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  • Maggie Wallem Rowe

New Year's ReSOULutions, a Giveaway, and Good News!

It’s 2022!

A freshly hatched year we haven’t experienced before. There is something about the cheeky way those numbers appear on a page – like three rubber duckies marching in a row with an egg in the middle - that makes me grin.

Do you have a special tradition for the start of each new year?

I used to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve listening to neighborhood fireworks, finishing off Christmas cookies, and watching the ball drop in Times Square. Now I prefer to get up early to launch the year in reflection. I ceremoniously put away last year’s calendar and Daily Planner and go all Julie Andrews on the world as I open my new ones.

“Let’s start at the very beginning – a very good place to start.” Sound of Music

My mentor-friend Gail texted on New Year’s Day with this suggestion: “May 2022 begin for each of us by remembering five key joys in 2021. I’ve got so many of them, I’ve been making my list since 4:30 this am and still going! What it does for one’s soul is something I can’t explain in words.”

And how about resolutions (what one writer calls reSOULutions)? Have you made any for the new year? I prefer to think of them as goals – a destination to reach for – rather than a discipline to be, well, resolute about.

I have physical goals for 2022, like shedding 20 pounds and keeping it off. (I’ll let you know how that goes!), plus doing strength-training.

Some goals are best met by others. Mike is a good "stripper!"

I have house goals, including mounting a gallery wall of family photos, installing new flooring in the guest apartment, and stripping a former owner’s “unique” rose wallpaper with gold embossed birds from the powder room.

I opened the first copy of Life is Sweet, Y'all, on Christmas Day with my family. I can't wait to share her with all of you. Thank you Tyndale House!

And I have writing goals, including launching Life is Sweet, Y’all into the world in just two months as well as submitting a new book proposal that’s been simmering on a back burner.

That’s not all that’s perking at our house.

Do you know what I love to do on winter mornings? With water simmering on the stove, I drop in a cinnamon stick, bay leaf, handful of cloves, and orange peel – a gift for the senses. Writer Barbara Mahany calls this winter incense “little puffs of prayer cloud…fuel for the soul.”

Here’s a January potpourri of other good news to share with you as the new year begins!


For Christmas, I gave my husband and pastor-son copies of the brand-new resource Ten Great Ideas from First Corinthians authored by global scholars Dr. George Renner and Dr. Mark Shaw.

If you’re a student of the scriptures or you’d like to gift a copy to your pastor or Bible study leader, I’m giving away a copy this week! Just leave a comment below that you’d like some “great ideas” and we’ll choose a name at random.


Some of you have already guessed, but Mike and I are returning to Stavanger, Norway, again this year! Pandemic permitting, we’ll be serving the family of North Sea Baptist, an international English-speaking congregation, from early March to mid-May.

I wish you could all come along, but instead I’ll take you there with us through future posts.

We last served North Sea Baptist in the fall of 2019.

Our women's Bible study met in our apartment in the parsonage. Hoping to see many of these girls again!


Our miracle baby is doing great! No ER visits since the G (stomach) tube was inserted, which she will need for some time to come as her stomach can’t handle whole feeds quickly. She is nearly 13 pounds now – 10th percentile for weight and 47th for height. Her motor skills are somewhat lagging due to the extended time in the hospital. She continues to be followed by cardiology, ophthalmology, and immunology along with other specialists.

Most importantly, so many of you have continued to prayerfully follow her progress with us personally or through her CaringBridge page. We cannot thank you enough!

My longtime friend Cynthia said recently that instead of saying, “Lord, help me, help me, help me” each day, she prays instead, “Lord, make this day count.”

Sounds like a pretty good reSOULution to me!


Coming This Spring!

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