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New Year, New Start

“Re-do!” “Do-Over!” Don’t you remember yelling those words as a kid? My cousins and I would play all kinds of games outside, and it seemed like someone was always yelling, “re-do!” It almost became a part of the game itself.

In the 80‘s when we got our first Atari game system, I was determined to master Pac-Mac. So whenever those ghosts got a little out of hand, I just quickly reached over and hit the reset button and a new, undefiled maze would appear.

As a people, we tend to love fresh starts. Here we are at the beginning of a new year, and I’ve got to admit that there is a tingle of excitement that runs through me anticipating all of the possibilities of this next year. And do you know why? BECAUSE I’VE FAILED MISERABLY IN AREAS THIS PAST YEAR!

Did I exercise faithfully in 2015? No. Did I always make healthy eating choices? No. Was I the type of wife that made Ryan want to eagerly rush home to every night? Umm, no. Did I always respond to my children’s misbehavior in a calm, healing voice? Well, I’m not sure that one is EVER going to happen on a regular basis. Did I accomplish everything that I intended to accomplish at the beginning of the year? No. Did I blog consistently since starting this site in June? No, I took a holiday hiatus during November and December with a whopping total of three blogs those months. Geesh.

And most importantly, did I live out my life each and every day as the person God created me to be, responding to every person who crossed my path with the perfect love of Jesus? Unless I want to lie to you, the answer has to be no.

But here’s the beauty of this. Our Father already KNOWS that we are going to mess up. The apostle Paul reiterates this fact found sprinkled throughout the Old Testament when he wrote to the church in Rome saying, “There is no one righteous, not even one.” (Romans 3:10 HCSB)

So what does God do about this fact? He gives us a multitude of do-overs.

At the very beginning of time on this earth when God spoke the Creation as we know it, He initiated reset buttons. Did you realize that as long as we continue to draw breath in our lungs, He gives us a new start to the year over and over again? And if that isn’t enough, He even gives us a new beginning approximately every 30 days that we like to call a new month. And for those of us who tend to crash and burn on a regular cycle (can I get a show of hands), He has blessed us with a fresh new day each morning that we open our eyes.

But above all, God in His deep love for us has not only GIVEN us new starts, He has MADE us into new starts. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 HCSB)

As a woman desperately desiring to live a life that is pleasing to God, yet often falling far short of that goal, I am eternally grateful for God’s grace. This is not a license to freely fail though, for as Paul also said, “What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not!” (Romans 6:1-2a HCSB) But when I DO fail, and unfortunatly I’m sure that I will, I do not have to live in guilt as a slave to sin, for I know that my Father “has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” (Psalm 103:12 NLT)

“Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.” (Hebrews 4:16 HCSB)

Thank you, Father, for fresh starts! Happy New Year!

#forgiveness #disappointment #encouragement #hope

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