Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Starting Fresh

New beginnings, whether books, garden projects or years are always exciting. Reviewing last year found lapses in all things begun. Granted, it was a different sort of year with many challenges and changes, but perhaps that is not a good enough excuse. There were not enough books read, the garden was left a bit tatty around the edges, and projects just were not put in final and proper order.

Now we can begin again.

As for books, two Christmas ones are coming. (Gotta love Amazon 1-click) One title is a new, well, new-ish, biography of John Newton. The other, also a newer biography of Beatrix Potter.

Concerning the garden, this begins that blessed season known for its showering forth of beautifully illustrated seed catalogs. O the Bliss! Suddenly the garden, rather than looking like pitiful rags and stumps has a bit of glowing hope hovering over.

This new year also begins new family joys: another grand daughter is blinding eyes with a sparkling new engagement ring, while she beams from the arms of a most handsome and fine young prince. There is a November wedding being planned for these darlings.

And for me there are new awesome responsibilities. Serious ones. Today began the challenge of an adult class to lead. In all the years of teaching, I've never worked so long and hard putting all together. Always with teaching, I've learned new and wondrous things for myself to apply to my own pilgrim walk, profound and exciting findings from scripture itself and from godly pens of the past. Lord granting, these can be passed on in such a way as to excite others and help them in their own journey.

With all this, there is the great need for greater grace. Today I came across a prayer of Thomas Aquinas in my commonplace book. It seems the perfect way to end this post and begin this year with all it will hold of known and unknown, of expected or surprise from the Father's Hand.

"Give me, O Lord, a steadfast heart,
which no unworthy affection may drag downwards.
Give me an unconquered heart,
which no tribulation can wear out.
Give me an upright heart,
which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.
She can only add "amen".

1 comment:

  1. Happy new beginnings to you, Dame Judi. Thank you for sharing the beautiful prayer, and I'll add another "amen".
    Glad for your new books, as well,...always a happy thing. Not to spoil any surprises, but "Amazing Grace" was written as a New Year's hymn (told to me by "the man with the tools") your John Newton purchase is another nod to a new beginning!
    Happy thoughts of gardening! :)