JANUARY 1, 2019


A New Year's Blessing For You

"With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day." (2 Peter 3:8)

Happy New Year! 2018 concluded and 2019 begins with thoughts and reflections. As I review the events of the past year and ponder the current and next steps in my life, I can't help but think of the characteristics of Time. It passes so quickly. There's never enough of it.

Remember the band from the 60s, The Byrds? They had a popular song called, "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

The lyrics are taken from the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes 3, which tells us, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven."

One nice thing about having a blog or journal is being able to look back on where you were in the past. Two years ago, I was thinking many of the same things that I'm thinking right now. I've had my share of hardships, and yet God provided. I've had my share of blessings too... This year was the same... wonderful blessings in spite of some struggles.

Sometimes when I look back upon my life it's almost as if my life is flashing before my eyes. I'll remember a past event or person and vivid memories fill my head.

I have an old picture of me as a child celebrating my birthday. My mother's homemade cake sits on the table in front of me and my brother. Our three older sisters and cousin are also there. I imagine what must have been going on that day as I see the facial expressions on each of our faces. My brother has a big grin on his face, but I look like I'm pouting. Next to the cake are two statues of the blessed Virgin Mary. Perhaps I'm pouting because my brother is making fun of me for including the statues on the table, right next to the cake. My oldest sister Sue is looking down at glaring at him. Everybody else just wants a piece of cake.


This snapshot tells me that I was attracted to the Blessed Mother from a very early age. I've been thinking about this lately so I asked my other sister Liz, who took care of my mom in her old age, whether she still had these statues. It turns out that she still has one of them. It's a statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She said that it belonged to my mother's mother. Liz gave me this statue plus another one that belonged to my father, and they're both very special to me.

The base of the statue comes off and the inside is hollow. Inside are the rosary beads that belonged to my mother's mother. This Nun's Rosary was made in Italy. It's 28 inches long, with a silver cross and ebony wood beads.



  I now use these Rosary beads every single day. I think of my mother's mother and I wonder what she was like. Babcia died about two months before my 5th birthday. I think about her and the hard life she must have had. She came to the United States from Poland around the beginning of the 20th century. My grandfather was from Czechoslovakia. They didn't even speak the same language. I know that they struggled trying to survive in this new world.

I envision Babcia holding the beads in her hands when she would pray. And now, 60 years later, I hold her old rosary beads in MY hands...

I've had a couple of setbacks this year, and it makes me think that maybe God is telling me to let go of old dreams and allow Him to guide me according to His plan. How do we know when to persevere, and when to let go and let God lead us toward the path He has chosen for us? I don't know... Sometimes we need to push back against the obstacles. But sometimes we need to let God redirect our steps away from the obstacles. I don't have the answer, yet. I'm walking blind, with nothing but my faith, trust and hope in God. These, and my Rosary, are all I need, for today... For we know that everything will happen in God's time, according to His plan...

"God has made everything beautiful for its time. God has also placed in our minds a sense of eternity; we look back on the past and ponder over the future, yet we cannot understand the doings of God. I know there is nothing better for us than to be joyful and to do good throughout our lives; to eat and drink and see the good in all of our hard work is a gift from God. I know everything God does endures for all time. Nothing can be added to it; nothing can be taken away from it. We humans can only stand in awe of all God has done. What has been and what is to be - already is. And God holds accountable all the pursuits of humanity." (Ecclesiastes 3:11-15)