Looking Forward to a New Year

Every year, many people I know pick a Word of the Year to define the upcoming year. I’ve only started this in the past few years, and have noticed my Word of the Year doesn’t really follow the calendar year.

Two years ago, I chose Trust as my Word. I struggled with trusting God for all that life was throwing at me, and it seemed like a good first Word. When 2016 came around, I was praying about a new Word, and felt like I needed to keep Trust. So I did not change it.Wall of Trust

I have the word Trust on my wall, along with some other words that point me to trust. As 2015 and 2016 progressed, I wrote Bible verses and quotes from authors and friends which spoke of trusting in God and pinned them to my wall, forming a Wall of Trust.

A few months ago, I go the inkling that my Word was changing. It started with a verse:060716_mg_4278

This is at the end of the Valley of Dry Bones and I have always loved these verses.

This verse started a shift in my heart, and I knew my Word would be changing soon. And not waiting for 2017 to blow in like a frozen blizzard! A land has been promised me – a refuge, a home, a place to hide away and to invite others into peace. In this land I will be firmly planted by the Lord and there I will flourish.Firmly Planted

So my Word (more like a phrase!) is Firmly Planted and Flourishing. Living in this tension of the now and not yet has been interesting so far, but I am learning well that Jesus can be trusted, He has a plan filled with hope and a good future for me, He has not left me behind even when it fells like so many others have, I am a daughter of the Most High King of kings and He has lavished me with so many amazing gifts it will make my head spin as I start accepting them and opening them to share with those in my life.Flourish

Given my circumstances, my own land seems like a folly to hope for. But I know and trust that God has a plan for my life, and what He has promised me, He will fulfill. Just as Abraham received a seemingly impossible promise from God and kept hoping, so shall I.Keep Hoping

I am looking forward to 2017 with great expectation in my Lord. I can’t wait to see what He is working out in me! I am going to look for joy instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I carry this reminder with me everywhere I drive, thanks to the creativity and expertise of Revka at Fabled Treasures!Firmy Planted and Flourishing

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{Janet’s Germany} Frauenkirche Dresden

The “Frauenkirche” (Church of Our Lady) was first built in 1726-43 by George Bähr. After the bombing of Dresden in 1945, the heat was so great the sandstone church succumbed and was destroyed. The church was left in ruins for 45 years as a memorial and reminder of the war. Rebuilding was started in 1994 and the outside of the church was completed in 2004, consecrated in October 2005 once the inside was complete, and reopened.selah_candace_rose_Dresden_12The dark color of the old stones mingled with the different sized and lighter stones from the re-building resemble old scars of healed wounds, a mosaic of past and present. They also speak of overcoming hostility and hope and reconciliation. The motto of the building project is “Building bridges, living reconciliation, strengthening faith”.selah_candace_rose_Dresden_13I love how people from other countries came together to help rebuild this church, making it a symbol of reconciliation between former enemies.selah_candace_rose_Dresden_14Oh, the splendor of the Frauenkirche in Dresden! The sheer size of this church is alone amazing! The main sanctuary was closed for Mass when we first arrived, so we trekked to the top to get a bird’s eye view of Dresden.selah_candace_rose_Dresden_16From here we were also able to see the old city ruins, which are being built over so the fences block viewing from street level. I think it would have been fun to walk through there. Some of the ruins are already filled in.selah_candace_rose_Dresden_17From our perch we saw the Cathedral and Hausmannsturm in the distance. We later walked past the Cathedral and Palace it is connected to.selah_candace_rose_Dresden_18We also saw City Hall and the Driekönigskirche. We later ate at a little Mexican restaurant named Don Pancho right outside the Driekönigskirche, which was quite the experience! I never thought I’d eat authentic Mexican in Germany! The woman who owns the restaurant imports her spices from Mexico. It is a place to stop if you are ever in Dresden!selah_candace_rose_Dresden_20The Augustusbrücke is the oldest bridge in Dresden, built in 1727 by Augustus II the Strong of Poland and rebuilt in 1907. Further back is the Marienbrücke.selah_candace_rose_Dresden_21Janet is a very good tour guide. Not even her fear of heights kept her from taking us here! The heights are quite dizzy-ing, so I appreciated that Janet took us up and went out on the viewing platform. And she didn’t die! Neither did I. Or Erika.selah_candace_rose_Dresden_19 We could see pretty far, even with the fog.selah_candace_rose_Dresden_22The top half of the climb is narrow, winding hallways like this. We were lucky to be able to miss the steps going up by taking the elevator! Seeing into the center of the church, and out the windows, made the walk more interesting.selah_candace_rose_Dresden_15After spending a long time at the viewing platform, 25-ish stories up, we headed back down to see the incredible nave and down to the depths of the Frauenkirche too see the historical displays. selah_candace_rose_Dresden_23Looking from the ground floor up through the many levels of the Frauenkirche to the viewing platform. The ceiling paintings were originally painted by Giovanni Battista Grone of Venice between May and November of 1734. The paintings (and door carvings!) were painstakingly recreated based of old wedding photos and church plans that survived the war.selah_candace_rose_DresdenFrauenKirche_2cThere are original plans on display from 1726, which is how architects determined were each stone should be placed from its place in the rubble based on the stone’s medallion. selah_candace_rose_DresdenFrauenKirche_1cThe altar is glorious in size and detail. Carved from sandstone in 1738 by Johann Christian Feige, it was pieced together after WWII from more than 2,000 fragments. There are 4,876 pipes, and only a small portion are visible The smallest one is less than one centimeter and the largest one is over 5 meters. The altar shows Christ praying alone in Gethsemane with his sleeping disciples and the soldiers approaching to arrest him. A sermon unfolds in the sweeping altar with the message of God’s mercy.

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