The boys and I rang in the New Year in Des Moines. We drove down with my sister and niece on New Year's Eve. We reached my other sister's apartment a little after 10:30. Nils at least was still up until midnight. I was laying in bed trying to get them both asleep. It's a glamorous life.
We had Christmas with my mom's extended family on New Year's Day. The boys got to swim with the cousins on Saturday (once they opened the pool). And we arrived back home late last night. We went (since we could get a ride with my sister), knowing we won't have a lot of these Christmas gatherings left, and we don't get to go to them too often.
With that said, the New Year kind of came and went. The boys and I did take some time on New Year's Eve to remember what happened in 2009. I didn't focus too much, though, on the things I need to change and learn from. But I think I've kind of been doing that a lot in the past year, so they're in the back of my mind at least.
We've been to family gatherings over the past several weekends, so we haven't been in our own church for a while. It was good to be back so we can go there today. Pastor Efrem spoke on the Holy Spirit. It was a good message for starting a new year.
One of the basic affirmations that the Evangelical Covenant Church upholds is "a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit." I don't think many of us have a good working knowledge of Who the Holy Spirit is, what He does and what he enables us to do. Actually, that was Efrem's premise for today: that in order for us to live more fully in the Spirit, we have to have a better knowledge of the Spirit. (And if you want that part of his sermon, it'll be posted here in not too long.) I know I turn less to the Holy Spirit than I do to the Son or Father. He's the most over-looked member of the Trinity in most Christendom (and over-emphasized in unhelpful ways in some parts). So, starting the New Year with a foundation of who the Holy Spirit is and what He does is a good place to start.
For me, the sermon was a reminder of what I desire for the year ahead: to live more in touch with God each day, which can only happen through a more conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit's indwelling in my life. Efrem commented today that "being Spirit-filled is like drowning in God's love." That sounds like the outcome of a good New Year's resolution to me.