Happy New Year!

“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

~ Lucy Maud Montgomery, Ann of Green Gables

And here it is again … a blank screen.

A whole new year … with no mistakes in it yet.

It’s exciting, isn’t it? Even this year, my forty-something-th. Maybe especially this year, my forty-something-th. Years have a way of disintegrating on us sometimes. Last year did that there at the end, for us. Broken household appliances, disappearing paychecks, family misunderstandings, illnesses … all piled up in the last few weeks. I told my husband that my guess was that 2011 had looked back at 2010, realized that 2010 was way ahead in the “terrible year” department, and decided to make up for it in the few days it had left.

Some years are just like that.

It can get overwhelming sometimes. The enemy wants us to buy his lies; to believe it when he says life will always be falling apart; the economy is a mess and getting worse; there’s no use to hope for things to be any different this year. And isn’t the crux of each of those actually the one major lie that there’s no change coming? That we’re stuck as we are … the ones who can’t get our money together or our act together or our health together or our marriage together or our business together or … or … or.

Anyway, I was more than happy to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a few family traditions … especially that of torching our Christmas tree. I highly recommend this, by the way, to folks who don’t like Christmas in the first place–I’m guessing it would be pretty cathartic! Now personally, I (usually) love Christmas, so for us it’s more just a fun tradition. We roast marshmallows and everything. Well, the big people do. Nicholas mostly lit them on fire, then flung them off the end of the stick randomly so they wound up on everyone’s shoes. This year our tree was a tad on the skinny side. So we didn’t even get a visit from the fire department.

It starts out like this … then rapidly becomes this …

Yup. Higher than the roof. Fun times! Last year, of course, the kids were quite impressed when two fire trucks and several police cars pulled up, saying they’d received reports that there had been an explosion on Henley Rd.

Umm, no. It’s just our tree. Thanks, though.

 

So, as I was saying, I was more than happy to kiss 2011 goodbye, and grateful that if the Lord’s mercies are new every morning, they are surely extra new every year!

A new year, with no mistakes in it yet. A new year, another chance for God to move in my life. More days I can make right choices, set my heart to know Him. To put Him first. To walk in His ways, to let His Spirit live through me, to seek first His Kingdom.

Because here’s the secret we all have to hold onto: we CAN change. Because a creative, living God lives within us, and He is stretching and changing and shaping us new day by day by new, glorious day.

Every year I ask the Lord to give me some insight into what the year might hold; some direction, something to focus on. This year, my word is JOY. And the scripture I’m focusing on, praying over and over …

“Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done … ” Matt. 6:10

Now, if that’s not a recipe for a great New Year, I don’t know what is.

 

 

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