What Does the Future Hold?

IMG_6108My Christmas tree, an Evergreen symbol of eternal life, stands stripped of its color and lights. Waits to be thrown away like last week’s used gift-wrap.

I pinch the needles, still soft and green. Run my fingers like a comb through strands of silver tinsel clinging to its branches. Pine scent lingers, but the Christmas gifts are gone.

Refrigerator shelves, once crowded with a feast, look bare.

Cookie platter has nothing left but crumbs.

And the living room, where guests sang carols, is filled with empty chairs.

Christmas has come and gone. All gone, like 2012.

A melancholy sigh escapes my lips.

All gone, except the dust and piles of dirty laundry.

Why does the Creche on the mantel suddenly seem out of place? God’s gift to the world is no less real just because it’s New Year’s Day.

Move Baby Jesus to a storage bin, toss the Christmas tree outside. Dust the mantel, vacuum pine needles, put tangled lights into a pile.

Christmas time is gone.

Even the stores have moved on. Their shelves once stocked with candy canes, now display pink heart-shaped candy.

Winter rain will come, perhaps it will even snow.

But today the sun is shining so my dismal mood must go.

Daylight stretches longer, beckoning more warmth.

And dormant bulbs beneath a cold, hard ground, are scheduled to appear when the Groundhog comes to town. Will he see his shadow?

The good Lord only knows.

Till then, I …

Peruse mental snap shots of  family far and near; and the extraordinary “in laws” we met two weeks shy of the new year.

I remember forever friends, new friends discovered, and the kindness of strangers who once crossed my path.

A new calendar hangs on my wall, twelve months of the unknown. For example, who knew this time last year, the abundant blessings God had in store? Who could predict ill health, tears wept, and painful losses that made me shout, ‘no more!’

I glance through last year’s journal to read from whence I came. Reminders I can trust the Lord to walk with me through the coming days.

God is present and He loves me…whatever 2013 holds.

“I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,

with thee, O Father, as my harbour,

           thee, O Son, at my helm,

           thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.”

Puritan Prayer from The Valley of Vision

Author: Karen Foster

I'd like to say I've changed, but after decades of living, I still have the same four passions. My relationship with Jesus, spending time with family, attending live theater, and writing devotions & first-person stories about a loving, faithful God who reveals Himself in our every day circumstances.

6 thoughts on “What Does the Future Hold?”

  1. I’m glad you posted it, Karen. I thought it was worth it just for the beauty of reading it and relishing in God’s goodness to us – the gift of holidays and time with loved ones.

    I did accomplish a lot over the holidays despite so much action in the house, mainly because one of my college kids loves to write so we spent a lot of time at bakeries writing together.

    She also got me motivated and helped me paint two different walls (two exciting colors) in our house – I need to relax now from all the work she helped me accomplish!


  2. I love, love, love your writing, Karen. It is poetical and beautiful – God has given you a great gift. You captured the feelings of my heart as I am just now getting a moment’s rest from the holidays.

    My two college kids left a half hour away to drive back to school. My oldest son is here for another week before he leaves back to his life of travel and work and my youngest daughter left to bring something to her dad who is back to work today.

    I’m left with a messy house and lots of beautiful, wonderful memories of a vacation filled with laughter and love. Time to get to work!


    1. I hesitated to post this blog. It may capture feelings, but has no real purpose. I don’t mind the holidays being over as much as letting go, again, of those I love and the sweet memories we made. But Jesus is my touchstone. He holds the coming year in His hands in trust for me.

      I’m glad you had a wonderful family time. From your blogs, I can tell you are ready to rumble!! In fact, you’ve accomplished a lot despite the holidays. I look forward to walking through this year with you.


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