Birthday thoughts, travels, and a prayer.

Last year for my birthday I posted a link to a helpful "life evaluation" resource: Ten Questions to Ask at the start of a new year or on your birthday.

It doesn't seem like a whole year ago that I took the time to slip away by myself to a nearby lake, Bible and notebook in hand, to think about the answers to these questions, to journal hopeful plans.

My birthday is Saturday, so I went looking for the list again. Honestly, I didn't live up to many of my well-intended goals. Work and busyness and every day life swallow up days on a calendar and along with them, many good intentions.

But here I am again, Lord, holding out my hands for grace. Ready for You to search my heart, to ask for wisdom that I might order the days you give me this year in a way that glorifies You.

I'm headed to Niagra Falls, ON with my sister this weekend, so I should have a beautiful back-drop for my evaluation this year!

I'll leave you with a prayer which has been occupying much of my heart for weeks:

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,We shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push us into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

.This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

Sir Francis Drake, 1557, before departing from Portsmouth, England, to circumnavigate the globe.


Penn Tomassetti said...

Happy birthday tomorrow Stephanie! :)

BILL HUNT said...

What beautiful words. You are a servant of the Lord. Visit my site
Join my Google Followers and share the words of the Lord.
In Jesus,

His sheep said...

Happy Birthday, Stephanie!

As you surely know, you are not alone in lamenting missed opportunities and failed attempts. Yet you are also not alone in resolving to press on. As the Introduction to the condensed version of his commentary which I have notes, Matthew Henry wrote the following in his diary on New Year's Day 1704, at the age of forty-two:

"This New Year's Day I have in much weakness, and compassed about with many Infirmities, upon my Knees made a fresh Surrender of myself, my whole self, all I am, all I have, all I can do, to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, my Creator, Owner, Ruler, and Benefactor; all my Affections to be ruled by the Divine Grace, and all my Affairs overruled by the Divine Providence, so as I may not come short of glorifying God in this World, and being glorified with Him in a better World.
Confirming and ratifying all former Resignations of myself to God, and lamenting all the Disagreeableness of my Heart and Life therewith, and depending upon the Merit of the Redeemer to make this and all my other Services acceptable, and the Grace of the Sanctifier to enable me to make good these engagements, I again bind my Soul with a Bond to the Lord, and commit myself entirely to Him; particularly, as to the events of this Year which I am now entering upon, not knowing the Things that may abide me in it..."

He then lists several possible scenarios such as continued health, doubts, afflictions, or persecution, committing each one to the Lord should it occur.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for that excerpt, His Sheep...it is so good to be able to commit everything, even the unknown, to the Lord - it is safe in His keeping. God bless you.

Stephanie said...

Bill, thanks for your comment. I'll check out your blog - God bless you!