Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Closing Out the Year - Sackcloth Removal

The end of the year is always a very big deal to me.  I contemplate the past, start to look to the future and resolve in my heart what it all means.  I get quiet before God.  Because my birthday comes just two weeks after Christmas, I feel a double desire to organize my thoughts about the year past and the one to come.

The last couple of years have been emotionally draining as the Lord has walked me through paths I would not have chosen.  In this journey, I have met Him in a new way. As in the Old Testament, I can look back over this past year and see the markers.  Most of those markers were documented on my blog...who would have guessed God would use a blog to teach me for a full year?  Each lesson He walked me through was enforced through reading others' blogs...I am so grateful to you bloggers and your obedience to share.

 Step One - I began the year asking God to return me to His potter's wheel...so I posted Editing My Life.

 Step Two - As I started to submit to his hands, He walked me through past lessons that He had taught me and spoke "it is time to re-energize."  The trials had left me feeling lifeless and yet I had young ones around me  I needed to give life to...it was a heart issue.  So I stepped out and blogged a week of re-energizing, as I followed each one, I felt I could breathe again....and breathe deeply.

Not very original titles to my five days of posting....but the change in my heart was the opening to spring in my life...I could feel the buds of my heart starting to bloom again.

Step Three - God took me back down memory lane with my 15  Mommy Piggy Tale posts.  Here He reminded me of His faithfulness through the first 18 years of my life.  These posts brought every emotion to the surface, but mostly reminded me of the firm foundation I have built my life on. It also reminded me of who I was...somehow I felt I had lost ME.

Step Four - As I continued to submit to the Potter's wheel, I began to hear His voice again.  I know He had been speaking in the past years, but my ears had grown deaf.  So, through the sounds of nature, He opened my ears to hear His voice again. God Hears!

Step Five - God also decided to re-establish the foundation my marriage was built on.  I began to read and post all that I was reading.  Then, He gave me the precious gift of returning to the city where we began and walking down memory lane.  The two days finished on such a high note that I could only shout - Bravo, Bravo God, as He re-established our marriage, which had been tested through the shaking of the years of trials.

Step Six - He began to open my eyes...away from myself to see others.  He began giving me eyes to see again and my heart turned outward. When Headlines Hit Too Close to Home, was one post where He made me look outward.  In January 2011, I will begin mentoring a fifth grade girl at a high-risk school...I am so excited and have been praying for her.  The field in my neighborhood has been filled with opportunities to serve Him and love on people.  The pumpkin bread and caroling party opened doors for ministry.

The Final Step for this year, God started meeting financial needs through miracles.  The provisions provided for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other needs.  God touched my heart in the deepest way possible as He spoke to me, "I will take care of you!  How and when is my choice and through whom!"  I have never felt the love of the Father so deeply.  My heart's prayer is that I will share it with others.

So, as I close the door to 2010, I am not slamming it like I have in the past.  I am not wishing it never happened...I am rejoicing in the fruit the Lord has established in my life. Removing of the sackcloth hasn't been comfortable at times, but necessary in order for me to return to the living.  I am coming into an understanding of my journey through my reading of  Lost in the Middle, Midlife and the Grace of God by Paul David Tripp.  I am embracing the work God has been doing while on His Potter's wheel and excited about what He will do in this new year as I enter a new decade....yes, I will turn 50!!!

So long 2010... you have been good to me.  Welcome 2011!  Thank you all for your posts and maybe, just maybe, this year I will be able to learn to get to my points faster, making for shorter post.   

36 Joining in with more words:

Debbie said...

WOW Janette, I am truly soo impressed with how well you have thought out and understood what the Lord has taught you through this last year. I am going to go back and read all of those posts to make sure I didn't miss any of them. It was a LONG year for me as well so full of information and gifts from Him it was all really life changing. I can't tell you how much I have learned from your posts, and how they have blessed me. How happy I am that you have shared it all with us. May your new year be just as blessed, and may we all grow even closer to Him in 2011. OH, and welcome to the 50's, lol...HUGS

Farm Girl said...

I think the things God does is by making us transparent, we become that vessel God can use. Just as he wants to refine us so that we become the reflection of the Master's face.
It just is painful all of the heating process to burn away the dross. I think I am most happy that you are removing the sackcloth that you have been in and moving on into a New Year. Besides, I have been 50 for two years now and it is really the best years so far. :) I am rejoicing with you my friend,
What a well thought out and profound post.

Sydney said...

I am so glad for you Janette!
It is not the easiest being at the Potter's wheel. But it's the best for us. I want to allow Him the room to completely destroy any foundation that I have build upon with my own reasoning and the works of my own hands. I want His hands to continue to mold me to who He intended me to be. Praise the Lord for the journey we will all embark on this coming new year.

