Sunday, 8 January 2017

And So a New Year Begins...

''Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood through the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen"

~ 1 Peter 5:6-11 


While I had the best of intentions to stay up to date with blogging throughout the holiday season, here I sit, cup of tea in hand, thinking about the new week beginning which will see life returning to something of normality with my dad returning to work and orders for me to complete.

My new year began with quite a bang - Sunday morning Nancy and I had the special blessing of being able to sing in church with our two dear friends for a special communion service.  It was so special to give glory to God through the lifting of our voices in praise to Him...

Early Monday morning we picked up three of my closest friends and headed to one of our favourite spots...Jubilee Creek which is nestled in the heart of the Knysna forest.  The five of us enjoyed a morning of chatting, walking in the forest, swimming in the freshwater pool at the waterfall and having a delicious picnic.  We came home for cheesecake which was something I really wanted for my birthday.  My birthday is actually on the 3rd of January but seeing as I had camp counsellor orientation in the afternoon, we decided to make the celebratory picnic the day before...

On Tuesday, my family greeted me with joyous birthday wishes and gifted me with such sweet and thoughtful items...  My mom and dad surprised me with two beautiful books by one of my favourite authors, Beverly Lewis.  I had mentioned I wanted to increase my collection of books and now I have The River and The Secret Keeper to read when I have some down time!

For about a week before my birthday, Nancy teased me by saying she couldn't wait to reveal what she had picked out for me...  I tried to guess but when I opened her gift, I was truly delighted and surprised...she had bought me a Casting Crowns album as well as the most darling ceramic sugar spoon for my collection of tea items!   She is a treasure!


Each my sisters and even little Caleb gave me something small...scrapbook paper, washi tape, ribbon and the most enchanting heart shaped floral tin - all things I absolutely adore and can never have too much of!  Oh, they blessed me and my heart felt so full! 

That afternoon my dear friend and I headed to counsellor orientation - both of us signed up to be counsellors on a summer youth camp with our church which started the next day.  It was a wonderful time of learning and by the time I got home, I could hardly wait for camp to begin!

Camp was a completely new experience for me and I grew in so many ways...I learnt plenty about the Lord and myself, formed close connections with the girls in my group and cried bitter tears upon leaving Saturday morning!  I am so grateful to the Lord for the wonderful opportunity this camp presented - it is something I will hold dear to my heart for years to come!

And now I sit here, as mentioned afore...  To think that a new year has begun and that 2017 is indeed upon us is mind blowing!
What are my hopes for this year...?  
I am not one to make resolutions, but as midnight drew near on December 31st, I penned a prayer for the new year and thought through the ways I hope to grow in the next 365 days...

One very important desire of mine is to draw very close to the heart of God and to seek Him more faithfully than ever before.  I long to hide His word deep within my heart and overflow with love and joy for serving Him and leading a righteous, upright life.  I do not claim to do it in my own strength, but only by His grace.  Therefore, His Word is the lamp to my feet and the light to my path as I journey through this year and beyond.  I know not what lies ahead or the challenges I may have to face...but I know He is my ever present help in times of trouble and that His grace is sufficient for me!  
One hope I have is to take a piece of Scripture each week and commit it to memory, beginning with the above passage from first Peter...  

Of course I have many hopes and dreams for this year, too many to share here in fact.  Instead I have written them down in my journal with the intention of referring to them every so often to refresh my memory!


It is amazing to think that the Lord has given me another year to serve Him and to be a light for Him in world of darkness - this is something I do not take lightly.  The more I learn about Him the more I realise how much I don't know and so I admit my need to spend more time in prayer and seeking His will for my life.  
It is strange indeed to think that I have put my teen years behind me and am now moving on into young adulthood...  It is a daunting place to be and often times confusing...however, I pray that Jesus will bring comfort and peace to my heart and show me the way in which to walk.

I do see Heartmade continuing to grow from strength to strength this year...already I am fully booked for the next couple of weeks with a bulk order for ellie softies and reindeer for whenever I can have them completed by!  My market stall is also so empty...  I was unable to purchase my own sewing machine last year as I intended, but certainly I see my way clear to being able to do so very soon and look forward to that happy day!  

It is wonderful making a lovely space for myself in my little bedroom/workroom - it is slowly becoming a haven and a beautifully creative place!
I began decorating my room halfway through last year but didn't make too much progress so hopefully I'll be able to finish the things I set out to do including my quilt which I wrote about here.

