Beginning, again.

I have a little time this morning, so I thought I would write. I hope you haven’t given up on me by now!

It’s always in December that I find myself reflecting back on the past year. Of course Facebook has some fancy little app where you can view your “20 biggest moments of 2012”. By the looks of it, I’m assuming this is based on the number of photos posted or comments on some random status. As I glance over my 20 things again, I can’t say that they are all that accurate. There might be two of the 20 that I would include in my own list. I guess it just goes to show that what we put out there on the interwebs for all to see does not necessarily represent what is actually going on in our lives… or at least what is significant. Maybe this is a good thing… because who really wants to see the unflattering, messy stuff anyway? On the other hand, if you are anything like me, it leaves us feeling like everyone else has their lives together and we must be the only one who doesn’t… the only one who makes mistakes, who has bad hair days, who says the wrong things, or who could possibly feel this way.lightflower

The truth is 2012 was a hard year for me… one of the hardest that I can remember. Things are not always how they seem to be on the outside… and I am no exception. When I look back, I honestly don’t know where the time went and sometimes I feel like I was a stranger in my body… disconnected and going through the motions. I am more than aware of how imperfect and how capable of sin I am. I am also incredibly humbled by the grace of God and of those who know me better than Facebook.

“A certain darkness is needed to see the stars.”

I love this quote and I believe it’s true that dark times have a way of allowing us to see light. They have a way of making us desperate for the things that matter, and of showing us the people in our lives who are truly there. It is only by falling that we can learn to get up. So, even as I think about how hard 2012 has been, I can’t help but be grateful. I can’t help but see the ways that God has been there, even when I have not reached out or felt his presence, or the ways in which he is redeeming things in my life.

For me and many others I’m sure, it is very common to make resolutions this time of year. While I am not at all against making goals, I know from experience that we often set ourselves up for failure… we get discouraged when things don’t go exactly as we hoped or planned, and instead of trying again, we give up. I read a blog post this morning that really resonated with me and gave me peace on this topic and going into the new year. The author gave only one bit of advice, “Begin, again.”

Because she says it better than I could, I’m just going to quote her and I hope you’ll stay with me, as I know this is getting long…

“We are not locked into our maniacal craziness. We are not bound to our small ways. We are actually, through the grace of God, free. So we can stop. Our minds. Our mouths. Our hand-wringing. And we can decide to begin again . . .

In our marriages
In our parenting
In our sobriety
In our creating
In our forgiveness
In our attitude
In our thankfulness
In our meditation
In our anger management
In our health pursuits
In our time outdoors
In our desire to read more
In our hopes to cook a real meal every now and again.

If today, if this hour, if this year has not been what you had hoped, you can begin again. And, in fact, if today, if this hour, if this year was perfect. You still—must—begin again. We must wake up and choose to live in each minute, each day, each year. Moment by moment. Beginning again.

We must choose to love, to create, to breathe, to return, to quiet down, to believe. Over and over again. So, if I can gently suggest, perhaps don’t bite off the entire year in one overly-ambitious, shame-inducing list. Perhaps, commit to one thing: Beginning again.” -Leeana Tankersley

It is so good, I’m stealing it for myself! Beginning again. This is what I am doing in 2013… perhaps every day, and being ok with it. Starting over isn’t for sissies, and having grace with yourself and others is often times much harder than quitting or giving up on someone. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to take the easy way. So come at me 2013… I’m ready for you!