NEW: hope*writers Challenge Day One

Like new.
New again.

All words and phrases tumbling around in my head as I try to wrap my brain around what the start of a new year has for me.

As a youngster I found it a bit disappointing that though the fanfare of a new year was big, I woke up January 1 much the same as my December 31 self had gone to bed. Once deemed old enough, I joined in the fun of watching both Guy Lombardo’s New Year’s Eve special and the much cooler New Year’s Rocking Eve hosted by Dick Clark — with whom I was already acquainted from countless Saturday afternoons watching American Bandstand (the only acceptable segue from Saturday morning cartoons).

As an adult, I am still a bit underwhelmed at the reality of awakening New Years Day with any significant change underway. The view from this side is slower to come into focus than I’d probably prefer. I wish I were better at switching gears. Unfortunately, the date on the calendar does NOT make everything I’d like to leave behind in 2019 stay there.

So, if you’re anything like me, you are hopeful and positive about the opportunity to better yourself in this new year.

We may also share things like a broken past, divorce, loneliness, physical and emotional pain, financial struggles, and dreams yet to be realized.

What I am beginning to recognize about myself is a need to ease into the NEW.

For me, it has to be treated like those Sunday Mary Janes I proudly donned, complete with the ruffled socks as a little girl. My mom would make me wear them out onto the sidewalk briefly before that first Sunday debut. I was instructed to shuffle my feet and scratch the bottoms of those slippery, shiny black beauties. I had to break them in to avoid getting blisters or falling down.

My new year is the same. So far, I have chosen my new word, BEHOLD. I’ve been trying it on a little bit each day. I’ve been learning about it, defining it, searching it out in Scripture. I have been watching and seeking.

I started something new for this year.  I am practicing yoga. I am re-teaching myself how to breathe. I am becoming more aware, recognizing what my natural tendencies are and adjusting accordingly.

Two things I cannot do with this new year.

  • I cannot rush it and thereby disqualify myself right out of the gate for not changing fast enough  
  • I cannot allow those things that inevitably dragged themselves into my new year with me be a reason to feel defeated before I begin to employ those changes I am certain God has for me in the next 360 or so days  
Taking time to ground yourself in truth and focusing your gaze is perfectly acceptable at this stage of a new year.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Recognize your limitations.

Set reasonable goals. 
Don’t overdo it. Seek God’s wisdom. 
He wants the very best for you. 
Stay out of His way and let Him drive your new year at His pace. 

Happy New Year! It’s still new, and He promises He’ll make you new, too . . . in His timing. 

Leaving a trail of beauty~



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