Thursday, January 1, 2015

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

One New Year's Eve many years ago, our family sat in a cozy booth at the Cheesecake Factory in Chicago, Illinois.  We were on our way back to Indiana from Minnesota where we had spent the holidays with our families.  I wondered out loud to our children what the next year would bring for our family.  I made a point of saying that some years there are many good things that happen and other years there are hard things that happen.

Several hours later, in the wee hours of the morning we opened the door to our home and it was eerily quiet.  No lights, no buzzing sounds from the furnace or anything else.  It was very cold.  Instinctually, I opened the door to the basement only to find that there was water 3 feet high. I said a bad word and slammed the door.  I went to find my husband but my son who was about 6 and who had a bedroom in the basement got to him first and said "We've lost everything"!

That was not the start to the year that I had hoped for but it was an example that some years are harder than others.  We lived in a hotel for a few days and then there was a lot of work to be done to get everything cleaned up and repaired.  Now, many years later we can talk about that time in our life and look at the good things that came out of it and the memories that were made.

2014 was not my friend.

I've made some choices and people I love have made choices this past year that have affected me and have left me wounded and broken. Let me be clear, my own bad choices are most distressing to me.  

As the year comes to a close, I am hopeful that 2015 can be a year of redemption, new opportunities and incredible spiritual growth. 

I have read this verse in 2 different places recently and feel very strongly about the truth in it.  I want to make it my verse for 2015.

His mercies are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22

"Shake off yesterday’s dust.  Walk into today with forgiveness, grace and joy.  It’s our choice whether or not we receive today as a gift."  Lysa TerKurst

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.  Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.  Lamentations 3:22-23

"Each day begins white as snow.  Each day gives us a do-over.  Each and every day starts with fresh mercy and new grace.  Guilt doesn’t have to enter the picture.  There’s no party to welcome a new day, no sparkly orb or bands playing, no confetti tossed.  New days dawn quietly, simply rolling in unannounced.  Mercy is fresh and still covered in dew while grace, gently, smiles soft in the background of the sunrise.  If we’re too loud, we might miss it; the whispered invitation to a faithful love." Anna Rendell

Isn't that a beautiful, hopeful verse?  I also love the wisdom of the two women who added their thoughts about this verse.

Today is a new day! Please be encouraged my friends that no matter what yesterday may have looked like or felt like for you, today affords us new mercies.

I have not written a list of resolutions because somehow that always ends up making me feel like a failure.  Instead, I have written a letter to God with my prayers for 2015.  I asked him for some big things and I am believing that he will take care of me.

Dear friend, won't you walk with me into this new year seeking God and asking him to change us?  We can thank him in the midst of bad things as well as good.  You do not need to be perfect. Just be your best self everyday and don't beat yourself up when you fail.  Start each day praising God for his unending mercies.  

I've found that when I have people in my life who love Jesus and point me to him, I want to be a better Jesus follower.  Let's be that for each other this year.

Blessings to you as we face whatever 2015 may bring.  To God be the glory!


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