A Thrill of Hope for the New Year

Minor miracle alert: I'm actually excited about a new year! Despite my usual fear of all things new, I'm feeling full of hope as we head into 2013. {A real shift from 20112010 and 2009!}

Our annual week of winter in Maine.

Even amidst the weightiness of Christmas, hope felt very near. Maybe that's what inspired the words for our Christmas card. Something about the thrill of hope {from O Holy Night} just spoke to my heart.

I know there are many of you who love a fresh start, and you embrace a new year with a wide open heart. I love that about you! But there are some of us who don't do change well...even if it's a good change. I've always been one of those girls. Change has always triggered fear in my heart...mostly because I don't know what to expect.

But this year, after the biggest change of my life {leaving my lifelong hometown of Houston for a small farm in Franklin}, I'm seeing change with new eyes...or maybe embracing it with a new heart.

Here's what I'm learning: my fear of change is directly related to my fear of trusting God. Of course I can rally when I focus on words of truth and promise {"Trust in the Lord with all your heart..." and "I know the plans I have for you..."}, but leaning into these words with my whole heart is another thing altogether.

Trusting God isn't a one-time deal. It's an ongoing, everyday surrender. Sometimes that feels downright scary {total surrender?!?!}, but the alternative {trusting myself} leaves me anxious, fearful, over-thinking everything and wondering why I can't relax!

For those who need a visual, here's what God gave me recently. I'm floating on my back in deep, deep waters. God says "deep calls unto deep," so the deep water feels like the place I want to be...the place where I'll experience a deeper, more intimate relationship with God and others. While floating, I'm aware of the shoreline. It's crowded with people and represents safety and predictability. I remember life on the shore, but am not really tempted to go back. So I lean back and try to look up as I bob on my back in the deep. As I look up, I sense that I'm buoyed by the very hand of God and trust that the waves will not overcome me. {He promised.} Yet I'm straining. Literally straining my neck as I lift my head and try to see what's coming next...a big wave, a small one? Not that I could control what's coming next, but there's this need to know what to expect. {And as I'm visualizing all of this, there is a literal tension in my neck...working it's way up into my head. The familiar start of a migraine.}

This need to know what to expect is my nemesis. This neck straining leaves me weary, headache prone and unable to fully enjoy the goodness of God. I think God gave me this visual as a way of seeing my typical posture in life: straining vs. trusting. I felt no condemnation when I saw myself this way {if you hear condemnation, remember that voice isn't from God}, but I immediately felt tired of straining. I want to lean back into God's goodness and TRUST.

I want to BELIEVE that no matter what comes my way in the new year, God is up to something good. And that, my friends, gives me a thrill of hope for 2013!

Wishing you a hope-filled New Year!

P.S. Even as I look forward to a new year, I still like to reflect on all that happened the year before. 2012 was a HUGE year for us. Not always dreamy, but we did chase a dream. Many of you have asked specific questions, so I hope to reflect out loud a little bit in the next post.


  1. This is such a beautiful post and my heart is full of joy for you in knowing that God does indeed have wonderful blessings in store for you as you trust in him and your relationship and faith deepens. How awesome! I love that you said, "trusting God isn't a one-time deal. It's an ongoing every day surrender." I feel that way so often and like you I don't want to go back to the shore of my life before. It takes discipline of the heart and soul to die to self each day and to be resurrected to the person God planned for us to be. God continue to bless you on the road of your journey of faith in Him. Happy 2013.

  2. What a beautiful post, and exactly the words to put my secret thoughts and worries into perspective. Thank you!

  3. Happy new year, Linsey! I've been checking in but haven't commented in awhile but this post is so true! I feel the same way! I could use some help in this department! I'm trying! Looking forward to your blog posts this year!

  4. Happy New Year to you and your family! I love this post. I need to trust more too. I lost my husband, way to early, in 2012. This new life is so different. I enter 2013 with anxiety but hope and trust for guidance and a new beginning. xo

    1. Dianne, my heart breaks for you. I am so, so sorry. Your new life is far more difficult than mine, and your losses far greater. But I know that the Lord will meet you right where you are...in your deepest places of loss and pain. Praying for you now!

  5. Love the visual, Linsey. Such an exhilarating relief when God meets us like that! Doesn't it just leave you feeling awe struck?
    HAPPY new year!

  6. oh friend...i feel so much the same way..posture and all!
    i get it
    and like you--i too am believing God IS up to something good
    in our lives.
    i must
    what a shift just a year has brought you!
    the beauty of God's handiwork..or heartwork

  7. I love how God speaks to you in such great detail, my friend. He knows you are a woman of detail and He speaks to you in that way. I love how much He loves us.

    Blessings friend. Amy

  8. Linsey--that post felt like you reached into my heart and plucked the very deep {hidden} fears and expressed them perfectly. I WANT to leave the shore, and rest in his hand, in the cool dark waters. But my neck begins to strain--and the familiar weariness and wariness overtake me time and time again. Seems like instead of really trusting him, I end up sputtering and gasping with water up my nose, eyes flooded with salt water and tears. I love you, and am so thankful for your honesty. So thankful.

  9. I love this! What a great word picture of being on the water! I, too never do change well...ever...I have been thinking about the thrill of hope..so want the Lord to give me that view. Thanks for sharing! (looks like you had a great trip!!)

  10. i can so relate to this, even though i do really enjoy january and all that it brings.
    things in my childhood very definitely left me afraid of the unknown.
    God has freed me from control on so many levels, but the fear still sometimes lurks and causes me to try to grab for control where i can find it.

    this past year, as God has taught me that he is always with me and he can be trusted, i am finding myself living more under the truth that he is in control and can be trusted no matter what instead of my normal pattern of not trusting and thinking he doesn't see me or care about the details of my life. somewhere in this past year, he has written that truth deep in my heart. after a lifetime of thinking i had to hold the reigns to make sure i survived, it feels good to let go and trust more.

    praying more and more of this in your life.....he is doing a good work.

  11. Thank you for the kind and encouraging words left in your comment. I have had more time to peruse your blog and it is lovely! We all have so much to learn. I plan to do lots of "homesteading" posts and share what I know. I hope you stop by. Please know you can always e-mail me with any questions you might have (not that I'm an expert...but I'll try). I love your card designs and paper. Will bookmark for future reference. I die for good stationery!

    Have a nice weekend.


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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