Sunday, January 9, 2011

Year End Reflections by Robin Lee Hatcher

Gina here: After Robin shared her blog post with the Faith, Hope & Love writing e-list, I knew it was something I wanted to share with our Inkwell family. My prayer is that her testimony will speak to you because I know it spoke to me.

Year End Reflections: My "Best of" 2010 List & My Word for 2011

by Robin Lee Hatcher
December 31st. The day news programs on TV and newspapers do a lot of looking back. I've seen lists of all types on the Internet and in magazines. You know––Best and Worst Dressed of 2010, Best Smartphone Apps of 2010, etc. If you want to find a list for something, you probably can find it with a little searching.
I confess that my own list of what happened in my life in 2010 would not appear to be a "Best" of anything list:

•I put a lot of work into a book that won't be published in 2011 as intended. It's been set aside for a time. And that, of course, messed with my schedule for the rest of the year.

•I fainted, fell, and shattered my ankle, and the recovery time was lengthy (I'm still not 100%).

•My beloved mother passed away after failing slowly over a period of about 14 months.

•I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery, with more treatment to follow in 2011.

•Two major health issues put major stress on my budget.

•Two major health issues and death of my mom further messed with my writing schedule.

Yeah, looking at that list does make the year seem rather grim. But the thing is, grim that list may be, but God has faithfully seen me through each and every circumstance or is continuing to see me through them. So the year itself does not seem "worst."

I loved today's reading in the updated edition of Streams in the Desert. (Regular readers already know how much I love this devotional.) Here are the first couple of paragraphs:

Thus far has the LORD helped us.(1 Samuel 7:12)
The words “thus far” are like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. It had been “a long time, twenty years in all” (1 Samuel 7:2), but even if it had been seventy years, “Thus far has the LORD helped”! Whether through poverty, wealth, sickness, or health, whether at home or abroad, or on land, sea, or air, and whether in honor, dishonor, difficulties, joy, trials, triumph, prayer, or temptation —“Thus far has the LORD helped”!

We always enjoy looking down a long road lined with beautiful trees. The trees are a delightful sight and seem to be forming a temple of plants, with strong wooden pillars and arches of leaves. In the same way you look down a beautiful road like this, why not look back on the road of the years of your life? Look at the large green limbs of God’s mercy overhead and the strong pillars of His loving-kindness and faithfulness that have brought you much joy. Do you see any birds singing in the branches? If you look closely, surely you will see many, for they are singing of God’s mercy received “thus far.”

Oh, that makes my heart want to shout, "YES!" I can see God's mercy overhead, like birds in the branches, and the strong pillars of His loving-kindness and faithfulness. Not only that, but as He's brought me "thus far," He has also blessed me with an abundance of friends and readers and a church family who have poured out their love to me and their prayers on my behalf. I am humbled and overwhelmed constantly by their phone calls and emails and comments on Facebook and CaringBridge. Because of all I can look back and see, I know that I can trust Him to continue to take me "thus far" into the New Year as well.

Speaking of the New Year, it's that time again. Time for my word for 2011.
For new readers of Write Thinking, here's what I'm talking about. For the past seven years, I've asked God each December to give me a word (or words) for the coming year. I've learned a lot from this practice and have been blessed and encouraged as God revealed new things to me and sometimes new and deeper meanings about the words themselves. These are the words from previous years followed by my word for 2011:
•2005: Endurance
•2006: Victory
•2007: Peace & Simplicity
•2008: Intimacy & Devotion
•2009: Press in/Press on
•2010: Come Away
•2011: Rejoice Always

I love this word from 1st Thessalonians 5:16. I'm looking forward to a year of rejoicing always.

Question of the day: What "word" has God spoken over you for this year?


  1. I haven't been given a word for this year. Of course, that may be because I haven't asked. I think I probably ought to do that!

    Thanks for sharing around the Inkwell, Robin.

  2. My word/words this year are "Be still." I'm trying to learn to move in God's strength and not my own.

  3. Wonderful devotional, Robin.

    I've being reading about this 'one word' goal from various net sources all week. And whenever I think and pray about it, the words that come are 'don't procrastinate'. If I wanted to change it to one word, it would be 'work'. But that doesn't fit.

    A writer friend says hers is 'balance' as she tries to fit her family and home into her writing life. But if I do that, I'll take advantage of the 'relaxation' part of the word.

    No, my words have to be 'don't procrastinate'. I could have had another book written if I didn't allow other things to take priority of my writing. And those things have nothing to do with family, home and church life. :(

    Gina, thanks for sharing Robin with us today.

  4. Hey Dina,

    I posted today over at The Pastor's Wife Speaks blog about how God told me to be still for a time last year.

  5. Isn't it great that we have a God that will speak to us and encourage us with words of personal value?!
    Blessings for your new year.

  6. Anita, the word could be NOW or TODAY.

    My one word is Submit. It has double meaning, of course.

    As I told Gina last week, Robin inspired me to follow my dream many years ago when I heard her speak at a small writer's conference. Of course, she's an amazing writer, but it was her determination and faith that I admired. What a treat to have her share this post with us.

    Thanks Gina and Robin!

    Jan, thanks for stopping by!

  7. What an inspiring post. Thanks Robin and Gina for sharing this with us today. I think I'll pray for a word for the year, too. Often I'll find a Scripture theme for a year or season, but I've never asked for a word.

    I'll pray for Robin's health, too!

  8. Robin, first, I'm praying for your treatments and your health. Second, thank you for sharing this with us. I'll have to pray for a word. I have a strong feeling it will have something to do with calm and peace.

  9. Robin, thank you for an inspiring post! Prayers are with you.

    So I asked God for a word and was surprised to hear the word "shift". The word implies change or a transfer of some kind.

    Teach me Lord.


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