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  • Writer's pictureJoellen Kemper


I've been thinking about this New Year for quite a few weeks now, praying for the Holy Spirit's lead.

2023 was a pretty great year; It was a year of healing, in so many different ways, but I know God is still making me a new creature and so I've been prayerfully pondering what that looks like.

After having a couple weeks break over the Holidays from some of my normal responsibilities (really the stress that I-myself -create around them) and realizing what peace actually feels like (restful nights sleep; allowing myself to enjoy things without striving, feeling the day) I realize that what I actually need in this new year is nourishment.

Nourishment from my Creator. Resting in the fact that I am loved, I don't need to be anything, but His faithful servant; His child. I'm notoriously hard on myself and I'm inviting myself in this new year to allow myself to be loved. I know that sounds fru-fru and maybe even selfish; but taking a gentle peak at my inner dialogue and the constant striving, I realize I'm not resting in and accepting that Love that was bought at such a high price for me.

I've been analyzing a lot of what brings me life and what drains it; and not that life is all about comfort or lack of sacrifice, but to be more intentional about seeking life giving things in the midst of the day's demands.

This looks like savoring my boy's laugh and little man antics; having coffee and all of the delightful conversations that follow with my husband; rambling and immersing myself in little pockets of God's beauty (which as of late has been keeping fresh flowers in the house, taking walks by the Lake which I bade my own Loch Ness, and consuming all of my garden/countryside living books); I'm reading the books that make my heart skip a beat every time I look at them; I'm continuing classes at the HM Classics Academy that I started attending last year. I have been really intentional about scheduling pockets of time for a couple of these activities throughout the day in between the more demanding things of life. I also felt the conviction to lay one day aside each week for the true purpose of rest. If I'm not proactive every day and every week then rest and some of the things that are really nourishing for me get squeezed out.

More challenging: I'm taking bigger steps towards my physical fitness and health; repairing the parts of my body that all of the physical trauma and times of lingering fear have shaped these past years so that I may run this race, able to serve the Lord and my people without my body being a hindrance to that. I'm also trying to learn to be still in the midst of all of the disorder that I feel the need to fix or worry about and aiming for Love to be my response to the disorder, not for my irritation/fear/anger/insecurity to contribute to further disorder.

I am also continuing to reclaim my creativity this year. Nature, Studio Ghibli, All Creatures Great and Small, books on gardening/country living and Beatrix Potter have been all lovely things for me to rest in visually and to give my imagination plenty to chew over. I want to invest time and energy into flower gardens this year- to me, they are a sign of God's extravagant love and just make a place feel like a space of rest, safety, and peace. Also, I was commissioned over Christmas to work on an embroidery project and it sparked something new in me. I'm thinking this may be my artistic medium for this season of life.

How do you like to be nourished friends? What are your hopes for this new year ahead?

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