Before the New Year Begins . . .


The tree has been tossed. And the house stripped of decorations. We are getting up early to let the car run as we scrape off the windshield before heading to work or school. It strikes me as an odd time of year to announce, “hey, let’s change our lives!” But there is something about the shiny new 12 blank months ahead that makes us feel hopeful! If you’re like me, there are things about 2017 I’m quite happy to leave behind. However, for those of us resolution making types I've had a few thoughts:

What if a new year isn’t just about what lies ahead? Perhaps it is also about healing the past so we can move forward intentionally and with deeper purpose?  Or taking time to reflect on the areas or people in our lives we’ve neglected? To clean up the places we try to hide because we fear the changes that may need to happen?

Recently, one thing that hit me hard is that I've been ignoring the health of one of my most cherished relationships. For me, going into 2018 meant finding the courage to have that difficult conversation I’d been putting off. In order to move forward I needed to shine some light into the darkness. It wasn't easy - and somewhat painful - but I am grateful I took that step toward healing. I don’t know what you may need to face. Last year I watched several friends realize they needed to walk away from a toxic relationship. Others quit putting off going back to college and took the academic plunge. Some realized the hard way that they needed rehab. Some told fear to sit in the back seat while they published their first blog. A few took pay cuts to stay home with their kids, or start their dream of owning their own business.

Perhaps this is the year you don't ignore the hard things. Maybe it means having that conversation so healing can take place. Or reaching out to that elderly neighbor you wave to but have never actually had coffee with. Maybe it means volunteering at the non-profit that's been pulling at your heart strings. Or maybe it means self-care: scheduling that getaway your weary soul desperately needs or writing the first pages of the book you've been thinking about. Whatever is holding you back from engaging fully into your life, and the lives of others, I believe you have the strength to shine your light in the dark places so that you can live the simple, good life.

My hope is that as we create new resolutions we can also make peace with the past. And that restoration can begin before the warmth of spring appears. It takes bravery to step into the dark unknown. But I’m confident that you, and I, will be surprised at the light we carry.

Warmth and love,