And Then It Is Winter

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For this final article in the Year of our Lord 2017, I’m sharing with you a story I’ve had in my files for some time, author unknown, slightly revised by yours truly:

Time has a way of moving quickly and catching us unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, newly married, and embarking on my new life with my new spouse.  Yet here it is, the winter of my life. How did I get here so fast? Where did all those years go?

Through the years I remember seeing older people and thinking they were years away from me. The winter of my life was so far off I could not fathom it or imagine what it would be like.

But here it is. My friends are retired and getting gray. They move slowly. Some are in better shape than I’m in. Others are in worse shape than I’m in. But like me, their age is beginning to show. I am now those older folks I used to see but never thought I’d actually be.

Taking a nap is not a treat anymore, it’s mandatory! If I don’t take one on my own, I just fall asleep where I sit!

So now I enter this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and loss of strength and ability to go and do things I wish I had done but never did!

At least I know that though the winter has come, and I’m not sure how long it will last, when it’s over on this earth, it’s NOT over. A new adventure will begin! The Bible calls it heaven!

If you’re not in your winter yet, let me remind you that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, do it quickly! Don’t put it off too long!

We have no promise that we will see all the seasons of our life. So live for today. Say all the things you want your loved ones to remember about your love for them, about God’s love for them, and about all the things you have done with them in all the years past!

Thus ends the story. Although I’m in the winter of my life chronologically, I feel like it’s actually still the fall. Good health is a gift of God that is often taken for granted until it’s gone.

Life is God’s gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to him and to those who come after you. It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. Today is the oldest you have ever been, yet the youngest you will ever be. So enjoy this day God has given you.

In whatever season of your life you happen to be living at this moment, Terry and I extend to you the assurance of our prayers for a blessed, healthy, and happy New Year!

 

 

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A New Year’s Outlook on Life

Gazing OffThere once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. “Well,” she said. “I think I’ll braid my hair today.”

So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. “Hmm,” she said. “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.”

So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said. “Today I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail.”

So she did, and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “Yea!” she exclaimed. “I don’t have to fix my hair today!”

While some may think such responses unrealistic, especially from a person apparently undergoing serious medical treatment, our attitude toward the hand life deals us is critical.

So here are some encouragements for this New Year. Be kinder than necessary. It’s very likely that everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Pray continually.

Someone said: Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.

Love the people who treat you with respect and kindness.

Pray for the ones who don’t.

Many blessings in the Year of our Lord 2015!

New Year Reflections

New Year 2014Every New Year’s Day for the past 31 years I’ve reflected on an event that occurred January 1, 1983. My dear father, Martin Herbert Otto Kieschnick, went to heaven that day at the tender age of 66 years, 6 months, 2 days. I miss him every day and thank God for his influence in my life.

That influence continues to be exerted upon our entire family through my dear mother, Elda Mary Hellman Kieschnick, now 97 years, 8 months, 20 days of age. With the significant exception of Dad’s passing and in light of Mom’s effervescent spirit and cheerful outlook on life, most of my New Year thoughts look through a windshield, not a rear view mirror.

The Complete Speaker’s Almanac points out that the month of January is named after the Roman god Janus: “This particular Roman god had two faces, enabling him to look ahead toward the future and back at the past at the same time. As we get rid of an old year and look forward to a new one, we all try to be a little like Janus. We know through experience what we did wrong and what we did right, and hope to do better this year. Some people make ambitious New Year’s resolutions; others just take a deep breath and hope for the best.…”

How about you? Are you looking back or looking ahead? Are you making ambitious New Year’s resolutions or just hoping for the best? Resolutions have a way of losing their urgency shortly after the New Year rolls around. And I’ve never been one simply to hope for the best without trying to do what I felt necessary for the best to occur, with God’s abundant blessing. My reflections and projections, hopes and prayers for the New Year go hand in hand.

With that in mind, I share with you A New Year’s Wish from an anonymous source:

May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain, but by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy, but by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you, but by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine, but by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant, but by showing you when people and their causes need you most, and by making you anxious to be there to help.

 
And A New Year’s Prayer also from an unknown author:

Spirit of the Risen Christ, be with us today and always.
Be our Light, our Guide, and our Comforter.
Be our Strength, our Courage, and our Sanctifier.
May this New Year be a time of deep spiritual growth: a time of welcoming your graces and gifts; a time for forgiving freely and unconditionally; a time for growing in virtue and goodness.
Come, Holy Spirit! Be with us today and always! Amen!

 
Terry and I pray God’s abundant love, peace, hope and joy will come to you in the year ahead!