Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Closing the blog on 2013

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

The familiar words of the Serenity Prayer, quoted in my Voices of Recovery devotional book on Monday, have helped me as I try to let go of 2013 with so much undone.

I can't get back the insurance benefit of not going to the dentist all year -- and the possible detriment to my dental health. I can't get back the moments I wasted instead of giving time, effort and-or money, visiting, calling or sending cards.

As always, the year held many blessings and high points. My trip with Mom on Mother's Day to Arkansas for a niece's graduation; sons born to two nieces; and a European cruise were some of the highlights.

The year got off to a rough start, with an emergency room visit before the end of January, followed by the death of my cat just a few days later. It ends with fervent prayers for a loved one's recovery from troublesome cancer and related concerns.

And, for all my good intentions, I'm not sure I've made any progress on becoming more giving and helpful and less self-focused. It is still a major goal.

The devotional provides guidance as I hope to use that prayer moving forward.

"Now, when I find myself troubled by a situation, I think about it while I say the Serenity Prayer. If it is something I can change, I think of the steps I can take to begin the change, and I pray for the willingness to take action. If it is something I cannot change, I turn it over to my Higher Power and pray for the willingness to accept it."

I've read this page in Voices of Recovery many times, but yesterday and today are the first times it actually seems like something that could work. I hope to try it.

One other quote comes to mind as I close the blog on 2013. It is from today's My Utmost for His Highest selection by Oswald Chambers: "Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him."

And this Scripture, Jeremiah 29:11-13: "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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Amen. And good-bye, 2013.

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