A New Year?

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2017.

Just like that, the clock ticks, the bell chimes and the new year slips right in. Not with loud fan fair, or much celebration – but another moment in time. Another hour, another day, another year. Just when I was sweeping up the memories, both happy and sad, of 2016 – 2017 just waltzed right in.

How did that happen?

You might be ready to be rid of 2016. Perhaps it included loss, pain and  unfulfilled dreams – for you that door can’t close fast enough on the year, can it? I know. I know that sense of closure needed to move forward and beyond what was, hoping for what’s to come. I’ve had many years where I slammed that door shut myself.

So, here we stand, on the cusp of a year not yet lived. What do you long for in this year? I know what I do. I can speak it faster than you process your own thoughts. I’ve been kicking around stones on a new path, following it, even as it’s windy roads keep me in circles sometimes. I am ready. So ready – for 2017.

How about you?

Are ready to breathe in new life into your own? Are you ready to lay aside your pain, your anxiety and sense of hopelessness? Taking a hard look at who you are and how you live your life. Knowing with strength and certainty that you are worth each moment that this year will bring you.

If there is one truth to grab ahold of as you start this new year, it’s that you are worth every moment you give to yourself. Don’t doubt it. Don’t deny it. Don’t hesitate. Love. Love yourself. As you love yourself, or perhaps learn to love yourself, love springs from within you to share with others. If it seems trite to you, don’t take my word for it.

Jesus Christ was asked once,

“Which is most important of all the commandments?”

Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” (Mark 12:28b – 31  The Message)

Did you ever stop to realize that loving God means loving yourself?

Jesus asks us to love God with all our passion, prayer, intelligence and energy. Then He proceeds to instruct us to do the same to our very hearts. How often do you love yourself passionately? Really? Me neither.

It takes great effort to think about myself. I spend so much of my time thinking of others, of what needs have to be met, of what things have to be done – that somewhere along the way, I get lost. It’s not a new phenomenon, it’s a raw reality of my life. I’ve allowed myself to be loved less, and in the process, believed I am unlovable.

The greatest gift I hope to give myself in 2017, is love.

Loving myself. Accepting the desires that are within me as gifts from the Heavenly Father and live them in my daily life.  Some may profess that’s not a Christian attitude, well.. I use to believe that myself. God has had to teach me through years of suffering that loving myself is how I honor and love Him. It’s not what I do that makes me a follower of Jesus. It’s who I am, and who lives in me. God’s Spirit resides in me.

Read that again.

God’s Spirit lives in me! If you are a Christian reading this, then He lives in you too. Have I spent my time, wasting time, putting myself in a position I was never meant to be in? Am I putting down the Almighty God Himself when I reject His life within me? When I repeat long held negatively tucked deep away in my spirit. When I insist on focusing on what I do, rather than who He created me to be – I am choking the Spirit’s ability to reign fully in my heart and lead.

We must let go, and love, ourself.

So, as you kick off this New Year, I ask you to join me. Stand in the front of the mirror of your heart and listen to your soul and hear it’s cries. Listen. Don’t turn away. Don’t get busy. Be still. Get quiet. When the thoughts come of what you really love, find a way to use that passion for good, and for God. Allow the Holy Spirit to open your mind and your heart into a new direction, His. Don’t quench the Spirit of God, let Him love you. And in doing so, you love yourself.

2017, bring it on.

6 thoughts on “A New Year?

  1. Gail harris

    Beautiful. Transparent. Truthful. Honest. Humbling… thankful for your words… thankful for your insight… thankful for you! Happy New Year my friend! 2017… glad to meet you!!

    1. Gail, you have been a person that I truly admire. You are open, authentic and real – qualities so necessary in building relationships. Happy New Year to you also, yeah, 2017 – let’s do this!

  2. Leslie

    Lovely!
    It’s the waiting quietly to discover my true self and how I can honor God with it….Sometimes it’s right there – on the tip of my tongue, and other times it is hiding deep within, not wanting to appear. Thanks for the reminder to be who I am for God.
    Love you!

    1. Leslie, I admit I am not always quietly waiting to discover my true self, so there’s that. But I couldn’t agree more, sometimes it’s right there on the tip of my tongue and then it’s buried deep, God has to do the digging for me. Happy New Year!! Love ya!

  3. Happy New Year Shelly, Thank you so much for the thoughts in this post. It really makes sense! It goes along with love others or your neighbor like you love yourself. I have been trying to decide on a word for this year. After reading your post I was able to finalize that word. Just thought I would share with you. My word for this year in my walk with Christ, will be Available. I pray so often that God will keep my eyes open to the opportunities that He puts before me each day. Then I go about with all that I believe He wants me to do. I want more than that this year.

    I want to be available. Available is taken from avail and able. At one’s disposal, capable of being made use of. My search for this word in the thesaurus brought me even more certainty. Close at hand, useful, on call, ready and willing, prepared, user-friendly, beneficial, responsive. So in one word this year I pray to be Available to God! Thanks for your thoughts. We will have to catch up soon. I do miss you. Love ya, Pam

    Sent from my iPad

    1. Pam! What a wonderful word. I am thankful you shared that. I know the desire to wanting more than what we has been, I am there with you. I too, have been contemplating a word for this year. I haven’t decided yet, but I am praying about it. I had been meditating on all that when you shared about yours. God is so amazingly good! Available. Perfect, just perfect. I sure do miss you too. Much love.

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