Dearest CCC Family and Friends,

E. Whitacre
Dearest CCC Family and Friends,
I hope this finds you staying warm in this cold season. It’s hard to believe that another
Christmas has come and gone and we are already a month into the new year. They say that
time flies when you are having fun, but sometimes I just think that time flies , regardless of what
we’re doing.
Isn’t that just like God? To keep showing His awesomeness, His goodness, His plan, no matter
what we as His created beings do, think, say, or feel?
The new year is often a time for pause and reflection, but quite frankly, when you’re training to
become a Mental Health Counselor, really all you do is reflect all the time! At the counseling
practice where I am interning, we are encouraged to pray and reflect on one word to be our
word of the year. For 2023, my word was “listen.” As this pruning season begins to draw to a
close for me and our family (graduation in less than four months – finally!) I’ve been
overwhelmed with the examples of God’s love poured out for me, and for others, time after time
after time. What stands out to me after a year of really listening?
Thank goodness He seeks out the one who has strayed from the 99.
Thank goodness He never stops, or gives up, or says “this is the last time.”
Thank goodness that everytime we get it wrong, He is there, waiting, not to say “I told
you so”, but to say “Welcome home, child, I’ve missed you.”
The clear message that I heard throughout 2023? Be grateful for God’s promises that are never-
ending and His mercy that never fails! As a human, I fell short so often in 2023, yet God never
turned away from me. His plans never failed, even though they may have looked different than
my plans.
So as I prepare for 2024 and graduating and entering the workforce again, and our family
prepares to adjust to this next stage of life with both kids in school full time (Gertie goes to
Kindergarten this fall – EEK!)I hope that we can continue to listen to God, and also be grateful
and joyous for all the ways that He continues to provide, even when we stray from the path.
It’s fitting then, that my word for 2024 is ‘ be ’. It’s such a simple word, yet has so much
implication as well.
I’ve reflected a LOT over the last few weeks about what I hope the word “be” will mean for me
this year, and I hope you’ll do the same, or reflect upon your own word! I’ve had so many
thoughts, but perhaps the greatest one that keeps hitting me over and over is this: be grateful
and joyous.​
As we go through 2024, expecting it to pass as quickly as the years prior, I hope that we can
find time to be grateful and joyous for all of God’s provision. I pray that we can remember to
thank Him for all of His promises, and find joy in the waiting period. That we can praise Him for
His plans, and rejoice knowing that He will seek us if we stray from those plans.
I pray that when we reflect on the word ‘be’, that it doesn’t cause a flurried frenzy of anxious
thoughts about the future, but instead that it grounds us in that moment to be reconnected to our
source of strength: God. I pray that we can learn to be in a deeper relationship with Jesus, to be
led by the Holy Spirit, to be the hands and feet.
I pray that 2024 brings an abundance of blessing to you, and that you can BE a blessing to
others this year!
Peace and Love,
Emily Whitacre

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