I love the start of new things.
I love mornings. I love Mondays. I love the first of the month. And I love the new year.
These represent, to me, the start of something new. It’s like I get another chance to start over.
My favorite passage of Scripture is Ephesians 2, especially verse 1-4 :
“Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.[a] He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) “
New seasons are reoccurring ‘but God’ moments. I get a glimpse of His grace every morning, every week, every month, and every year.
My schedule is typically pretty crazy, so I have to write down everything on my Google calendar to keep all my ducks in a row. The cool thing about that is that every year, I can go back, look over it, and remember most of the events, meetings, and moments of the past four seasons.
As I looked at my calendar, there were moments I smiled at and moments that brought back emotions I’m not sure I was ready to feel again. With that said, I’m not sure there was one moment I could emphasize as its highlight, but there was a theme: grace.
Jesus taught me how to embrace grace and dish it out like crazy in 2017.
When I messed up or made a mistake, I wasn’t so hard on myself this year. In fact, grace motivated me to be better. I’m reminded of Paul’s words to the Romans, “Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!” Grace didn’t make me lazy – it made me more intentional.
I performed better at work because I knew I was doing my best. I knew that I worked hard and I did what I could. I was more satisfied, and I didn’t need anyone’s approval. Grace reminded me that I get to do what I do. I don’t deserve it. I didn’t earn it. I was gifted it.
And when you realize how much you’ve been given – it changes the game in your relationships with others. Understanding grace has helped me to be more patient with the folks that I get to love on and disciple. It didn’t bother me as much if they didn’t respond well to something I said or did. I’m doing it because of grace.
2017 helped me to learn to breathe.
2018 will be all about creating space for that to continue.
Minimalism is a trend right now; I normally ignore trends but I was intrigued by this one. I watched a documentary on Netflix and started to watch different video blogs about people who decided to give this lifestyle a try. To me, minimalism is not about finding happiness because my joy has already been found in Jesus. Minimalism is about choosing to live simply to create more space in order to enjoy the presence of Jesus.
I want there to be more space in my house for people to come and enjoy each other and Him. I want there to be more space in my head and heart so that I can really hear Him when He speaks. I want there to be more space in my schedule so that I can be present in every moment.
To be honest, I have no clue what this will look like. I’m not throwing away all my stuff. I’m not building a tiny house. I just want to create more space for Jesus to do what He wants in and through me.
How are you creating more space in the next twelve months for God to move and live in your life?
Happy New Year Hopers!