Wishing You a Happy New Year — All Year Long

What’s the expiration date on New?

The minute a new car leaves the lot, it becomes a used car. Christmas toys, not yet a week old, have already lost some of their holiday shine. Can we still say “Happy New Year” on January 10? February 1?

Just how long does it take for New to become Same Old-Same Old?

Not long, I fear. For as much hope and promise and anticipation we place on the New, discouragement is quick to set in, leaving us looking for the Next New Thing. Or we wait for time’s built-in reset button to feel hopeful again – a new year, new month, new week, new day.

But scripture tells us over and over that God is in the ReNewing Business.

ReNew. New now. And again now. And now.

New — over and over. Moment by moment.

“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

“Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:31)

“Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)

So you know when you can be New? Right now! Which means each MOMENT is a new year, a new you, a new taste of grace. Let’s drink it up in 2012!

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

My Year of Imperfection

2011, among other things, has been my the year of my Gifts of Imperfection Project, reading slowly through Brene Brown’s beautiful “Guide to a Wholehearted Life” and learning to “Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.”

Reflecting on each of Brown’s guideposts, based on extensive research on the common denominators among those who are living Wholeheartedly, my heart is filled to see progress in myself in these areas.

In short, the key to wholehearted living, Brown says, “Means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

I am no less imperfect than I was in January. But far more wholehearted. And I have been blessed beyond measure by the gifts of being willing to be imperfect — or, rather, embracing the imperfection.

  • Compassion: Most fully for myself – the toughest critic in my life BY FAR. The scolding school marm is not so loud in my head. She’s learning grace.
  • Courage: When you begin to realize that God only made one you and he made you perfectly imperfect in all the right ways, it’s so much easier to reach higher, jump farther, try MORE. I am SO grateful for the journey courage took me on in 2011.
  • Connection: When you finally let your real self be seen, others will show you their real selves, too. And then you get to be real together. And THAT is a very special gift, indeed!

So how about you?

Are you ready to embrace your imperfection and begin living a Wholehearted Life. No matter where you are in life – what you have done, or not done; no matter what you think you need to ‘fix’ before you start, I can assure you there is only one best time to start. Now.

“The best time to plant a tree is 100 years ago. The 2nd best time is today.” (Chinese Proverb)

Book Review: Healing is a Choice

There is always a choice. The choice to give up or keep going. The choice to complain about a situation or change it. The choice to have faith or try to do it all on your own. In Healing is a Choice, author Stephen Arterburn presents 10 Lies that we tend to believe and the 10 Choices that can change everything! For example… Big Lie: “I must protect myself from any more pain” is really a CHOICE to live in predictability rather than leaping in faith and Chosing to Risk. Simple concepts. Powerful distinctions.

This revised and updated edition includes a full workbook within the context of each chapter. Unlike many guides that get hidden away in the back, this format encourages — nearly forces — the reader to consider the personal application of each choice. I applaud that choice since it useful for both group and personal study and it provides the immediate tools to examine the choices I make based on these lies. It’s not a simple or comfortable process, but healing means cleaning wounds, and this book is poised to be a wonderful, though sometimes painful, cleanser for those willing  to Choose healing.

This is one of those books you are likely to return to again and again, for one section or another, as life throws various forms of pain and suffering your direction. It is one I will keep on my shelf as a ready reference for a long time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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