Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Gratitude Day 802

So where did you go, oh 2022?

While I cannot remember what I was doing a year ago today, I do believe that these last 365 days have simply disappeared. Gone. There were great days and a few challenging ones as well. Yet every day, Hubby Rick and I remind each other, “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Seriously. No matter what might be clouding your life in the moment, there is always something to celebrate and rejoice. Yes, it feels hard when you’ve lost a loved one. Am dealing with a long-term health issue. Feel a loved one has let you down. Again. Those plans you had for this year? Well, they are being rolled over into 2023.

And it is OK.

Please also remember the great moments from this last year. The precious sunrise or sunset that took your breath away. The moment you held that baby for the very first time. The call or card or text that came at the time when you needed to feel someone else’s love and support. The meaningful moment with a beloved person which you will always hold close in your heart.

There is no question in my mind that life is much more about simple and poignant moments that spontaneously happen than achieving some great goal or ambition. Yes, these things are important. I just hope we don’t overlook the wonderfully simple moments in time that catch our breath and help us feel loved. These are pretty special as well.

So, what have been some of my recent special moments? Glad you asked.

Getting together with a few of my close college friends shortly before Christmas. Unfortunately, these get-togethers do not happen often. But we celebrate when they do.

Christmas brunch. Recently, I shared how we have celebrate Christmas with Hubby Rick’s son and kids with brunch on a day other than Christmas day. My camera took about a dozen photos. Most of them are some rendition of this version.

I’m not joking. We barely have one decent photo. One guess who the ringleader of the crazy photos is. It is not the youngest person in the photo.

Creations like this that take my breath away.

Taking a few moments and watching the Christmas tree. The light is so special. It truly slows down one’s thoughts if you give it a chance.

Tomorrow, we begin another year. There is always a lot of hype and emphasis placed on this one day. “A day of new beginnings,” we say, when in reality, any day can be a day of new beginnings.

Yet, there are opportunities as we welcome a new year. Opportunities to encourage ourselves to prioritize things that we feel are important. Here are a few that I have been thinking about.

2023 Bible Reading Plan. The last several years, I have put together a Bible reading plan for the year. These plans have focused on a section of the Bible; not the entire Bible. This week, my dear friend Pastor Mary Ann shared how she is preaching through the Bible in 2023! AND she put together a Bible reading plan that takes you through the entire Bible.

Mary Ann was gracious enough to share it with me so I could share it with you.

It is an aggressive plan but does provide one off day a week. Mary Ann, another friend that is a clergy, Debbie, and I, are going to follow this reading plan for 2023. Please join us!

Time to answer three questions. As 2022 winds down, I encourage us to ask ourselves just three questions:

  1. Where did you find joy in 2022?
  2. What is something you learned about yourself this past year?
  3. What is one thing (seriously, just ONE THING) that you will do for yourself in 2023?

I plan on taking a few minutes and answer these questions myself today. I would LOVE to hear your answers to these questions.

Pray daily. One of my desires for 2023 is to really think about my prayer life. It’s there. Just not as I would like. I am still deciding what I will do differently. Maybe this is one “one thing” I will do for myself this year.

One way YOU can pray daily is to receive my daily text prayer. It’s free of charge and arrives as a text message at 7 AM central time. If you are not receiving this text prayer, just text the words simplewordsoffaith to 33222. You’ll be added right away!

God promises that we can have lots to look forward in our futures. God has some great plans for us. I pray that we have our listening ears on so we can hear this guidance. We have lots of opportunities to say “Yes” to things in 2023. Let’s make it the right things!

What are you saying “Hello!” to in 2023? Please share below!

For the moments to be thankful for another year and the opportunity to look towards the future, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy One – I pray that we slow ourselves down long enough today to reflect upon those things from 2022 that were special, meaningful and important in our lives. As we look towards a new year, may we listen carefully and hear Your voice in our lives. Amen.

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