New Beginnings

Happy New Year, Everybody! I would say I can’t believe it’s 2014 but you’ve heard that probably 1001 times today already! I’m thinking about that Bible verse that tells us that “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” That’s Isaiah 1:18, the Lord talking through Isaiah. I’m thinking about it today, the first day of 2014, because I always feel that a new year gives us that chance to start over, write a fresh page, make wrongs right. Only the bountiful, patient God of heaven and earth can give us the ability to start anew, make changes we want to make. We can try on our own. But we’ll bog down without Him. At least that’s my experience!

As the black eyed peas simmer on the back of the stove and I prepare to steam cabbage and cook the rice, I’m reminded of something one of my grandchildren asked me over Christmas. William, whose ten today, said, “Nana, what are some of your traditions for New Year’s Day?” so many answers came to mind that before I could sort through them and give him a good answer he was in the yard throwing a football. So I lost that moment. But I do have some traditions: taking down the Christmas tree, putting away the precious crèches, and packing away the lovely Christmas linens for another year. Also, we usually watch our favorite football team (Georgia, who just lost to Nebraska!), and we eat those peas for peace, rice for riches (Ha!), and hog jowl for joy (thank goodness there are other ways of receiving joy!) Usually we take a walk too, but today the rain has discouraged that.

Charles and I start every day with a devotional but we had a nice, extra long one this morning because he’s not the veterinarian taking emergency calls today. We started a new book he received written by Rick Warren and others on “The Daniel Plan.” We are committing at least to read the book and find out what it’s all about–a diet that’s not just a diet, but exercise, spiritual growth, the whole nine yards of Christian stewardship. One line sticks out to me from what we read: God created us and we are His, so it matters very much what we do with His creation, our bodies!

One New Year’s Day Papa and Mama Graham were having dinner with us. A neighbor of theirs twenty-five miles away called and said his sixty cows were out all over the Merrillville community. Papa, Charles, and our son William all hurried away and our dinner had to wait. Another time on this beginning day we woke to the sound of puppies crying. Our dog had had eleven offspring under the house during the night! Another time was so tragic because Charles’ beloved Aunt Josephine was killed on her way to work that New Year’s Day.

Share with me your traditions and maybe some significant New Year’s Day from the past.

And have a Happy New Year!

 

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