Although I don't generally pick a word for the year, something that stood out to me when thinking about beginning a new year was the word intentional.  I want to be more intentional about enjoying each day at home, cherishing my loved ones, drawing nearer to my Saviour, embracing the simple pleasures in life and taking time to read a good book, take a walk, bake a cake, write a letter or sew something for the sheer pleasure of it.  Life is not a destination but rather a journey.

I don't know where writing on my blog fits in to the picture but I intend to take it one step at a time.  Over the years the Lord has given me many other loves as well as the vision for forming a discipleship group for young ladies with Bright Lights.  This is something I am prayerfully moving forward in, especially as the Lord graciously provided all the material I'll need for the next year!  

I am excited to see where He leads me in this regard and realise that I may or may not have the time to write as often here...  I have a peace about this and know I can always pop in with an update...pictures of my handsome little brother or a new project.  I have formed some of the most amazing, precious friendships and am so grateful for the wonderful fellowship with like-minded ladies!

Thus, I do not bid you goodbye, but rather farewell for the time being...  You are all so dear to my heart and never far from my thoughts and prayers.  Please do not hesitate from popping me an email - it is a wonderful joy to hear from my dear friends and I love to respond!
May the Lord strengthen you and fill your lives with His presence, His joy and His grace!  

Love and blessings to you, sweet readers...
Kelly-Anne

10 comments:

Elizabeth said...

My dear friend, this post was not only beautiful, but so encouraging and challenging as well. I loved reading about your birthday celebrations as well as your experience being a camp counsellor for the first time...you were in my thoughts all last week, as I knew you were prepping for that and then busy actually doing it. I'm so glad that the experience was a blessed one for you!!

I absolutely love your word. Being intentional has been on my mind a lot as of late, too. I chose the word "cultivate", but I think being intentional ties into that as well. We have so much to learn and have ample areas to grow in, but we must be intentional in doing that. Not to mention, enjoying where we are at and seeking to see the beauty and purpose in that as well.

Thank you, Kelly-Anne, for this lovely post! I hope 2017 is off to a great start for you and that this year is one of tremendous blessing for you and your family.

With much love,
Libby

Olivia Bell said...

I really enjoyed hearing of all you have been up to, and the lovely birthday surprises you had! All of your gifts sound so wonderful, and the picnic sounded so fun! I so wish I could have been there with you. {{smiles}}

I would like to wish you a very, Happy Birthday, my dear friend! May the Lord bless and keep you this year and always! {{smiles}}

Margie said...

Glad to hear that 2017 has been treating you well so far and that you had a wonderful birthday. Your goals for the new year are great. I'm sure we'll keep in touch via blogging, e-mails, or snail mail!

Laura said...

Dear Miss Kelly-Anne,
First of all, Happy Birthday, dear one! I just love hearing about all the wonderful gifts you received! We share many hobbies and interests...so all of your gifts seemed just perfect! (I just finished a Beverly Lewis book myself! (smile)!)

Your "resolution" to work toward being "intentional" is such a wonderful goal to strive for...especially in being intentional in your walk with the Lord. I look forward to hearing how this is going for you...we all need prayers in this area!

I hope that you will continue to post pictures of your family and your sewing projects when you get a minute! Having just found your blog...I look forward to seeing what you are creating and how life is going so far away from my little fishing village in Maine!

May you and your sweet family have a very blessed day.
With love and hugs,
Mrs. Laura

Bonnie Smithies said...

I'm so glad you had a lovely birthday. You deserve it! May this next year bring you great joy and blessings and wonderful surprises. You are the most amazing wonderful person! :) Love to you and your sweet family.

donna said...

Happy Belated Birthday my dear. Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday.
Happy New Year.
Hugs
donna

Cheryl said...

I am glad you had a happy birthday, sweet friend. :) Enjoy your time, as each new day is such a beautiful gift. God bless you always~!

Cecilia Bramhall said...

Happy belated birthday, Kelly-Anne. May your year be filled with wonderful blessings and much joy. It is exciting to hear how the Lord is working in your life, leading you to serve in such wonderful,ways. I know you will continue to bless those around you and be a blessing in young girls lives. As for blogging, know we will be here if you do but if for some reason you don't, I will always consider you a friend and have been blessed by your sweet spirit and godly example. Praying for you and the direction of your life.
Much love,
Cecilia

Alex said...

May all your projects have the Lord's blessing!
Keep busy but don't forget to nurture YOU too!
x

Paige said...

Happy belated birthday and happy belated new year my friend! :) I am so glad that you had a lovely 20th and an amazing experience at camp. As you draw near to the Lord I know He will draw near to you, as He promised. I look forward to little updates (when you can spare the time) of your life adventures and endeavors! :)