Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Best Part of a New Year? A Clean Slate!

A happy and blessed 2017 is my prayer for all of my FB friends and family today! Being the body-guard for my two youngest grandsons was no less charged with anticipation and celebration than any other year for the last twelve years. We had lots of fun making videos (or should I say, Brennan made videos). Yesterday, New Year's Eve, I picked up our low-risk fireworks, decorated with our elaborate New Years decor', shopped for our gourmet treats, made Granny's chocolate cake, and held back the troops from taking over the loot for as long as I could by encouraging them to decorate their gingerbread houses. Based on their lack of desire for artistic finesse, we won't be entering them in a Gingerbread House competition any time soon. Having big brother Barrett with us this year was a real treat! Our low budget celebration wasn't a disappointment at all!

It was our annual night of waving good-bye to 2016 and celebrating in style -- the clean, fresh slate of 2017. Having mediated a brothers' conflict during the day, I had the opportunity of an object lesson based on "clean slates". In conflict resolution, it's best to propose an option that provides forgiveness of oneself while forgiving others. That was the case when I mentioned to the boys that "today marks the ending of the past, and at midnight we can start with a clean slate of love and forgiveness".

The boys popped some little firecrackers, we wore our Happy New Year hats, blew our celebratory horns, then we toasted each other with Sparkling Grape Juice. We watched the giant ball of sparkles descend in Times Square, prayed the New Year in together.and gave each other lots of hugs and kisses.

Now, an entire year of awesomeness awaits us. The squares on our 2017 calendars are blank, but very soon those squares will be filled with a host of activities, events, ceremonies, birthdays, anniversaries and exciting opportunities for experiencing a year of great conquests, victories, and adventures.

There's something quite exciting about a clean slate, starting fresh, opportunities for "do-overs". We'll set new goals, resolutions, and hope for some major life-changes. Each new day in our new year will be as fresh and white as new snow. Each and every day starts with God's fresh mercy and new grace. And those new days don't come in with the fanfare of this 1st day of the year. Typically, our days dawn quietly and peacefully -- a sunrise introduces us to our new day, and reminds us that God has given us another day to make a difference in our world.. We'll hear birds chirping, which makes us very aware of God's care for them -- and how much more does He care for us?

We don't know what tomorrow holds -- or this new year holds -- but one thing we do know -- HE KNOWS and HE holds our tomorrows and, better yet, He holds our hands and is with us through them all. Our future is so bright. Let's purpose to wake each day to the prospects of what each day will hold by Him Who knows everything about everything -- and with that kind of ADVISOR -- if we pay close attention -- He'll guide us into making 2017 to be our best, most blessed year EVER!