Do you remember when we were growing up and used to play four-square at recess? There were so many times where I’d do a double bounce and yet because we were all having so much fun someone would say, “Do over!” Or when I served a ball that clearly landed outside the boundary and a kind friend would say, “Do over!” I loved those moments. The ones that kept me in the game even when I deserved to be kicked out.
As I reflect on the past year, I could certainly use a “do over” in different areas–parenting, marriage, even my blogging and design work. There are always mistakes made, but there also somehow seems to be grace in the mix, and I think I feel it the most this time of year–when in the new year I get to shake the dust off my boots (especially the cute ones I just got for Christmas) and receive another chance to do better.
The idea of new beginnings is not new. God set this into the framework of time and space-through the seasons (Earth’s tilt), the new year (Earth’s travel around the sun), and the new day (Earth’s rotation). His word says that he has new mercies waiting for us each and every morning.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Don’t you just love that? Whatever it is that holds us back, that weighs us down, that we wish we had done differently….we get a second chance, and a third, and a fourth. Just like the trees that get the chance to grow taller and stronger with each passing spring, so do we.
So let’s take a deep breath as the new year approaches. In what areas do you want to grow taller and stronger in 2017?
Health? Spirituality? Relationships? Finances? Marriage? Parenting? Work?
Ask yourself some questions:
1. In what part of your life do you want a fresh start?
2. What went well last year that you want to continue?
3. What didn’t?
4. In what areas do you want a “do over”?
Invite God into this process. What work is He doing in you right now? What new adventures is He inviting you to take?
Maybe God is saying, “It’s okay, this is a journey. This will work itself out in time,” or maybe He has been gently convicting your heart for a while now that it’s time for you to take some steps in a better direction.
This process of reflection is so important if we are to move ahead in growth and maturity. Take some time today to write your thoughts down, or find some quiet time to just be still and think.
If you need some help, Michael Hyatt has put together a “Life Assessment” which is a short online questionnaire to help you identify areas of strength and weakness. I took it and it confirmed what I suspected but made it much more real to see it “scored.” I clearly see the areas where I need to set some new goals! There is not a follow up to this survey–the webinar he attached it to is no longer running–I just used it for my own personal assessment:
I love second chances because it means I don’t have to stay stuck. That my mistakes and flops and areas of partial growth do not have to be my only story. I get to write a new chapter this coming year. I get a do-over!
Have a good day my friend!
In my next post I will share some more concrete strategies on how to create New Year Resolutions that stick!
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Also…I created these prayer journals for the Fall. I will be creating a new version for each season of the year. If you are like me and need some structure during your prayer time to keep you focused, you might love one of these. They are a perfect size, to sit on your nightstand, on the table by your favorite chair in the morning, or to drop in your purse. $15, including shipping. Just click here to purchase now!