I have chosen to welcome the New Year and walk in it — quietly, purposefully and serenely.

It is already February and many revelers chose the typical New Year’s Eve way with parties of loud music, noise makers and all things festive.

However, for some the next morning was anything but festive because the noisy merrymaking took its toll. And if it is the only way one knows to continue on into the New Year, it can spell chaos, commotion and unrest as one trips and falls into daily routines for the rest of the year.

The “rest” of the year.

What exactly might that look like if stillness, quiet and tranquility welcomed 2020 and we glided gracefully into each new day?

Last year was a momentous year in many ways for us.

As my husband Ken recuperated from a heart attack, just doing what had been prescribed kept us on our toes. Frustration shouted pretty loudly when he felt curtailed from his normal activities.

The rains that had plagued the area for much of the year robbed us of being outdoors and cabin fever threatened. As Spring sprung and brought hope and renewal, Ken improved and was able to add back more activities.

Before we knew it, we couldn’t believe how busy we were and my expectations of myself pressed in — loud and boisterous in my ears — definitely not restful or tuned into God’s quiet whispers.

By summer, reevaluation was in order — we were ready to reassess our priorities and will continue to do so into the New Year.

I have found that if I want to know the Lord’s will and walk in it, I must cultivate stillness, quiet and tranquility in his presence.

Jeremiah 29: 12-13 (NKJV) says, “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”

If he will listen, I must also remember to be still and know that he is God.

Then I will hear his still, small voice.

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

The calendar page has already flipped to February but much of 2020 is still before each of us. I want to walk enthusiastically into each new day, yet with quiet, purposeful steps shutting out the noise and agitation of the world and cultivating joy and peace within.

That can only be accomplished by knowing the Prince of Peace and abiding with him and he with me — for the “rest” of the year and my life. Selah

Jan Merop, a prolific and award-winning writer, has had her column “Pause...and Consider” published weekly for almost 30 years. Her signature, Selah, indicating a time of silence, reflects her title. She and her husband, Ken, moved to Avery County two years ago and actively volunteer in the area. They have three sons and five grandchildren. Visit her blog Journeying with Jan at pauseandconsider.net.

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