Thursday, December 28, 2017

Countdown to ... ?

There is a special time for everything. 
There is a time for everything that happens under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLV 

So, Christmas has come and gone. Thankfully we have New Year's approaching quickly which may be another exciting event in your home. But...then what? What are we "aiming for" after that?

I always loved advent calendars when I was a child. It helped make counting down to Christmas more bearable. And we countdown those final 10 seconds on New Year's Eve which is always exciting. (Except in our house we countdown to 8 pm and then put our daughter to bed.)

Because children tend to get "cranky" around the holidays while waiting for the exciting events to transpire, we created countdowns for them. Let's face it, the countdowns help adults as well. So, to help our daughter with her anxiety we tend to be always counting down to SOMETHING.
Maybe we have tickets to a concert in February, or someone is visiting us in March. Well, we make those events to countdown to! Often we can use a simple paper link chain and we just tear one off each day. We will create a countdown for the last two weeks of school and even include some special "reward" days where there may be "pick a game" or "pick a movie" for us to play or watch that night. I've included "dinner with dad" or "lunch with mom" sometimes too! 
There are great COUNTDOWN ideas on Pinterest, of course. Here are some advent calendar ideas for next Christmas and here are some general countdown ideas. (Okay, fine, it's a countdown to a Disney trip, but it's REALLY hard to find a countdown that isn't to Christmas or Disney! So, adapt it to whatever you may be counting down to.)
I prefer the VISUAL countdowns which show a QUANTITY growing smaller for my daughter. The ones with the "days to" are pretty and easy, but they don't really give her the visual reminder that we are getting closer to the exciting event. 
How great life is when we have a goal, something with a finish line and we can SEE THE FINISH LINE!

But what about the times when we don't have a finish line? What about those TERRIFYINGLY, AMBIGUOUSLY fuzzy things that lie in our future? 
That's when FAITH steps in. 
Have you seen the third Indiana Jones movie when Indie has to cross an enormous cavern and there is NO WHERE to cross? Take a look: 

He had to step out and walk where there didn't appear to be a path.

Agree with Him in all your ways,
 and He will make your paths straight. 
Proverbs 3:6 NLV 

Do not FEAR the unknown of 2018. Do not FEAR anything that may happen because God is already before us. He was and is and IS TO COME. He is already there.

See, I will do a new thing. It will begin happening now. 
Will you not know about it? 
I will even make a road in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 
Isaiah 43:19 NLV

Boom. God's mic drop. When we agree with Him, he makes our paths straight. He will do a new thing this year. He's going to make roads where there once were no roads. He's going to make flowing rivers where once there was barren land. 

Welcome, 2018. We're glad you are here.

Pray: Father God, I have no idea what you have planned in 2018. You are God and I am not. I pray that my faith grows. I pray that my desire for YOU is greater than any other desire. I pray that I may be fearless and help others grow in THEIR faith as well.  Amen.

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