May this new year be a reminder of His splendor and glory over your life.

50...Year of Jubilee!!!

Shalom my dear Janette:)

Debbie said...

Janette, I'm so thankful for 2010 since it was the year I got to know you friend. You are a joy and such an encourager to me. Thank you for sharing your heart with me.

I loved your Piggy Tales posts. I love how you look at the trials but learn from them. And I believe we are both learning an important lesson through all of this:

God is trustworthy!

I anticipate new things for 2011. But only the Lord knows what that will be. But may we both grow in our love for the Lord and our dependence upon Him.

Love you,

Let'sMakeADifference said...

Thanks for commenting about my Christmas Eve post. We will have our first child marrying in 2011, so things will be changing for us! I'm going to read that book about midlife that you posted about!! Thanks for the info! Bonni

Shelley said...

Good evening friend - I have loved reading through your reflective post. Your posts encourage my heart greatly. The thing I LOVE about the blogging world is reading the testimonies of what the Lord is doing in hearts and lives - it gives me great hope that He can do the same in me. Thanks for your willingness to share. May 2011 blow your socks off - every blessing to you and yours x

Sonja said...

I am really blown away by how thoughtful your reflections are! I wish my scattered mind could put such careful 1-2-3's together!

I look at your lists and I see a precious friend who is growing day by day. May it be the same for each of us in 2011!

Love you, and am so glad we have 'met'!


Theresa said...

Wow that is really well thought out. I need to spend some time reflecting on this past year. It has been one of being refined and although not easy I know God is faithful.

A multi-dimensional life said...

What a wonderful reflection of the magnificent journey has you on...we are all on!

In the days ahead, I will be doing my own reflection, although each day I marvel at the way God is at work in me. I love the journey on this road of life that He so faithfully paved for us...my goal is to always be aware of his signposts and discern His voice of wisdom.

I reflect on just a few blessings from 2010 as I write this and one of them is my gratitude for you Janette! I'm so grateful to know you and share a bit of this journey with such a faithful, gracious beauty!

www.brendayoder.blogspot.com said...

Thanks for allowing your readers to enter into your year, and yet it struck me how vulnerable you were to track your journey through your blogposts. As I write, it is always where I am presently, but I have not stepped into the water of the things behind the posts, probably because many people I know personally read my blog. I have been challenged by reading your reflections to ask God where He may be taking me out of my comfort zone this next year, even in writing. I would not have thought of this, had a not read your post. Thanks for being faithful.

Ginny Marie said...

I'm thankful that blogging for Mommy's Piggy Tales led me to your blog! Your writing makes me think, and that's a good thing! It's hard to keep the faith when one has faced so many challenges like I have this past year, and reading about your faith has helped me, more than you know. I'm looking forward to 2011!

Karen said...

Janette... I have been thinking a lot about the new year to come, and too... praying that it will be better to us than the this year..
And I too am grateful that during our trials, I never felt that God wasnt with us throug it, but also like you said,, it was not a path of life "I would of chosen" lol
I pray for this year to bring clarity to me,, this past year was alway so up in the air,, I just want to be able to put my head around what Im doing instead of worring about what needs to be done. So I too am stripping with ya..lol...and removing my sack cloth..May we all be blessed in 2011..Love ya girl...xoxox

Anonymous said...


This past year seems like a "blurr" to me. It just went by, and here I am, approaching another year. When a new year is about to dawn, I always wonder what will become of my "new future."

I was thankful to read your "year in review," of how God has helped to mold you into the woman He desires you to be. You're just too darn organized, Janette! :)

-Lady Rose

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

this is amazing! i just love to look back at where God has brought me from and then love to look forward to where He is taking me!

I look forward to seeing what God has in store for you this year that will be inspiring to those of us who read your blog!

Nana said...

aww....50! The best is yet to come and you are smiling at the future...I must say the last 2 1/2 years have been fabulous at 50. I've become more focused, more in love with my husband, crazier about my family and more convinced of how amazing our God truly is.

I'm enjoying sharing your journey as you blog!

Blessings on your new year and as you venture into a new decade!! :)

Pamela said...

I wish I have been following your blog this year. I do feel like God has led me here now and I look forward to learning from you as God works in your life.


AwaydownSouth said...

You are twice my age. Sometimes I sigh to think of all the weary years of toiling ahead, but it is easier if there are others who have gone before to light the way. May God help us to grow in him and be faithful that we may encourage others on the journey.

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

We have so much in common, and I have been so blessed by your writing Janette. You open up your life and your heart to all of us. Thank you so much. Your love for God flows from each and every post!

