Of course you do. Most of you are writers and speakers. But I am sure that even those of you who are not still know what I mean.
I seriously thought that this last SDG post of the year was going to be my side-by-side comparison of tissues, but thankfully, my cold has all but fully passed, and I'll suffice it to say that I highly recommend both the Vicks-scented Puffs and the Cool Touch Kleenex. It's nice to have a little variety when all you see in front of you is a tissue for most of the day.
So instead of free advertising for cold-remedy products, instead, I want to offer some encouragement, a prayer, and my heart.
First, I love these words from Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest that I read today:
"At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God's grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday's sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present."This quote reminds me that newness is always possible, and not just because it is the eve of January 1. So often our hearts are filled with possibilities of fresh starts, new beginnings, and a determination to do this one differently. And then, we hear these voices of lies that tell us that it's not possible, that all we have to do is look back at our track record and see all the times we've tried before and failed. Newness and continued, sustained renewal, at least for me, is impossible without God going before me, showing me how to side-step the familiar traps and press on through the hard.
The desire for rebirth is innate with in us because it perpetually draws us closer to the only one who can wash us clean, again and again. And so my encouragement and prayer for you is that the first time you find yourself trapped in the past, mentally or behaviorally, that you realize that God can use that past to push you forth into His newness. To stay in the sticky web of past mistakes and old habits is to believe the liar that speaks to all of us. To get up and try again, even if we mess up the first day of the new beginning, is to continue walking the path of ever needed renewal.
Here's the thing: Any day, any hour, any moment, you can choose to start over and to begin again. This is grace. It doesn't have to be on January 1, or in the morning, or after you do X, Y, or Z. He is always going before you and He is all you need.
And here is my heart: I want this Soli Deo Gloria community to be a source of encouragement and inspiration, a group of women to function together to help each other press into this renewal, this grace, this unconditional love. I want you to be here and be an integral part of how this group functions as a living, breathing community. I don't want anyone to feel ignored. I don't want anyone to feel left out. I want Monday nights to kick off each week as the start of many opportunities to show love to each other.
I'm not sure what changes are ahead, but I'm listening and learning and I'd love to hear your ideas.
Each of you, I carry in my heart. May I be diligent in showing my love to you.
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