Ann Rinker: Planning and prayer a good recipe for a rewarding new year -- Gazette.Net


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First let me begin by wishing everyone reading this a very Happy New Year. On second thought, let me extend those wishes to everyone everywhere.

In thinking about 2013, I started to consider what I will do differently than in prior years. In fact, Roger and I sat down to plan some things we’d like to accomplish — things that usually seemed to be pushed aside in our busy day-to-day lives. Nothing extraordinary, but just things that may need some planning to make sure they finally get done.

For one thing, we have decided it is time for my hubby to work on working less. The man needs to slow down and take a little time for himself. We have planned a few “mini-vacations” that are within our reach and plan on taking some long weekends — “weekends pastor-style” anyway.

We both want to stay in a cabin along Skyline Drive for a couple days. We are there a lot, and yet we’ve never camped or rented a cabin in the Shenandoah National Park.

We also want to fix up a room for guests to stay in our home. We wanted to do that for years, and now we are going to do it.

I would like to go and see my nephew’s newest restaurant, which sounds amazing and looks even better in photos, but we’ve never ventured into Washington, D.C., to actually visit it. In fact, I have yet to visit his third restaurant, either. I am not being a very good aunt. We’ll “get ‘er done,” as they say.

And my husband wants to carve out some time to actually put some miles on his bike, and I want to lost those pounds that I know Weight Watchers will help me shed. (I’m working on it, folks).

In 2013, we will both pray that our little church with the big heart will grow larger. We will continue to pray that our family and friends who are ill will see restored health and wholeness. Our prayers will remain steadfast for peace — not just no more wars, but for love to flow between people everywhere. In earnest we will pray; prayer has a priority.

These are not resolutions because I have never been a New Year’s resolution person, but I do like to look forward with anticipation and hope. So, I try to plan a bit. Planning is good but so is spontaneity, so I will work on blending those two things as Roger and I move toward our dreams for this new year.

Now that Christmas is over and all the decorations are put away, and the ball has already dropped in Time’s Square, it is time to focus on what is in store for us. As I look forward to new and exciting times, I also realize that these times may be tempered with sad ones, too.

We already know some good things — a new grandchild is due soon, and that Roger will preside at the wedding of his cousin in the fall.

But we also know that several people very close to us are very ill and may lose their battles with illness this year, so sorrow is ahead of us, too. It is life, and life always has the “bitter and the sweet.”

As my husband and I continue to grow together as a couple and as individuals throughout 2013, we are blessed and comforted to know that God is in control, that Jesus Christ walks beside us, and that the Holy Spirit will guide us every step of the way.

Happy New Year, and may God bless you richly.