On this last day of 2020, I am determined to not look back on this crazy year except to reflect on what God has helped me to accomplish in spite of circumstances. I choose to look forward to what the Lord wants me to accomplish next.
I’m making some changes in how I communicate and nurture relationships with family, friends, readers, and my fellow writers. I may even go “old school” sometimes. I’ve had more than one person agree that we should bring back letter writing and sending cards rather than only email and text. I have some friends and family who don’t use computers or smart phones. They never see websites or social media posts. I know it’s how we do things these days, but at least for now, there are people who lived in the pre-tech era and don’t embrace it now. They are left out of so much communication. It’s sad.
I had planned a year-end blog post on my website for last Friday, Christmas Day. In keeping with my regular blog theme, it was going to be Fourth Friday Finale. Technology problems kept me from posting. Today I was going to try again, but after MANY tries, both my phone server and my website server refused to cooperate. So I made this a long Facebook post, which hopefully will find its way to my website blog page.
I am not a techy person. I couldn’t do any of this web stuff without Dennis and my brilliant webmaster, Carol Nelson. Keeping up with social media and newsletters and websites has been known to make me want to put my fist through the screen! Like today. Even before these recent complications I had made a decision. I’m taking a break from my blog to concentrate on marketing my new book, writing the next one, and building stronger relationships however I need to do so. You will still hear from me on Facebook and through our newsletters, but not through my blog. I will leave the blog archives up in case you want to see them again. I am excited about a new surprise coming soon on my website. I will update my Reading Nook with my “Most Read Author” of 2020, and keep a running list of what I’m reading this year. There are lots of things to see and do on my website, so I hope you will stop by and browse. If you are into that sort of thing. If you want an old-fashioned pen pal, let me know! I’m in.
I’m ready to put together my new 2021 Vision Board, my fifth one! There are only two things that will remain from this year, and that’s OK. Some dreams take more than one year to come true. I have written down seven goals for 2021, including the two carry-overs, so I will add five more goals to my Vision Board. A couple of my new goals are similar to last year’s, but the emphasis has changed. In 2020 I’ve been concentrating on “Rebuilding” because that was my word for this past year. Now all my written goals begin with my word for next year: Be STILL.
Though we all have stayed at home more and not been involved in a lot of activities over the past months, I’ve learned that my mind keeps racing even when my body is still. I make mental lists, then rush from one task to another in my head, reasoning out how, why, and when to get everything done. Even during relaxation time I have a soundtrack running through my mind, usually accompanied by humming, teeth clicking, or involuntary foot or finger tapping. When asked, I have no idea what song I’m hearing in my head. My brain is just thinking about what I need to do tomorrow and demands a tune to push it along.
I believe God gave me my new Word for 2021 because He wants me to stop and be STILL in His Presence—not for just a few minutes or even an hour during my KIngdom Corner time, but continually. I want to practice His Presence as I work on my goals or during daily activities. I want to always be in an attitude of prayer when He brings someone to my mind that needs His touch. I want to pause and get His direction before I move forward on any decision, great or small.
In 2021 I am going to press on toward each goal, walk forward in every situation with my eyes on Jesus, make progress on accomplishing each assignment He gives, and doing what God has called me to do.
But first, I’m going speak peace to the storms of life and command them to be STILL. I’m going to be STILL and spend quality time in the presence of my Father. I’m going to take time to rest beside the STILL waters and quiet green pastures that Jesus, my Shepherd has provided. And above all, I will listen for, hear, and obey the STILL small voice of the Holy Spirit. I’m ready.
Have a Blessed and STILL 2021.
J.A. McPhail is the author of five books, has been married to Dennis since 1974, enjoys living in the North Carolina mountains. and is an avid collector of books and book related stuff.