Begin with a Fresh Start

My family is at winter camp this week as we bring in the new year.  And by winter camp, I mean that it is about 11 degrees (with a -20 windchill) and 4 feet of snow!  We realized, as AJ was crying with snow up to his ears, that our children have never really been around snow!  Oh my…what an introduction it has been!

As I watch out the window, I see beautiful white snow.  It has transformed this land into a winter wonderland and brings with it a calm hush.  It is pure.  It is quiet.  It is inviting the earth below to began again.  Calling for a fresh start.

Just like the earth, covered in snow, I am longing for a fresh start.  In this new year, I have so many areas that I am laying before my Heavenly Father.  Praying for His covering of purity.  His covering of calm.

Rather than declaring resolutions, that just bring expectant pressure and stress of failure, I am choosing intentional simplicity.  I know areas in my life that need change.  But I have no successful resolve in my own nature.  I have stored up intentions.  I have failed attempts.  I have the sting of last year’s struggles.

It is GOD that brings a fresh start.  He has faithful promises.  He has forgiveness.  He has new beginnings.  He takes my intentions, my attempts, and my struggles.  He covers them with Himself.  He invites me to participate in the beautiful exchange that makes intentional simplicity possible.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lordthough your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

There is nothing pure or white within myself.  I have sin that needs forgiven.  I have burdens I need to lay down.  I need purity that is like fresh snow or that of a lamb’s wool without blemish.  I do not want anything separating the Lord and I.

How would you like this year to begin?  What would you like to have distinguishable in the year of 2015?

As we open up new calendars, let us remember that God uses the earthly times and seasons that are set up, but He is not bound by them.  He is waiting.  He is longing for us to start this new year clean and forgiven, ready to walk in the good works He has prepared.

“For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

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