A Fresh Start

In a lot of ways, I love the start of a new year – a fresh beginning, a clean slate, another chance to do things I want to do in the ways I know they need to be done.

It’s that time of year where it’s so cold the fresh eggs freeze,
and a homemade latte is the best way to warm yourself up.

New Year, Old Problem

This year, however, I went into the new year opposite of fresh, as I’ve been suffering from a long stretch of insomnia.

While tired, I go to bed but am unable to fall asleep. When I finally do drift off, I’m unable to stay asleep, waking in the early, pre-dawn hours. Sometimes I wake and fall asleep several times, sometimes I lie awake for several hours and cannot get back to sleep.

When morning comes, rather than feeling fresh or rested, I feel more tired than the day before.

On New Year’s Day, I was flat-out exhausted.

I didn’t want that to prevent me from experiencing that fresh start to a new year, however. I powered through in a few ways.

Fast and Pray

As I’ve done for the last few years, I spent most of the day fasting and praying. I have found that starting a new year, intentionally seeking what the Lord has in store, has never been a bad idea.

On January 1st, 2020, it was that fasting and praying that allowed me to hear the Lord impress upon me, “This is your year to prepare.” I didn’t know what for, but I started moving forward in obedience to that. And boy, am I glad I did.

This year, as I drank my coffee and watched yet another beautiful sunrise, the answer to my prayer came more quickly than in years prior. I didn’t hear a phrase or a sentence this time. I heard one word, and upon hearing it, I knew immediately what was meant.


Not the kind of care as in heed, or show interest in. I knew when I heard “care” it was in the nurturing sense. Provide care. Love on, be gentle, nurture.

Once I heard that answer – that word – I began to pray for the Lord to show me ways I could start doing that immediately. I asked for a fresh perspective on what I needed to change about my habits or behaviors or thoughts, how I could show care to my family, who I needed to care for outside of my family.

I’m telling you, fasting and praying is the real deal. There’s a reason it’s discussed several times in the Bible.

Surprise Snooze

As the day drew on, I grew more exhausted. Around lunch time, as I was baking pumpkins to get them off my counter, I fell asleep at the kitchen table.

That might be a first.

After the pumpkins were situated and I had table marks on my face, I thought I would do a self-care, to continue the new year rolling in the right direction.

I took a hot epsom salt bath, followed by a quick shower, followed by a second nap. This time, I laid down and used an actual blanket, instead of falling asleep in a chair with my face on our dining table.

The second nap was better.

It was a slow-paced, yet productive day. It was absolutely a fresh start to a new year, and I was so thankful. My heart was full, my eyes were less heavy, and I had a focus for the year ahead.


Fresh Fruit

We’re only a few days into the new year, but so far to “care” for my family has been to breathe deep and count to three before I respond when things go awry.

It’s been to wash the dishes willingly and gladly rather than resentfully.

To care has been to gently remind instead of harshly point out things forgotten or missed.

It’s meant saying “yes” just because, even though my default is “no, because ___”.

And a few days in, there is already fruit. A few mornings now, my son has gotten out of bed, walked to his desk (that he moved from his bedroom to the homeschool area) and started in right away on schoolwork, without being asked or prompted.

Little Miss has helped out in the kitchen without slumping her shoulders or saying, “I guess…” through an exasperated sigh when asked.

It seems like simple, little things, but they’re making a big difference.

This is why it’s important to seek a “fresh” start from the Provider of new beginnings. He makes all things new – including ways you show care to your family.

Or ways you prepare. Or ways you forgive.

His mercies are new every morning, and that is one fresh start I can take to the bank.

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