Ready to Pursue Your 2019 Writing & Speaking Goals? We at reNEW – retreat for New England Writing & Speaking invite You to Join our Community October 4-6.
Why I’m Hibernating this January
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Merriam Webster defines hibernation as “to pass the winter in a resting state.”
Sounds good to me.
I’ve decided to hibernate for the month of January 2019. As this new year slowly unfolds, I am going to wait in wonder for instructions and guidance. I won’t be interacting on social media or posting blogs or sharing memes. I am going to be still and listen to God’s Whisper on my life. I will unplug from most technology and plug in to a very few people, sanctuary places and intentional prayerfulness.
Mind you, it’s not a month’s vacation. I will still work and juggle life responsibilities, just quietly!
On some days I may even do Nothing. And that’s okay! “To be in solitude is to choose to do nothing. For extensive periods of time. All accomplishment is given up. Silence is required to complete solitude, for until we enter quietness, the world still lays hold of us. When we go into solitude and silence we stop making demands on God. It is enough that God is God and we are His.” (from “Invitation to Solitude and Silence” by Ruth Haley Barton)
2018 was a year of God’s continued faithfulness. But it was also a year of multiple medical challenges in my family and occasions where it was my joy and privilege to serve as a caregiver. I’m grateful to say that when the need arose, God provided both the strength and the serenity I needed (though I most certainly did not always shine in the process).
2018 was a year when I had the inestimable privilege of meeting so many of you in person. I am grateful every single time God opens a door for me to walk through with my words. I’m empowered as I speak, but enriched as I meet new and old friends. It was a lovely year of travel.
Finally, I also can hardly believe I’m saying this, but friends, I just turned in the manuscript for my 14th Book!!! On time. Miracle of miracles – thanks for your support and prayers. No title yet, but stay tuned…
“Take this book in Thy wounded Hand, Jesus, Lord of Calvary. Let it go forth at Thy command, use it as it pleaseth Thee.” ~ Amy Carmichael
With a fresh calendar page, I confess to feeling somewhat stretched and weary, even as I am also feeling a great reboot for my ministry and message. Life is often a mix of two opposites, isn’t it?
On the final day of 2018, I read some wisdom from Oswald Chambers for all our new years:
- “For you shall not go out in haste, and you shall not go in flight, for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” Isaiah 52.12
- “Security from Yesterday. At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future.
- Security for Tomorrow. “…the Lord will go before you….” This is a gracious revelation— that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our “rear guard.”
- Security for Today. “You shall not go out in haste….” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.” (Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest” December 31)
Happy New Year 2019. I’m unplugging for the month now — praying for both a restorative and revealing time alone as well as moments with family and friends.
Perhaps you will choose to do the same? Let me know, and thanks for being patient with my slow reply…
under the mercy, Lucinda
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”
©2019 Lucinda Secrest McDowell www.EncouragingWords.net
NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!