Almost There! A New Beginning…

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Happy New Year’s Eve!  We are on the cusp of something great–a new beginning.  A new year, a fresh start, a time to take one glance back and then turn our heads forward, peering into the blank canvas of a new year.

This past year may have been harder than others, with unexpected disappointments that still sting.  Or maybe for you it was the climbing out of the valley, a mountain-top year full of ease and peace.

Either way, hopefully we have grown a little, learned from our mistakes and difficulties, found wells of gratitude to dip from, found rest in the joyful, and can now walk through 2015 with whatever it brings, stronger, wiser, and more confident in God’s purpose for our days.

When we walk through life with God, open to his calling of our time and our talents, we can live to our fullest, our happiest.  We can weather the trials because we know God has much to teach us through them.  They are a pruning for a flourishing that would never exist without the cutting back.

Where will we flourish this year?

How will we use our time and talents for God?

Lisa Terkeurst expresses beautifully a framework to enter this year:

“In God’s plan you have a part to play. If you know it and believe it, you’ll live it.  You’ll live your life making decisions with the Best Yes as your best filter.  You’ll be a grand display of God’s Word lived out.  Your undistracted love will make your faith ring true.  Your wisdom will help you make decisions that will still be good tomorrow.  And you’ll be alive and present for all of it.” (The Best Yes, p. 6)

To be present in our life–what a great gift for ourselves and those around us–letting go of the past, not fearing the future.  Just living for today, in the moment with all God has for us!  Today we say goodbye to 2014, and hello to a new year~let us rejoice and be glad in it.

 

 

 

Do You Need A New Beginning?

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This is the time of year where I have to exert the most self-control—Easter candy is my weakness.  Somehow the combination of pure sugar (jelly beans) and melt-in-your-mouth-chocolate (Hershey’s Eggs) just does me in.

I love the candy, but I also love the holiday.  Furry and chocolate bunnies (hopefully not the same) aside, Easter signifies a season of hope and renewal.  It comes a few days or a few weeks after the first day of spring, which naturally speaks of rebirth, new growth, and life.  Just like the resurrection of Christ.  The death of Jesus on the cross reflects many hefty themes, such as triumph over sin, God’s love for his people, and the significance of the empty tomb, but the one theme that speaks most to me this Easter season is:

A New Beginning

 

For it is with the death of Christ that all of humankind was given a chance for a new beginning  in a relationship with God.

Why are new beginnings important to me?  Because we all need them.  They signify a second chance, a fresh start, a life to be lived in the full.  God is our second chance.  It is through a relationship with Him that we will find the perspective and strength for the new day.

What do you want to begin anew in your life?

A renewed committment to your marriage?  A new beginning in your faith?  A new life breathed into your career?  A renewed spirit during a time of long-suffering?  A new hope and effort toward healing a strained relationship?  A new beginning for something that ended in a difficult way?

Our God is a God of second chances, because He is always pursuing us, hoping we will take Him up on His offer for a new beginning.

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Easter symbolizes a new beginning for me, a reminder again of what I know:

that daily I will fail but I am forgiven,

that yearly I will see God’s plan play out in my life,

and for eternity I will walk with Him in paradise.

 

In his final moments of life, Jesus surrendered himself for our sin, paying the price so that we have a clean slate before God, if we choose to accept this gift of his son, the gift of a new life.

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Will you celebrate this Sunday new beginnings with me?

…And then begin a new diet with me after my Easter candy epic splurge?

New Beginnings

Written By Amy

After the flurry and excitement of Christmas, there is a lull of quiet during the shift from one year to the next. One stretch of life sheds its old and weary skin, and a new fresh skin emerges as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.  There is something I just love about a new year beginning.  Something inside my soul swells with gratitude that I have another chance for a fresh start at life.

 

For me, January is a time to figure out who I want to be this next year. I have this small window before the rush of life carries me away to reflect and decide what I want to do better.  This always includes spiritual renewal for me, probably the thing I get most excited about having another chance at.  I get to stand before my heavenly Daddy and say, “God, how can I grow closer to you?  What new habits can I develop in this new year that will cause me to know you on a deeper level, to see your footprint in my life?”  I usually buy myself a new Women’s Devotional and look forward to gleaning wisdom from the pages.  I also renew my prayer life, and find myself carving out space in my life to sit before my God and share my life with him.

January 1st is my husband’s and my anniversary.  We have now been married 18 years.  I am blessed to be married to my best friend, and we continue to grow and learn how to be married well.  On this anniversary, Jon and I get to put away the “growth opportunities” of the past year and look forward to a new season of plans and hopes and just simply doing life.  Only a few days ago I was tired and felt encumbered by the stresses of this past year, but suddenly today, with the hands of the clock turning over to a new year, I feel lighter and have a new bounce in my step to rise to a better place in my character. How can I be a better wife?  What stubborn prideful controlling parts of me that reared their ugly heads last year can I subdue in the name of marriage and love and maturity?  What is God gently whispering to me in this area of my life?

There is so much more of my life to reevaluate, but I will be working that out in the quiet corners of my heart.

What does this time mean for you?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”        2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

I am excited for the theme that Jen and I are going to explore this month on our blog.In case you missed it yesterday, our theme comes from a Benjamin Franklin quote “…how to be a better man (woman, child, person!).”  We are going to take a close look at a passage in Romans which shares so much wisdom to help us grow into the people God desires us to be.  It is in this growth that we find peace, joy, and contentment.

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