• Clarice Aeby

Resolutions and a jar of pennies


“O God, you are my God;

I earnestly search for you.

My soul thirsts for you;

my whole body longs for you

in this parched and weary land

where there is no water…

Your unfailing love is better than life itself…

You satisfy me more than the richest feast.

- Psalm 63:1, 3, 5

As the New Year draws close, I receive an email from the woman who leads the Mentor Moms for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). She challenges us, the Mentors, to prepare our New Year’s Resolutions to share at our next small gathering.

This annual resolution tradition that excites some is more on-and-off for me. Like many, my initial inspirations often fall away far more quickly than the extra holiday pounds. But the Lord nudges me to comply. At the very least, I reason, the sharing of these hopes will help us get to know each other better.

So I pause to reflect on 2017 on one hand and try to imagine what might be in my power to make 2018 better. And in the quiet, the important surfaces.

Fading are the lesser hopes of meeting new people and exercising more faithfully. And I think deeper – clear down to the foundation: GOD – what difference He makes in my life…and what difference I want Him to make.

The famous line by AW Tozer comes to mind:

“What comes into our minds when we think about God

is the most important thing about us.”

“O God, you are my God…

I’ve spent some rich time lingering in Psalm 63. In fact, I spent days at the beach on a personal retreat several years ago meditating on the truth of these holy Words.

In thinking about last year and imagining the next, I realize this: God is my God, I will always hunger for Him, and He is worthy of my search. So whatever else I hope to accomplish, it is this relationship that deserves to be #1 on my New Year’s Resolutions List.

A pile of pennies

Recently I got the cleaning urge – not the dusting and mopping kind, but the opening of closets and eliminating the old clothes kind of deeper cleaning.

In sorting boxes I come across a towel-full of shiny pennies. And I recalled the moment I headed to the bank requesting rolls of pennies that would total 1,440 – each one representing a minute in our day.

I was teaching a group of young moms and used this visual in challenging them to give 30 of those minutes each day to being still with Jesus.

On this cleaning day I carefully poured the coins into a square flower vase my Mom had received while in the hospital and decided to take them as an object lesson for my grandchildren. But somehow I couldn’t let them go. Their presence on my kitchen counter speaking too loudly to push aside.

This voice was for me. And I whispered, “Lord, I’m going to leave this vase of pennies on my kitchen counter. It is Your kind whisper to spend my days – my life – well.”

To carve out a special time and place to open my Bible and to be still with God each day is a discipline of the highest order. It is an acknowledgment that each day is a gift from our Creator. The stillness reminds me I am His and He is mine.

“In themselves Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done.”

- Douglas Rumford

Whatever else I add to this resolution list, I know this one is most important. Some days I won’t show up – things happen, including my own wandering heart. But I’m going to leave those pennies on my counter as a reminder that all the days that fill 2018 are a gift and that this thirst my soul feels has a place to be satisfied.

TO CONSIDER: Might 2018 be the year you intentionally plan to dip into those 1,440 minutes of your days and reserve 30 to spend with God?

Thanks for sitting still with me today.

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