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Every year at this time, we get ready for fresh starts – physically, spiritually and emotionally we make mental and literal lists of the things were going to change over the coming calendar year. It usually looks a lot like this:
Read my BIble more.
Drink more smoothies.
Read more, watch less TV.
Learn to play the guitar.
Pray more, worry less.
Less of some stuff and more of others. Either way, it stresses me out!
Some years my list is so big my anxiety skyrockets with feeling the pressure to achieve more.
Ever had a to-do list so big that you just don’t even know where to start?Fresh starts are a lot like rainbows on a stormy day. Click To Tweet
Why do we do this to ourselves every stinkin’ year? We beat ourselves up making the list and then beat ourselves up even more when we don’t achieve it. We literally set ourselves up for failure. It’s so unhealthy, but I often think the resolution process is our feeble attempt at controlling an unknown future.
God holds our future in the palm of His hand.
Sometimes an unknown future can seem so overwhelming! But if there is anything I’ve learned over the past few years in all the highs and lows of a failed adoption and marriage craziness, is to just learn to focus on what is in my control. Which honestly isn’t too much! But I can learn to enjoy the moment I’m in.
Fresh starts allow us to reset and focus on what matters.
So often I have missed out on the joy of the present because I’m too focused on worrying about what comes next. I love that we have a great mighty God who knows how it all works out in the long run.
The apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians that God has the future all sorted out. I don’t know about you, but that gives me great comfort. It calms the anxiety monster within me down too!
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.Philippians 1:6 NLT
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
I love that! So often I get paralyzed with fear and don’t even take a step because I can’t see what comes next. It robs me of the joy in the moment and leaves me feeling defeated and overwhelmed. I don’t want to live like that anymore. Do you?
Fresh starts allow us to choose to be intentional.
Are you setting any goals or resolutions for the new year? Focusing on a word or Scripture verse to help ground you? I’ve learned over the years that lists and resolutions don’t work for me. More often than not, neither does focusing on a word.
My goal is to enjoy the present moment and focus on whatever task is before me. So often I’m managing too many projects at once. It flares my anxiety, which leads to overwhelm. Then the perfectionist monster in me rears her ugly head and makes me feel like I’ve failed before I even get out of the gate! It’s so self-defeating! That’s why it’s important to evaluate fresh starts in faith, work, marriage or other areas of your life.
I love this thought from C.S. Lewis:
Find something that allows you to thrive this year. Be intentional! Pick a word, a phrase, a Scripture verse, or something else that’s small, but manageable. Focus on things that bring you joy. Do more of what you love. Find ways to implement healthy self-care. Spend more time with Jesus.
Fresh starts allow us to stay in the present moment.
If you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus this year, I guarantee you will be in for a great adventure! Make sure you take time to enjoy the ride!
My prayer for you this year is so beautifully summed up by the apostle Paul:
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13 NLT
Let’s overflow with the Holy Spirit this year!