AwaydownSouth said...

No, Ma’am, Your trials haven’t discouraged me. Quite the opposite, it is encouraging when others can come through trials praising God. Trials can make us compromise, or make us hard and bitter, or they can draw us closer to God and give us an understanding, compassion and sympathy which we would have never possessed otherwise.

Sue said...

Janette, Thank you so much for this most heartfelt and encouraging post. I can't tell you how much you have ministered to me this morning. I am going to come back when I have more time than I do this morning and read each of these posts. Thank you so much for allowing God to work in your life, so that you can share with us. I know why God has given you such a gift in putting His thoughts, as well as yours in writing. You write so eloquently, so all who read can understand. You truly are gifted!!

Please tell Benjamin that I will send him some new photos of the donkeys and the baby lambs as soon as they are born. We were so hoping for Christmas lambs for the g-daughters to cuddle.
Praying God's continued blessings on you and your family this new year, thank you for your friendship.

Rebecca said...

Your beautiful reflections remind me of Isaiah 43:18,19--"forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a NEW thing!"

The reason? Verse 21 "that they may proclaim my praise".

You have done that, Janette!

So exciting that you are going to be mentoring the young girl. Your prayers for her and involvement ni her life WILL make a difference!

Keep trusting, keep listening, & keep obeying! Happy New Year!

e-Mom said...

No need to repeat what all your other commenters have said. All good!

You've built a solid support group right here on the internet. Having been away a short while over Christmas, I realized how much I enjoy my global community... made up of precious people like you. God has been at work in your life, no doubt about it!

Have a Happy New Year, Janette.

Blessings, e-Mom

AwaydownSouth said...

Trials teach quicker than years. :)

Carrie of Farming On Faith said...

What an amazing post.
I so enjoyed reading it and pondering as I did.
I too~ am so thankful for all God has done in my life this year.
I am looking forward to what God is going to do in 2011.
Have a happy New Years!
Blessings in 2011~

Lea said...

Well, you definitely left my heart dancing after reading this post. It is such a profound entry and I'm going back and read the entries that I have not read since I've only gotten to know you in the past 3 months.

Thanks for being such a blessings and allowing the Lord to use your life in such a dynamic way.

Hugs to you!

Debbie said...

I just clicked "inspired" for this one. I'm way behind in blog reading because of an IN town and then and OUT of town Christmas, but I want to return to read some of the highlighted blog posts when I finally get caught up.

I was inspired by the last part of your post in particular. I tend to be one who "slams the door" on a year too. I loved what you wrote.

I'm a new follower of this blog. want to see what the new year has for you! I'm just one year *less actually* behind you in the age journey and I think you are definitely a person worth "following".

Happy New Year!

Sandy said...

You are a true blessing, Janette.
You are an encourager in the
things you write and in your
thoughtful return comments. I
have enjoyed getting to know you
in 2010 and look forward to knowing
you more in 2011. God has great
things in store for His children!

So, I Begin this Journey...... said...

Janette do you have any idea how wonderful you are?!
I'm in awe by your post......I'm at a lost for words to comment!! {wow, an Italian that is at a loss for words?}

I'm going back to your post to read it once again- thank you so much- you are an inspiration.

Happy Happy New Year!

Michele Katherine said...

Hi Janette,

Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I like your statement;

"Who would have guessed God would use a blog to teach me "

I have seen Him use my blog to change my life, and also like you I have been blessed in so many ways from the blogs I follow.

Thank you Janette, I have been blessed by your post

Sassy Granny ... said...

Such worthy steps!

I've heard it said, and I believe it's true: When the student's ready, the Teacher arrives. I'd say a cap-n-gown exercise is in order.

I pray your every experience - good, bad & ugly - in 2010 becomes the gold footings for all that He has in store for you in 2011.


Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

Congratulations on a great year and warmest wishes for an even BETTER one ahead! Have so enjoyed following your journey (and trying to learn as I follow).

myletterstoemily said...

so much time on the Potter's wheel but
so much gold revealed.

this year, i pray for blessing beyond
belief, health for your loved ones, and
joy unspeakable.


Sonii said...

Precious friend! I am so blown away at how God has used you to blog and bless so many women. I know you and a tiny bit of what you have walked through that you shared with me in years past and I just want to say how wonderful the transparency and encouragement of your life is! You have found a wonderful avenue to bless others and be blessed in return. You have brought me to tears of joy. I love you and your family dearly and am so happy the Lord let us cross paths many years ago. May he continue to use you mightily through all you write as you are faithful to him! Hugs and can't wait to see you this month :)

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