Over and over this month, I’ve seen references to the book of Jeremiah. Hannah Brencher, my patron saint for this season, wrote a post about Jeremiah 30, “The city will be rebuilt on her ruins.” I’ve seen references in sermon notes and in books I’m reading. I’ve seen Jeremiah mentioned so many times that I’m wondering if this is foreshadowing – we’re going to have a 4th boy, and in the tradition of Bible names that end in -ah, we’re going to name him Jeremiah.
I’m kidding. I think.
But I do take January seriously – blank slate and all that. January is one of my favorite months of the year. That hasn’t changed. The thing that has changed is how hard it’s been to come up with goals for this year, in light of the next ten.
2019 is the last year of the “teens,” the last year before an entirely new decade. So how do I take this year and make it count a decade from now? And how do I take those dreams and distill progress into one year?
Right before our annual family New Year’s retreat, I wrote my goals. Then twenty-something days into the new year, I re-wrote them. And I realized that my goals weren’t just goals. They were prayers. And that “hope and a future” isn’t a checklist. It’s a promise. And after the promise is an invitation – to come, to pray, to seek.
These are a few books, etc. that are lighting that path for me:
Word By Word: A Daily Spiritual Practice – I ADORE this book. Reading it feels like she’s been going through my mail. It all applies.
Boundaries for Your Soul – Such an important book for healing from hard things.
The Rock That is Higher: Story as Truth – Madeleine L’Engle is probably my favorite writer, and I’m learning so much from this book.
A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle – Thinking and planning for the next ten years has me going down the legacy/memoir/biography alley.
First, Be a Follower – This is a Bible study, and not a book (see: Come Matter Here), but it has helped me to dive into truth in the best ways. If you’re looking for a study, I would start with this one.