Some people in recent years started having a "word" for the year. I started having a theme. Something the Lord puts on my heart that typifies my journey for that year. I decided to put each theme yearly, on an ornament. "That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in times to come, saying, what do you mean by these stones? Then you shall answer them...And these stones will be a memorial for the children...forever" (Josh 4:6-7)
Because I think it's important for people to remember all the great things God has done in His great rescue of us. And its also important to share these things with the next generations, so that they can see the struggles and the victories that come with living the life God gave us.
My Grandma Shantz gave me an ornament each year, from 1979 to 2015 (making them ahead, as she passed in 2010). Every year we take them out, hang them up and talk. Stories about her, about life, about what I was doing that year...in 2016 I was a little battle-weary, you might say. It wasn't the year I wanted it to be in many ways, & yet it surpassed expectations in other ways. And there was no new ornament from Grandma to mark the season. So I made my own.
'Tis mercy all, so rich and free...That old hymn had been on my heart all year, and spoke clearly to summarize the ups-and-downs. Because His mercy to me was evident in my brightest day & in my darkest night. Unshakeable goodness, even in circumstances I wouldn't have imagined, but also wouldn't change, for His loves display was so sure. Could I see that it was ALL a mercy of God? Truly?
My theme for 2017, summarized "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert". This year, this verse has been on display in my livingroom & always close to my mind. He has forged so many "new things", and, instead of my tendency to not pay attention, I was watching & waiting & seeing all the ways He was working and changing me. And that was worthy of another ornament, I thought.