A New Woman in the New Year

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”-Zig Ziglar

This philosophy is universal, but it sure does resonate with this mother. My main new year’s resolution is to simply be more sturdy and resilient.

“I want them to witness a serenity of character…a steadfastness of spirit, regardless of externals. I want them to see a calm captain at the helm of this ship….and rest in knowing they are safe in this harbor.”

I’m very optimistic by nature, but I’m still prone to get bent out of shape fairly easily.

We’ve been reading some books about “bygone days” and something that strikes me is how hardy those women were. I find it terribly ironic that in our day of “empowerment”, most women can’t hold a candle to the kind of pluck those pioneer women had!

What would you do if you didn’t have any food in the pantry? I would cry.

One woman we read of during a hard year pulled up her skirts, marched out into the woods and found weeds–yes I said “weeds” that were edible, canned them, and served her family using the most creative combination of spices she had.

Now that’s pluck, my sisters. She didn’t complain to her husband about his lack of provision, and by all appearances, she hardly missed a beat, determined to press on with her job to provide meals for her family.

Few of us are forced to face such dire circumstances. And I don’t know about you, but I still find it very easy to complain or get discouraged.

But I want my children to learn something different. I want them to witness a serenity of character. A steadfastness of spirit, regardless of externals. I want them to see a calm captain at the helm of this ship and rest in knowing they are safe in this harbor. 

Admittedly, calmness is not my best trait. Chock it up to personality, life experiences or other unknown factors, I have quite a passionate personality which has its downfall in the sporadic notions of emotions out of control.

So this year I resolve to be a woman wearing the “ornament of a meek and quiet spirit”…notice “spirit.” Most women read that verse and picture a physically quiet, mousy girl with her head bowed low.

That’s not the picture. It’s the woman in control of herself–strong through and through, resolved to face trials and joy, whatever may come, like a placid river with its depths reaching deeply and drinking from the Source of all peace.

Let it be so…

36 Responses to “A New Woman in the New Year”

  1. Such a wonderful target to aim for in the new year! As wives and mothers, we have such an important position of influence in the lives of our families. For us to aspire to face whatever comes with peace and serenity requires that we do know the Source. If I believed that I had to ________________ (fill in the blank with whatever need pops into your head), I would be under so much pressure, serenity would be out of the question. But when I know I am not the source for anything, I can stand safe and secure in His Sufficiency. Before I have a need, no matter what it is, He Has Already Provided. Period. (contented sigh escapes my body)

  2. Kelly L says:

    Super Like

  3. Mrs. Santos says:

    Wonderful! May it be so for us all! God bless you good and your new little one coming this year too.

  4. Kathy says:

    My heart’s desire also!

  5. Jennifer says:

    Great post, Kelly! Love it! And to think I fussed briefly yesterday when we were out of my soup. It was for the best though, felt great to get out and I was quite cheerful upon arriving to the grocery store.

    I love plucky women who are inventive. I heard another story of a woman, way back in Viking times I think, whose village was ransacked by enemies and the men went swiftly to battle. When danger got too close to home, she, having recently given birth, picked up a fallen spear and used the milk from her breasts to wet the tip. Some of the enemy men who saw her were so alarmed that they turned and ran! What ancestors we have.

  6. Charity says:

    Wonderful post Kelly! Love it!

    I would love to know the books ya’ll’ve (how’s that for some southern charm? 😉 ) been reading of “bygone days”. It is always the character and contentment of the people in those stories that draws me in.

  7. Sylvia says:

    Hapy New Year Kelly.

    Can you please let me know what personal daily devotional book you use if any. I am talking individual devotion for your personal use. Any family devotional book recommendation would be appreciated too.

    Thanks.

  8. Linda says:

    I know I would attempt what is needed to keep my family fed, but I can’t say I would do it without at least feeling like crying. At the moment I am fussing over the fact that I have been called for jury duty, have a nursing two month old, AND the online registration won’t let me report the age of my baby or explain my reason for asking to be excused— try as I may, pumping has never worked. So it is call the court house Monday morning, and pray to have a calm and serene spirit while doing it!

  9. wannabegodly says:

    This is very helpful to me as I go into this new year with huggy starting a new job wherein he’ll be gone for two weeks straight and then totally home for two weeks. It’ll take lots of adjustment, trust in God and learning to handle things by myself with my five daughters. I’d like to hear the titles of books of plucky women also, for inspiration.

    • Word Warrior says:

      I can’t remember specifically where the weeds story came from if it was from “The Good Ole Days” books by Ken Tate, or from a book we’re reading now called “Once Upon a Time: The Way America Used to Be” by Eric Sloane.

      We are loving the books by Sloane–I highly recommend them for a huge inspiration in frugality and restoring a love for simply life and work.

