Yes, we did eat our traditional Southern meal on New Years Day of black-eyed peas, turnip greens, rice, turkey sausage, and cornbread. Sooo good!!! No, we didn't stay up to see the ball drop. We went to bed about 10:00pm, but woke up when the final fireworks extravaganza went off in the neighborhood. Thankfully, it only lasted a few minutes.
For years, I made a list of new year resolutions, but don't do that any more. I prefer to make a gratitude list of all the blessing of the past year. I keep an "almost daily" journal, so it's easy to look back over the year behind me. I started this practice years ago with the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), but am going to apply it on the secular new year, too. This will keep me in the habit of thanksgiving lists every six months.
I also keep a prayer journal that I started decades ago (around 1984-5). George Mueller's book played a big part in this important habit. Remembering what Hashem has done in our lives is important because it's easy to forget all of Hashem's blessings and the answered prayers.
These are my blessings in 2023:
Rabbi Jem and I have general good health and strength. My prayer is for both of us to be like Moses, "whose eyes were not dimmed and whose foot did not stumble." I prayer for both physical and spiritual vision, and for physical and spiritual strength. (more about that later)
Rabbi Jem is officially retired now, except for the synagogue, of course.
Spending more time with our daughter's family, especially the grands. We're so blessed to live near them.
Enjoying our grandson's band and chorus concerts.
Our new family member, a high energy teenager we call Lucy Loo. We tell people she's part coyote and part goat. . . because she loves to run, and she eats everything, including my post-it-notes and bookmarks.. We rescued her from the local pound, and they'd named her Lucy. We kept that name because she makes us laugh like Lucy Ricardo on the I love Lucy TV show. We prayed for the dog we needed and the one who needed us. God knows what He's doing for sure.
Our synagogue family, especially my loving "sisters".
Our work on political causes and volunteer opportunities.
My writing critique partners, Peggy and Betty. Such a blessing to have two retired English teachers!
Healing from my knee surgery. I was pretty much out of commission for five months. Next month will be one year since the surgery. I'm feeling like myself -- the self before the pain. (This, plus the surgery recovery is a total of four years. A word to the wise: if you're told you need a knee replacement, just do it.)
Physical therapy that has made so much difference in my recovery.
The lessons I've learned through trials. I've learned that when troubles come into my life, Hashem wants to teach me something. I call them "Golden Nuggets". The trials I've gone through have humbled me. This year I learned, once again, that studying and following His Torah develops wisdom, common sense, and discernment.
This year, I learned to recognize the workings of satan and to resist them immediately. I'm very long-suffering and keep going with people because I hope and pray they will repent and return to Hashem's Word, will, and ways. I learned when and how to let go. I still pray for them, but turn them over to Him.
One of my blessings, in addition to Torah study, is the (almost) daily reading of the book of Proverbs. (I call it Hashem's psychology book.) This year, I took notes about the three types of people: the wicked/evil, the foolish, and the godly/righteous.
I challenge you to do a study on this for yourself. Make three columns on a sheet of paper. Read a chapter of Proverbs each day, making notes about the actions of each type of person in their column. It's truly eye opening. I learned to get away from the evil people, work with the foolish as long as they are teachable (Proverbs 26:4-5), and to live out the characteristics of a godly woman. In Judaism, a righteous man is called a mensch. . . maybe a woman is a mensch-ette?? Any way, that's my desire (see the banner at the top of my blog).
There are so many more blessings. My blog posts for 2023 will show you more, especially the blessings of following Judaism. Check them out in the links on the left of the blog. I'm amazed that I did thirty-six posts!!
Hope y'all have a fantastic year ahead, Gail-Friends!