Benediction for the New Year

May I sit by a well full of living water and find my cup overflowing, allowing me to ask anyone who comes my way “Would you like something drink? I have plenty.”

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May I trust God with my life, my days, my missteps, my mistakes. May I find rest and grace, and may I offer them too.

May I dream big, hope bigger, and cling close to the One who loves me without condition. May my heart be open to being loved in all the ways that one can be loved. May my spirit be generous and willing to bend, bow, or rise to the places it is called.

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May I learn to see, use, and appreciate my resources. May I be brave in faith, willing to trust-fall into the arms of the One who made me. May I create – with words and wounds and food and faith and time and space and whatever else may come my way.

May I take care of myself and of anyone whose path I cross, because I am my brother’s keeper. And my sister’s too. Because we do belong to one another. Because we are called to compassion. May I allow others to take care of me. May I accept the love and compassion of others, recognizing my deep human needs echo the deep human needs of all. Because we are all more alike than we are different.

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May I lean more on the strength of Christ than of myself, my circumstance, or anyone else. May I drink good coffee. May I spend time with my feet in rivers and oceans, in warmth and sun, in showers of rain and grace.

May I believe that I am loved and worthy and already enough. May give fear no power, no room in my life. May I find myself awash in the truth of love, eyes wide open to the beauty and the blessings and the promise that is a promise, from One that does not lie and does not fail and does not forget.

May I turn my face and my heart toward the light and point the way to anyone watching, May I never fear the darkness, never dread the night nor the season that is trying, because the light that is within me is greater than all the darkness in the entire world. And so, I am not alone and truly, the victory is already mine. Songs are sung over me by the One who loves me all the way down in the deepest places and so, with light and song that is in me and around me but is not my own, I can carry on.

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May I cast off that which hinders me and run the race set before me, sure of the good thing that has been started in me that will not be abandoned, sure of a path made in the wilderness, sure of the goodness of God, sure of the living water that can quench the throbbing, thirsting ache that nothing else can quell.

May I believe that belief is enough. May I turn from the idea of scarcity and know that God is enough, that my boundaries have fallen in pleasant places. May I love well. May I navigate the words and the worlds that I find myself on the fringes of.

May I find the place that is mine and may I commit to the sacred act of being who I am, who I was designed to be from the beginning.

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May I honor the God-light in myself and in everyone I meet.

May I learn how to let go of the criticisms offered harshly or with ill-intent. May I face the ones submitted in love with peace of mind (and heart), knowing that it’s okay to not be perfect.

May I be willing to face the push-back that comes when I stop people pleasing.

May I learn to live joyfully, gratefully. May I build, find, acknowledge my tribe. May I be willing to be wrong, to fail, in the name of trying, of living, of being human. May I get my oven fixed. And my car inspected. May I listen to good music. And write beautiful words. And may I keep some of them in scrawling journals, only between myself and the page, And the others, may I press publish and send out into the world.

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May my kindnesses outweigh my carelessness. May I be present in, aware of, my days. May my children grow in health and towards the light. May they know me, not as a shell or a role, but as a woman. A mother who is a person. May I know myself that way as well.

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May I trust my instincts. May I remember to get my dog his rabies shot. May I attempt to execute healthy boundaries. May I keep my sense of humor.

May I trust God is enough. May I trust God is. May I trust God. May I trust.

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May I sing praises in the morning light, under the starry sky, and on the darkest nights because I trust the light is within, because I trust that God does not abandon, and does not despise my need. Because I trust God loves me without condition. Because God loves. Because God is love. Because God is enough and God is love, so love is enough.

May I believe that love is enough.

May I remember that God is love, and God is not small or weak or fickle, so love is not small or weak or fickle. May I not be afraid to love and call it love, out loud. Fearless, strong, faithful love. Messy, tangled love willing to be broken open in the name of more love in more ways in more places in the name of love who is God.

May I need only the approval of the One who loved me first, loves me most, loves me best so that when the eyebrows raise and the protests rise I can stand firm in who I am, the words I’m given, the movement of the spirit that I know in my core.

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May I allow love to fight for me while I stand still, in faith, in rest, in worship. May I remember to breathe deeply, and to use all my senses in the ordinary moments that I may find sanctuary in all the places where I am. May I find meaning in the tedious tasks and the shiny moments equal, all holy when my eyes are lifted up toward heaven. May I find comfort in the truth that the vapor of this life, with its light and temporary troubles, is outweighed by the coming glory. May I find redemption stories everywhere I turn my heart. May I believe. And be alive.

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May I live in the freedom that is gifted to me. May I help to set the captives free. May I never forget sometimes the captive is me.

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