Tuesday, January 1, 2013


"In God we trust."  ~motto of the United States

It's the moment of new beginnings, the cusp of a new year, a time when everything is fresh and anything is possible.  I look back on the year just past and find that it was filled with struggle and challenges-what most people would see as opportunities for growth and learning. Unfortunately, my attitude was often one of complaint, grumble and cry.  Most often I felt like St. Teresa of Avila shaking my fist at God and crying, "If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few of them!"  It was far too easy for me to look on the bleak and dreary side of life instead of praising God for all of the varied blessings he bestowed upon me-blessings as simple as having a house to live in and food to eat and as glorious as waking to a beautiful sunrise and being surrounded by family and friends who love me so well despite how poorly I treat them in exchange for their unconditional love.

Each year since I began writing Imprisoned in my Bones, I have chosen a "word" for the year-something that would help me to focus on God and would help me to grow spiritually.  In the past I have chosen "surrender," "accept,"  "deeper," and "embrace."  It's hard to look back and notice whether or not I have actually lived those words throughout the years past, but I hope that in some small way, focusing on  those words has helped me to become just a bit more faithful to God and a bit more holy.  I've a long way to go as my failures to surrender to God's will and to not only accept it but to deeply embrace it have been glaringly obvious to me.  Instead it seems as if I have fought God and His will for me every step of the way. 

So when we fall the only thing we can do is get back up and try again, right?  My plan for 2013 appears to be just another step in the direction of coming to know and follow God's will.  The challenge is making God's will into my will as well.  I want to learn to rely on God's loving plan for me even when it's difficult to believe that He has my best interests at heart.  I want to be able to patiently watch to see how God's plan for my life will unfold.  And if His plan for this year includes suffering and hardships then I want to deeply embrace it, not with complaint, but with quiet surrender.  I want 2013 to be the year that I learn to completely TRUST in God and His will for my life. 

What follows is a reflection that I wrote for the Roses for Our Lady Christmas Newsletter:

"Our Lady was at the most fourteen when the angel came to her; perhaps she was younger. The whole world trembled on the word of a child, on a child's consent…The loudest telling of His presence on earth was to be the heartbeat within the heartbeat of a child. It was to be a secret and God was so jealous of His secret that He even guarded it at the cost of His bride's seeming dishonor…This proved that God knew our Lady's trust in Him was absolutely without limit. Everything that He did to her in the future emphasized the same thing. His trust in her trust of Him." ~Caryll Houselander

The trust of a child. Our Lady embraced it, lived it, and exemplified it. Think of how she silently accepted the scandal of an unwed pregnancy, traveling across a desert on the back of a donkey while heavy with child never quite knowing where her destination would be, giving birth to the Son of God in a dirty stable with no one to help her, being visited by strangers at a moment when most people prefer the familiarity of family and friends, and then shortly after giving birth, having to get up and move to yet another strange land for the safety of her babe. She didn’t ask questions. She didn’t complain when she grew weary, when uncertainty was the motif of the day, when hunger gnawed at her stomach, when shelter and comfort were scarce, when danger and fear were abundant. She just said “Yes, God. Whatever you say; I am yours completely and live to serve You alone.”

Can we follow suit? Can we implicitly trust in God’s plans for our lives without ever fully knowing where He might be leading us or how He intends to use us? In the year ahead, can we accept trials and hardships with joy in our hearts, knowing that God’s plans are always perfect even though we often fail to understand how He might be working in our lives? Let’s make 2013 the year where we learn to trust like our Mother, to give our lives completely over to God and to turn to Him in prayer uniting our hearts with Blessed Mary more and more each day.


( I want to say a special thank you to Nancy Shuman at "The Cloistered Heart,"and "The Breadbox Letters," Patricia at "I Want to See God" and Mary at "The Beautiful Gate" for nominating Imprisoned in my Bones for the "Blog of the Year Award."  You ladies are all so sweet!  And I also offer a long overdue thank you to Karen at "Write to the Point" for awarding this blog with the "Liebster Award" back in October.  Thanks for being such faithful blogging friends!  It is beautiful blogs such as yours and those linked on my blog sidebar that inspire me to continue to write and to strive to trust in God more deeply.)


  1. Everything you said..."Me too." Thank you for your candid and real writing that helps us all connect with our humanity while we still keep marching on. You are a warrior for Christ, through our most Holy Mother, dear Anne...You will not give up and that is half the battle of trust. Peace to you on your walk in 2013!

  2. Amen to that! God bless you and a Happy, Holy 2013!

  3. I love this post, Anne. I think that this kind of trust is what I long for more than anything else. Thank you for sharing this reflection with us.

  4. Anne,
    Fantastic start to 2013! Trust! You perfectly capture what is most essential as each of us strives to truly embark upon a Year of Faith. You beautifully tie this requisite concept of trust to the reality of the Blessed Virgin’s Life. What an awesome post for the Feast of Mary of the Mother of God, and for the initiation of a New Year! Thank you so much! May your new year be abundantly blessed. Through your example may we each truly live with the words: “Jesus, I Trust in You!”

    P.S. Congratulations on your nomination. “Imprisoned in My Bones” certainly has my vote as the Best Blog of the Year!

    New Years Blessings,

    Ad Jesum Per Mariam,

    Mary Anne

  5. And thank you for the kind words too!

  6. You beautifully present your word for the year Anne. I think you are very wise to cling to Blessed Mother, the model of trust.

  7. Anne,

    What a blessing it was to read this post! That reminder to trust-trust-trust, oh it is just what I needed today! I'm following you now - I look forward to reading more words that inspire!


  8. Lovely, thoughtful post. I hope you are blessed in the New Year.