For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Psalm 86:5 (ESV)


The coffee machine beeps, and the dogs stir. It’s 5 am and the beginning of another day of catching up on the news and emails, tending the dogs, preparing meals, doing chores, practicing, reading and writing.

Steadfast work. For Thy Glory. This past year’s one resolution.

Today is Monday: Laundry Day. The end of the month: Finances. The end of the year: Assessment.


From Bill Gates’ end of the year review:

“One thing that occurs to me is that the questions I am asking myself at age 63 are very different from the ones I would have asked when I was in my 20s.

“Back then, an end-of-year assessment would amount to just one question: Is Microsoft software making the personal-computing dream come true?

“Today of course I still assess the quality of my work. But I also ask myself a whole other set of questions about my life. Did I devote enough time to my family? Did I learn enough new things? Did I develop new friendships and deepen old ones? These would have been laughable to me when I was 25, but as I get older, they are much more meaningful.”


Steadfastness is not exciting or glamorous like the “look at me” world of social media or high-profile financial success. Though we value steadfast work, we take steadfast love for granted.

Maybe I should speak for myself. Though God’s grace and mercy are freely given, my generosity is considerably less, especially when I get angry, worried, and fearful. Then I need to forgive before I can enter into that mysterious thing called love.

So. Steadfast Forgiveness and Love. My 2019 resolution.

How to become steadfast in my relationships—faith, family, friends, neighbors, communities? Answers not just wished for but wanted enough to call upon His Spirit for help. A resolution worth the devotion of time to learn new things. Not more work but better, deeper, more meaningful.


Poinsettia2018In today’s cold rain and fog here at Vanaprastha, I do Monday laundry, end-of-month finances, and gaze upon this beautiful poinsettia, which Keith and I brought home yesterday. We had donated the plant to our church for altar decoration. A poinsettia, the Christmas Star, whose star-shaped leaf symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem and red color the blood sacrifice, the crucifixion.

Christ’s birth and sacrifice for all.

Immeasurable grace.

Incomprehensible mercy.


  1. ekurie

    I did not know that about the poinsettia

    Happy New Year 🎆

    • Carole Duff

      Lots of Christian symbolism in Christmas, though the poinsettia is indigenous to Mexico, so a more recent addition.

      Happy New Year to you, too!


  2. barefootlilylady

    I did my own little Bible study concerning steadfastness and steadfast love this year. I found Psalm 119 to be a rich source of encouragement. God bless you in the new year, Carole.

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you so much, Cindie.

      Your blog is great encouragement, especially those who are caregivers.

      A blessed New Year to you and your family.


  3. seekingdivineperspective

    Yes, our priorities do change with age, and what we may lose in health, beauty, and strength, is made up for in experience, wisdom, and an appreciation for what is truly important.
    A blessed 2019 to you, Carole.

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you SO much for your wise comment, and a Blessed New Year to you, too.


  4. Eric

    Great resolution for the year. Grace and peace to you as you live it out day after day.

    • Carole Duff

      Seeking wisdom every day, asking God to change my heart and mind. Blessings to you! -C.D.

  5. Sarah Myers

    I am catching up on your posts that I have missed, and I am sorry I missed them! So timely. So thoughtful. Thanks, as always.

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you, my friend. So good to hear from you. Trust all is well. -C.D.



  1. Giving to little things in little ways | Notes from Vanaprastha - […] of being steadfast, my New Year’s resolution, is being intentional. For me, that means tending to myself, my […]
  2. Optimism, my 2020 Resolution | Notes from Vanaprastha - […] Last year’s mishaps paled compared to the challenges. Keith and I attended several funerals and stayed close to the…

Leave a Reply

Meet Carole


Let's Connect

Favorite Subjects