joy and peace to you in 2012!!!

  3. Katie

    Beautiful! Thank you!

  4. Heidi McClelland

    Thank you so much Kelly for sharing this. I have some "new year resolutions" which I call them for lack of a better word. But I am also excited about the new year. I have fibromyalgia and CFS and other pain issues. Sometimes it gets so overwhelming, that I become discouraged (actually many times) I need to work at getting physically and spiritually fit. Thank you for encouraging me for this new year.

  5. @makeroomfor

    When I bumped in to you as I was coming out of the ladies room at Christmas Eve service it was just as natural as could be to say "Hi Kelly!" It was later I realized I feel like I know you because I have read your books, done your studies and loved your family. Your "No Other Gods" study has had the most lasting impact on my life of any study I have done to date.

    Many blessings to you in 2012 dear one!

  6. Julie Johnston

    Very encouraging, Kelly, just what I needed to hear! I'm going to print this and post it on my fridge! Happy New Year, Julie Johnston (Member, RBC)

  7. Mary Flynn

    How great to have the one we know is the winner of the war to fight for us!

    I look forward to you coming to my church, Englewood, the end of March.

    There is a group of ladies who are in the middle if “NOG”

    that meets in my home monthly. Many of us are involved in ministry to motorcyclists. We call our group Biker Babes. We enjoyed the study of Ruth earlier in the year.

  8. edifier1

    Kelly,
    Thank you so much for this message. It was a meaty lesson. Both insightful and profound, it was a challenge and a call to trust God. ("This year I want to learn more of what it means to fight where it matters."). Amen.
    I will pay and pray this forward.
    Tootles and Grace,
    Kim

  9. Sue Engelman

    Love your thoughts, as always dear Kelly 🙂 May God grant you His full peace, presence, health, joy and encouragment through the Spirit this year . May you be able to always see 'the next step' that He wants you to go. Loved the idea of only doing what He wants us to battle in…my brain seems to create enough of my own to keep my head spinning LoL

  10. janahn

    Thank you Kelly! May God bless your new year!

  11. Kay Martin

    Thank you for words of wisdom. Happy and a blessed new year to you!!

  12. Whitney

    Kelly,

    I found your blog from my moms (Bo Stern) and have to say I now feel completely justified for making all the new recipes I've tackled in the last 5 days. 🙂 I love the perspective that sometimes the battle He wants us to fight is as simple as learning a new skill, having coffee with a friend or making a truly terrible taco soup. Thank you for that, and have a blessed, battle-winning 2012!
    -Whitney

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