Approaching the New Year

approaching the new year

As the year winds down, I’m breathing a sigh of relief. The week in between Christmas and New Years has always held a certain appeal- like a pause after finishing a great conversation and before beginning another. It’s a brief moment to re-group, to reassess priorities, to think about what is important and what really isn’t, to polish off the box of Walkers shortbread cookies before, um…starting a diet of healthier options.

I guess it’s natural to look at the year behind you and the one approaching and weigh the difference: what was good enough to keep? What needs to go? I’m old enough now to know that sweeping changes rarely stick but small adjustments can go along way, much like the occasional chiropractic visits that I enjoyed this year- that’s one practice that’ll stay. Paying better attention to my families health by finding ways to naturally boost our immunity (like actually taking our vitamins! every single day!) is another and we’ll take a few more steps forward in this area. Time for the sugar addiction to go to rehab (re: aforementioned shortbread cookies) and January is as good a time as any.

Additionally, this week has been a time to think about what isn’t working in our schedule and to edit the family calendar. We are still fairly new at homeschooling (officially a year under our belt) but this seems like the right time to nail down a stricter daily schedule. Don’t read too much into this- one of the main draws of homeschooling for me is the flexibility! We do, however, need an actual time to “start” our school day, to be ready to learn, and to dedicate good morning hours when all of our minds are fresh. I also need certain and specific hours to devote to my own classes. We are all students here, metaphorically and literally.

The best part of all this reflection and planning, besides the crisp new agenda (including stickers!) flying its way to me via UPS, is the realization that at this middle-life stage that I inhabit there really isn’t anything major that will find its way to the chopping block. All that is good in my life and worthy of keeping, pursuing, cherishing, has been a gift from the Lord, who is ever-pursuing my heart and affections. He has been and continues to be the perfect Father who runs down the road toward me, arms open, offering a garment of peace to wrap me up in and a ring of familial bond to tie me to Him. What truly matters is beyond the boundaries of time anyway…and the gifts that are precious, yet temporary, can then be held with open hands, saying thank you, and help me to steward this well.

My prayer for you and for me as we step into the New Year is that we seek the Lord for His perspective, for a heart that beats with the rhythm of eternity, for the Church and His Bride to gain wisdom to see that the temporary things are not worth clinging to but like the afflicted woman pressing through the crowd, we would have a determined focus to cling to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. With our foundation set on Jesus, the Solid Rock, we are then free to faithfully attend to the life we are given and trust Him with all of it. Let it be so. xo


Published by Sara Beth Longenecker

Sara Beth Longenecker is a writer and blogger based in Nashville, TN. She helps women sort through the noise of our culture by bringing them truth, beauty, and everyday theology.

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