Miscellaneous

The Messiest of Beginnings

This past New Year’s Eve I found myself, once again, incredulously staring a new year in the face. My news feed was inundated with year-end reviews and predictions for the new year. Friends had selected (and found time to write about!) their “words of the year,” and I saw many a “state of the blog” post scroll by in my blogroll. Everyone, it seemed, was ready for the new year.

Everyone, that is, but me. Winter break was hard for me. With my daughter home from school for two. solid. weeks. and the errands to be ran and the meals to be cooked and the presents to be wrapped and life to be lived, I had no good opportunity to pause and consider that a new year was barreling toward me at breakneck speed. I was considering it success to make it through a day; evaluating the YEAR and anticipating the one to come was nowhere on my radar.

December 31st is, it seems, the day to make plans, and January 1st is the day to put them into action. December 31st is the day to see where change is needed, and January 1st is when we make it happen. December 31st is the day to look back on what was right and wrong about the year past and January 1st is the day of new beginnings.

And in a way, yes. I can see that.  But frankly? I just wasn’t there on December 31st….or for the past couple of weeks. One thing after another has pushed my fresh start further and further into the pages of the calendar, and do you know what?

I think that’s okay.

A new year is a chance to start fresh….yes….but it is not the only chance to start fresh. We are given that every single day. Every time the sun comes up, we are greeted with mercies anew and time aplenty to make changes.

So if you’re like me and have taken forever to get your year mapped out, I really and truly think that is okay. That’s not the justification of the chronically unprepared, either. It’s the freedom of the redeemed. Because every day that we’re given, we’re given a chance to be something we weren’t yesterday. Every tomorrow brings redemption for yesterday. 

What is NOT okay, though, is putting off a new beginning out of fear of doing it poorly. That is, sadly, what I’ve been doing. Yes, I am given grace for each new day and opportunities to start fresh every time the sun comes up again, but that is not an excuse to put off ever starting. I have felt unprepared to start this new year well, so I have postponed the official start until a time when I will be ready.

But today, I’m tired of that. I’m realizing that it’s better to make a messy, imperfect start today than to never start tomorrow.

And so today, on January 23rd – a Friday, which is probably the worst time to start anything new – I’m starting my new year. We’re far enough into the year by now that some of you have already made significant progress on your new year’s resolutions (and most likely, some of you have already given up). I, however, am just getting started. Because I don’t believe that God’s work in my life is restricted to a calendar year, and I don’t believe that January 1st is the only time to start fresh.

This new year’s fresh start brings with it fresh resolve for my writing. This year in this little bloggy corner of the internet, I am making a promise to myself and to you that I will be more who I have been called to be. In the past, I have restricted my posting to when I had a devotional-type post to share with you because I knew that is what you’ve all come to expect from me. That is what God has wanted me to do in the past, and I’m sure that He will have me continue to write that way in the future. However, I feel that the Spirit has been tugging me toward some different types of words.

Words that connect.

Words that elevate others.

Words that bring awareness and empowerment.

I’ve been learning over the past year or so that “success” doesn’t come from individual effort. No, success – in the Kingdom of God – comes when like-minded Christ-followers link arms and move together toward their purposes. Success, for me, doesn’t look like it used to. It’s no longer about doing MY best at MY gifts to find MY place in this vast plan God has for the world. It’s about simply doing what I am called to do among the millions who are about the work of God. It’s about using my gifts to help others use their gifts in order to advance the Kingdom.

Though I may try to make it so, my life is not a solo act. It’s a collaboration.

And so this year I’m trying something new. I’m going to be writing about lots of different things – people I’ve heard about who are doing amazing work, grassroots organizations who are changing the world from the ground up, books I’ve read that have affected my relationship with Christ, music that stirs my soul to worship, ideas for personal quiet time…..anything that I feel could help you – my friends – to grow closer to Christ. Watch for additional pages to pop up in my directory (at top) and for links and such to appear in the sidebar. I don’t have it all outlined and scheduled and I don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like, but again – I think that’s okay. God’s got this under control.

That’s the vision God has given me for this space in the coming year, and I’m really excited about it. Thank you for being here in the past, and I am so excited to see where this journey leads. I’m so glad you’re here.

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