The second I open my eyes, I know I'll get up, resisting the pull to stay nestled in my warm bed. The first day of a new year always fills me with anticipation, like waking up on Christmas morning as a child.

A new year. In my mind, I am standing on the brink of a new adventure, about to forge forward into the unknown. Anything could await. Trees wind over the trail, blocking my view from what lies ahead. But this morning I begin the walk.

I am still groggy from a late night and not nearly enough sleep, but for now, some moments of stillness are needed more than a good cup of coffee. I cross the hall to my little brothers' empty room (they're downstairs?) and steal a spot on the end of a bed where I can see right out the window into a snow-globe world.

Snow falls heavy and wet from a softly lit sky, almost in slow-motion. Trees are covered, slim branches leaning from the weight of it. So peaceful. I think about this past year, and pray.

"Father, I want to be so much more for you..."

My heart shrinks back and I feel the weight of all that I am not, all the ways I constantly fail. Fail to do what He has called me to do, to see with the right perspective, to live with purpose and discipline and love. To be faithful. Discouragement begins to settle over me.

I open my eyes and look at the sky. Snow falling, covering the world below. A nudge in my spirit halts the discouraging thoughts streaming through my mind. The snow reminds me of the covering I have in Christ. I linger in this old truth made new again and slowly, joy sweeps in.

Thank you Lord.

I confess my sin, but then I look away from it. No more guilt. I stand before God, because of grace, clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ. He knows my failures, but He doesn't hold them against me. I am perfectly loved, and He is perfectly willing to help me stand and move forward. I am in His grip.

No better way than that to start a new year.


Anna said...

What a lovely post, Stephanie! Such good thoughts at the beginning of the new year.

Edie said...

Excellent writing Stephanie! I can so relate too.

It's good to *see* you again! May He bless you abundantly in the new year!

Much love!!

Stephanie said...

Thank you so much, Anna and Edie! Grace and peace to you both. :)

Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful. :)