      Here’s a link to a page that carries several of Sloane’s books on Amazon–the cheapest I’ve found: The Way America Was

  10. Beth West says:

    I had to laugh over Jennifer’s Viking story. I can just picture a gang of tough warriors watching this gal prepare her spear in this slightly unorthodox manner. I can see their eyes growing wide, their knees shaking. “Oh no! It’s —-milk! Let’s get out of here!!!!”

    Kelly, I really like your New Year’s resolution. I pray that all of us will be strengthened and blessed in 2011.

  11. Becky says:

    Thank you for putting the names of the books on here. I can’t wait to read them. Perfect timing for me as my husband is recently unemplayed we have to move and I am expecting our 6th blessing in 11 weeks. Sometimes it feels like too much but God is in control and I can restin Him and work with Him.

  12. Jennifer S. says:

    Amen! This is exactly what I have been studying this past year…what is a “meek and quiet spirit” exactly because I also have a passionate personality and I didn’t understand how to BE meek and quiet. I haven’t found an adequate answer until now…a “woman in control of herself, resolved to face trials and joy, whatever may come, like a placid river with its depths reaching and drinking from the Source of all peace.” I desire to be a godly woman and to have a “meek and quiet spirit.” If you have any resources that would help flesh this out, I would greatly appreciate it!! Thank you for being used by God to help clarify this struggle of mine:)

  13. h. rae says:

    Wonderful and inspiring! I too, fully intend to trust more in God’s will and reap the benefits. A lot more could be written about how much was lost by the “empowerment” of women, also. Our ancestors were many times over much stronger, with much more endurance. Perhaps part of the reason is because now things come so easily for us, so our endurance really is never tried in the true sense. Anyway, wonderful post!

  14. Michelle says:

    Hi Kelly!! I have missed you. I have cut back on computer time. So wonderful to see your family in photos! What a blessing you are to us women! I loved you post here. Something I need to sooooo work on. I loved this part

    So this year I resolve to be a woman wearing the “ornament of a meek and quiet spirit”…notice “spirit”. Most women read that verse and picture a physically quiet, mousy girl with her head bowed low.

    That’s not the picture. It’s the woman in control of herself, resolved to face trials and joy, whatever may come, like a placid river with its depths reaching deeply and drinking from the Source of all peace.

    I have always beat myself up for not being phsically quiet, but I am learning to embrace all the passion HE put in me! Thanks for the encouragement! Love you!!!

    Here is the link to my focus this year!
    http://shelookethwell.blogspot.com/2010/12/drumroll-please-new-word-for-2011.html

  15. Joyfull says:

    My theme verse for the year is Philippians 4:5 “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The LORD is near.” I want to remember that the Lord is near. And I do not want to be easily frazzled, but gentle and full of patience and love.

  16. What a great, motivating post! This needs to be part of my year too! What a blessing such women are to their husbands and children. I remember my grandmother being like that, and I’m starting to see that my own mother was more and more like that as she got older as well. It’s a wonderful legacy of competence and calm.

    I’m sticking that book on my wish list too. I love historic fiction and non-fiction for the same reason. So inspiring!

  17. Amanda says:

    Beautifully put, and so inspiring! Regarding a “meek and quiet” spirit: I’ve spent a lot of time lately pondering how/where or what that spirit is supposed to be, in a Christian. I know I personally, without meaning to, revert to the world’s definition of “spirit”. But so many times in scripture we are admonished to equip our “spirits” in a way that is so contrary to the world–I’m thinking of Jesus blessing the “poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. May all our spirits be humbled and brought under the control of the Holy Spirit!

  18. […] the mean time, here’s a link to my favorite New Year’s resolution post, by Kelly over at Generation Cedar. Talk about a […]

  19. Moira says:

    Kelly,
    This just spoke my heart this morning. I believe we are kindred spirits! Thank you for stating it so well and giving me words to write down and aim for. Beautifully written.

  20. Kayci says:

    Kelly, I always sooo appreciate your transparency. I need to work on this exact same thing! I hope you’ll write about some of your strategies and revelations in growing in this area this year. You have been a virtual Titus 2 “older woman” to me for the past 5 years. I always visit your blog when I need extra encouragement. Thanks for sharing about the books too, those sound perfect for my family’s interests.

  21. Lisa T says:

    Thank you, Kelly. It’s been a rough week and that was very helpful. Happy 2016!

  22. Shelly says:

    You and I have a lot in common. That is my hope for the New Year, as well. Happy New Year!

  23. Ashley C says:

    This is something I need to strive for as well. I think in some ways I’ve gotten better but other things I need to still work on. I enjoyed reading “Fierce Women” by Kimberly Wagner…in fact I think it would be good for me to go back and read it a second time 🙂 Thank you for this post, it is a good reminder and an excellent goal for 2016 and on!

  24. Chrissy says:

    Wow…what a wonderful true example of womanhood. I desire this character. Thank you for sharing.

  25. Moira Hahner says:

    What a wonderful reminder. Beautiful words and something I would love to see more of in me in this coming year. Thank you for the inspiration.

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