A Prayer for 2019 and Other Things

January 2, 2019 | My Jottings

Happy New Year, friends. Do you remember when 1999 turned to 2000 and we thought we’d never get used to no longer saying “19–” and how strange it felt to say the year as a “2000-something?” Now we’re knocking on 2020’s door and we’re so used to space age numbers.

My resident florist (youngest daughter Sara) filled our front three flower boxes again this Christmas season, with piles of fresh greens, pine cones and huge red bows. Now that we’ve had two significant storms, they’re mounded with snow and look even prettier.

These good-sized boxes are on our front deck.

It was below zero yesterday and today, and whenever that happens Lake Superior steams. Here’s a picture of an ore-boat coming into the Port of Duluth in the frigid air.

And this is what massive Lake Superior looks like from space when it’s steaming. You can click to enlarge if you like. I live right down there by the tip of the wolf’s nose.

A couple of weeks ago I spent the day with Lloyd at his home in the woods. We walked his property at sunset and looked at all the animal footprints in the snow. I can easily recognize deer and rabbit tracks, but he showed me how to tell the tracks of voles, turkeys, mice, squirrels and coyotes. I love the silence of the woods in winter, disturbed only by the occasional flutter and call of the chickadees.

I like to make frittatas for breakfast once in a while — they’re so easy and it’s a good way to start the day with protein and vegetables. I don’t usually add the cheese that I did to this one below. I sauteed fresh mushrooms and asparagus, threw in some chicken and sage sausage and chopped tomatoes, poured over a few beaten eggs, and cooked it covered on super-low heat until the eggs had set. What is something you make for breakfast that might be a little different than the usual?

My granddaughter Louisa’s school recently asked family members (mostly grandparents) to help them put together a museum of sorts, bringing old things from their lives to be displayed. On Grandparents Day after visiting Louisa’s classroom and meeting her teacher, she took me to the gym to see the many tables set up with photos and vintage items of yesteryear. Louisa is six years old and in the first grade, and she’s standing in front of one of the tables from her class’s grandparents — that is my six year old, first grade picture right there by her.

About once a month Lloyd and I like to take a drive up the north shore of Lake Superior, and we often stop in Knife River at Great Lakes Candy Kitchen. We buy four pieces of candy — two homemade salted caramels dipped in chocolate, and two of what they call peanut butter buckeyes. We drive to Stoney Point a couple miles away and watch the waves while eating our candy. He likes dark chocolate, I prefer milk. It’s a fun place to visit because it feels like you’ve stepped back in time, and the quality of the candy rivals my childhood favorite, See’s.

My beautiful new grandson Levi is doing well at almost five months old now. He has such a sweet disposition, is a voracious nurser (and consequently has wonderful chunkiness everywhere), and is so beloved by everyone in our family. I think this picture below is one of my all-time favorites. My oldest daughter Sharon took it seconds after Levi Samuel’s birth in August, and the joy on Jeremy and Carolyn’s faces needs no explanation.

I hope you had a peaceful Christmas. We had seventeen people here, and my living room isn’t that big so we were pretty cozy. But there were no arguments, no harsh words, no testiness, no undercurrents of strife… and there have been times in my life when that wasn’t the case. I felt so grateful. After everyone went home and Sara and I began to slowly pick up and restore things to order, I kept telling the Lord thank you. Thank you, thank you, Jesus.

I follow Pastor Tim Keller on Instagram, and this is his prayer for 2019. I make it my own prayer for the coming year, and thought I would share with you.

I worry because I forget your wisdom.
I resent because I forget your mercy.
I covet because I forget your beauty.
I sin because I forget your holiness.
I fear because I forget your sovereignty.
You always remember me.
Help me to remember you.

Thank you for stopping in today. May God give you a year that brings you closer to Him. That is what I’m asking for.


  1. Ember says:

    Waving! Happy New Year!
    Breakfasts — I have the same every day because I love it.
    I make a big glass of juice (with my super-duper Champion Juicer) from 2 apples and 3 big carrots. I put 2 cubes of ice in it made from water we collect at a spring just near our home. I set aside the fibre left over from making the juice, and mix it in to my porridge (oatmeal — US), which is made from one scoop of gluten-free rolled oats, one good pinch of sea salt, 3 scoops of Oatly (oat ‘milk’) and 1 scoop of spring water. I never ever get tired of this breakfast and look forward to it every morning.
    Your grandchildren are darling. Learning to recognise the footmarks of wild creatures is a wonderful thing to do.

  2. Lorrie Nyland says:

    What a nice post to start the new year Julie—the view of the steam from space is fascinating. The photo of newborn Levi with mom and dad brings tears to my eyes…I am copying Tim Keller’s prayer, it’s wonderful. I’m thankful for our friendship over the miles.

  3. Just Julie says:

    Ember — I think your breakfast is something I’d like to try — will you make it for me someday? Lorrie — I love that prayer too, and prayed it this morning. Hugs to you both, dear friends far away. xoxo

  4. Nancy says:

    Thank you for letting us stop by Julie. Amazing picture of Lake Superior. I was supposed to visit it with a cousin who lives in Wisconsin but didn’t have time. I know about oceans but not what great lakes are like. Really amazing. Thank you also for the many different topics. I enjoyed all of them. What a blessing your newest grandson is. Best to you and your loved ones and special friend in 2019. I recently started watching a tv show with my son Joe from the UK called Escape to the Country. The photography is beautiful and makes me want to live there. Now that we’ve finished that series we are watching Escape to the Continent. I never realized how beautiful old English villages and countryside was until this show.

  5. Just Julie says:

    I always love a good recommendation, Nancy, so will check out the Escape shows you mentioned. I am enjoying your comments so much — it has been so nice to learn about you and your experiences, Nancy. Thank you and God bless your week! xoxo

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