Happy New Everything

Another year is fresh before us, full of excitement, anticipation, hope, and motivation. For what, though?

Yesterday I had to be at church early to sing. A late night in combination with a head cold and an early morning had me sounding a little like Jack Nicholson after a long drag of a cigarette. I didn’t think I could pull off a morning of singing.

I drove to church, continuously trying to clear my throat, and watching the peaceful frozen, frosty flakes of morning falling to the ground. I had arrived early, so admired the morning flurry and the strange beauty it gave the bare trees. I started praying an earnest, overflowing prayer.

I sense it, y’all. This is the year. This is the year I didn’t even know I’ve been waiting for. I have no idea what it holds, but I know I’m ready. I have to be. Happy new everything.

After rehearsal and some coffee, my voice started to turn around and I sounded like myself again. I made it through church and as Hubs took the kids home to get them fed, I detoured to the cemetery.

I wasn’t going to go. It’s a hard line to walk sometimes, wondering if I’m doing the right thing by going. If I go too long between visits, I’m pained with guilt. If I go too often, I feel like I’m a bit needy. So I try to balance my time there, to where I won’t feel anything other than like a loving mother.

I wasn’t going to start my year with the mental battle of what a visit after church would make me feel like, though. So I wasn’t going to go. But I felt this urgent need that could only be met by a cemetery visit. I made the drive down the snow-covered street, turning in through the looming iron gate, and down the path to her spot.

I sat there, silently wishing her a happy new year. “Get out of the car.” I felt my spirit nudging me. But I was wearing church shoes, and nothing at all appropriate for snow-traipsing.

“Get out of the car.”

I hesitated. Eventually, I got out of the car and walked gingerly over the snow to her spot. Her angel solar light and purple metal flower were marking her headstone beneath the snow. I stood there, unsure of why I felt such a need to go visit, then to get out of the car.

“It’s your year, Mama.”

My stomach fluttered. I know, I feel it, too. But Harlynn… We might move. Far away, even. It’s a possibility.

Tears stung my face as the wind hit them rolling down my cheeks. This was why I was supposed to come. I had to reconcile the possibilities of our future with the events of our past, and the reality of our present.

I can’t take it all with me. And that has to be okay.

I wrestled with that, standing there at her gravesite. It’s become a comfortable spot – a place where I know I’m allowed to let any overflow grief work itself out. No one can judge me if I cry while standing at her headstone.

But it’s a new season. It’s a new year. It’s a new everything.

I have to find a new way.

“Happy new year, baby girl.” I blew her a kiss before carefully making my way back to the car. I drove through the cemetery, feeling less weighty. I wished the deer a happy new year, as they bedded in the trees. I wished the turkeys a happy new year as they strutted across the lanes. I wished the squirrels a happy new year as they scampered around.

Back through the iron gates, I drove away in a state of wonder.

What does it mean? When will it happen? How will we know?

I don’t know what this year holds. I know what I want to happen. I know what could happen. I know what might not happen, or what we might have to do instead.

I don’t have a single answer, and I don’t have even the slightest semblance of a plan.

But I know the start of this year means the start of a new everything.

Whether we move away, or stay nearby… whether we pursue big dreams or baby steps… whether my business succeeds a lot or only a little… nothing this year will stay the same as it always was.

The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. ~ John 10:10

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland. ~ Isaiah 43:19

I’m trusting the Lord in a way I haven’t before, and in a way I can’t rightly put words to explain. He’s going to make all things new. This year especially. I feel it.

Happy new year. Happy new everything.

This is the year…

We’re already a week into the new year and I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact another year has come and gone. I don’t understand how time seems to maintain two polar speeds, simultaneously. It flies by, yet moves at a snail’s pace. I wonder where it went while also wondering how much longer until the next thing…

I haven’t had to write any checks yet, so I haven’t messed up on the date, though I’m sure it’s coming. No matter how many scribbles I draw through a wrong date or how confused I am over the speed at which time does or doesn’t pass, there is no denying we are in a new year.

So! Here’s to…..well, here’s to what?

This isthe Year

This is the year. Of course there’s no guarantee on time. I can’t say anything or claim anything with absolute certainty. I might meet my end before I can even hit the publish button on this post. I won’t let that limit my dreaming, though.

It’s important to look forward. To have vision. To plan. It’s important to know what you’re working toward and to motivate yourself to make that work worthwhile. If you believe, as I do, we serve the God of life ~ not just because He put air in our lungs and a beat in our chest, but because He sent His Son to free us from the penalty of sin so we might know and embrace LIVING ~ give yourself the freedom to dream. If the joy of the Lord is your strength, then embrace that joy. Live it. Live. Dream. Plan. Look forward.

This is the year I’ll dream. This is the year I’ll allow myself to trust God has more in mind for me than what I’m doing. (Proverbs 29:18) This is the year I’ll trust Him to take the next step, no matter how far away it is from the step I’m currently standing on. This is the year I’ll follow His call.

This is the year I’ll lean not on my own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5) This is the year I won’t limit myself, and in that same vein, limit what God is trying to do. This is the year I’ll be his child instead of his warden. (Matthew 18:3) This is the year I’ll seek Him first instead of seeking reasons to explain why it won’t. Or can’t. Or shouldn’t. (Matthew 6:33) This is the year I’ll open the door when He knocks. (Revelation 3:20)

This is the year I’ll trust His timing, no matter how long it takes. (2 Peter 3:8) This is the year I’ll remember what great things He has done for me. (1 Samuel 12:24) This is the year I’ll be a better neighbor. Citizen. Person. (Matthew 22:36-40)

This is the year.

This is the year I live for Him, rather than in spite of Him. This is the year I embrace who I was created to be rather than chase an image I was never meant for. This is the year I shed pounds and pounds and pounds of needless weight I’ve been carrying for years, placed on my shoulders as the burdens I refuse to lay down. This is the year I live for the right now, rather than for the worry of the what was.

I don’t know what this year has in store for you. I don’t know what you’re trying to overcome from last year. Or years long past. But I do know this can be your year, too. This can be the year.

This can be the year you do what you’ve always dreamed of. This can be the year you lose weight – and not necessarily from the spare tire around your waist, but from the burden(s) you carry. Unforgiveness. Doubt. Self-condemnation.

This can be the year you become free.

This is the year for me. Will it be your year, too?