2018 has arrived and I have no goals or resolutions. I haven’t done the big introspective dive to discern any future decisions or prepare for the new year. Perhaps if the new year started on the first day of summer, I might be more inclined to invest in the reflection-resolution quest…
But someone somewhere thought it necessary to begin a new year after the hoopla of the holidays, which to me is downright malicious. Who has the energy to do all that inner work, when we moms are inundated in the confines of our homes with #allthingskids and the chaos and clutter #allthingskids brings. The holiday break, full of its relentless messes, feeding frenzies, and destruction of the systematic structure that was built with our bare, bleeding, chapped hands, is surely not the time to do any sort of evaluation of Any. Thing.
First, let me finish taking down the decorations, put the remaining gifts away, and for all that is Holy, let me drink my cup of coffee in peace, mkay?
I finally get to sit here in an empty quiet house, coffee in hand, typing on these old familiar keys. Ah… I take in a long peaceful breath and I whisper a sweet “Hallelujah”. If you are still breathing after the long Christmas break, I’m sure you’re singing some praises too. Let’s be honest here folks, it’s all about survival from Thanksgiving to about now, amiright?
Don’t get me wrong. There are many magical moments that rise up out of the craziness and there are glorious gatherings and fun filled events and all the cute performances that we record. There’s the decorating and cookie baking and anticipation of it all that can be quite exhilarating if you let it.
And of course, being a woman of faith- I cherish the Holiness of it all. The promise of that Babe in the manger, and the hope of Heaven on earth. But if I were to be real with you, the sacred sometimes gets squashed in the madness. I mean, you’d think you’d find it in church, and then you are forced to sit in the overflow room of the overflow room of the sanctuary- with about 30 other people watching tv and that just doesn’t seem to do it for me.
But I’ve never really been one to find it on THE day the calendar tells me to, anyway. I often fall to my knees in the oddest of moments at the most random of times. It’s as if The Holy Spirit swoops in and pours through my body when I least expect it, and God’s presence is so pure and profound- it could be nothing of my own nature. Oh, do I love when that happens.
And if I quiet myself enough… it happens more.
Makes sense, right?
How is God supposed to get your attention if you aren’t paying attention?
So onward we go, into 2018.
I usually am a deep thinker, a true believer, a passionate dreamer. This is where I would give my first fresh, inspirational ditty of 2018 for you, my dear reader, to soak up, take in, and perhaps be moved in some possible way.
But kind of like Christmas in a supplemental to the supplemental tv room at church, I’m just not feelin’ it.
This new fresh start into 2018 doesn’t feel, well, fresh. It feels rather blah, uninspired.
I could blame allthethings going on in our world, because my gosh, there’s so much. I could blame the bitter freezing temps that make me want to curl up in a ball and tell my kids we are quitting school and all sports and activities and hunkering down until spring. I could blame the sheer exhaustion from parenting two kids that never quit needing things, like food and clean clothes and new underwear and acne cream and haircuts and rides to everywhere 34 times a day. Perhaps it could be that I’m just not sure what the year will hold for me, for you, for our world- and that alone is unsettling at best.
But I don’t blame any of those things, really.
I blame my heart.
It needs a good cleansing, I’m afraid.
It needs new life. new light, new hope.
I need to crack off the crust, dust off the dirt, wipe off the waste, and purify my heart with new life, new light, new hope.
I’m ready for it. I need it. Do you too?
There are four things we can do to clean up our hearts. And I’m hoping with that comes new life, new light, new hope.
They aren’t complicated, but they take intention, sacrifice, and heart work.
- Pray more. If there’s anything that can still a soul, and stir a heart with passion and purpose- it’s prayer.
- Be present. Be deeply aware of the people you love. Look into their eyes, listen to their words, notice their needs.
- Don’t pretend. Own your truth. Be you. Don’t try to be someone else. Drop the facade, it doesn’t fit well on the real you.
- Help someone. Carry a burden, lighten a load, do a favor, make a meal, write a note, hold a hand, run an errand, make that call. Be willing to sacrifice for others and reap the reward in doing good… Often.
There’s so much more we could do, but I think this is a good start. Don’t you?
CHEERS my beautiful friends.
Here’s to a New Year and a working on having a Fresh Clean Heart in 2018.