I love the first days of a new year, even though I know that we're really only days away from yesteryear. As with birthdays, the "new year" is really just a formality. I don't feel older or more mature or different in any way. But there's something about a crisp calendar, void of scribbled notes and dates in various colors of ink, that energizes me.
I'm not a resolution maker. I haven't pulled out the dumb bells or paid membership at the gym. I haven't even laced up my running shoes much since the temperatures have been bitterly cold. Staying in shape is important to me so I'm not too concerned that I'll turn into a sluggard. I'm probably not going to be any more organized this year than I was before because, while orginazation is good, it's not earth shatteringly good. I've no intention of going gluten free. Gluten doesn't bother me in the least, and there's no way I'm giving up my desserts and even less chance I'll do away with carmel vanilla latte's. But, while I haven't set a New Year's resolution, in the traditional sense, I do look at the uncluttered calendar as a new beginning. It motivates and inspires me to become better in so many areas.
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for that which Christ Jesus has taken hold of me" Philippians 3:12
With each year I become more I appreciative of the old adage "we're never to old to learn." In fact, I think the learning is more substantial now than it has ever been before. I'm not pouring over the school stuff like literature or math or chemistry equations and I haven't taken a written test in a long while. It's the life stuff that I'm learning now, things like: fingerprints on the window are truly beautiful and relationships matter and I need positive people in my life. I'm still being tested but it's over the big things, grown up things. And the big things teach me not to sweat the small stuff.
Recently, my small bible study group has been focusing on "Hospitality : God's Call To Compassion." What we have found is that hospitality, in the scriptural sense, looks very different than how we imagined it to look. It's not about opening our doors but opening our hearts. It's about seeing the needs of those around us, the unlovely, the hurting, the broken and meeting them right where they are.
That's what I most want this year. I want a life style change and I want it to be about people and relationships. I want my eyes to be opened, my ears tuned in to those who are hurting. I want to love more and worry less. I want to guard my tongue and not judge and remember, always, that I can't see the scars on another person's heart. I want to love my husband and my children more completely. I want to step outside of my confort zone for others. I want to be stretched (but not too much). I want to heal a little more from past hurts and I want to forgive more. But I don't want to forget because the remembering gives me more compassion.
I know that I can't do all this learning and changing by myself and I can't do it in just one year. It will take the rest of my lifetime. It will take help from my creator and it starts with knowing Him better and loving Him more.
And here's one of the most beautiful scenes of 2015 so far.
I want to notice more sunsets.
Here's to making changes for life.
God is good, all the time.