I’ve always been a lover of fresh starts:
The first coffee of a day full of promise, a new library book, the empty pages of a pristine journal, any Monday – that magical day of the week where a new me begins.
Then there’s the threshold of a shiny new year.
This year though, I’ve no patience for platitudes espousing the charm of the New Year; this sudden turning of the calendar that will somehow fill me with enough motivation to spend the next 365 days fixing, overhauling, primping and becoming.
Maybe it’s just that the lightness of these new years sentiments are too cliché for the heaviness that runs beneath my skin. Beneath our collective skin.
So this year, I’m showing up without grandeur.
Instead of a day to start over, to begin again, I’ll just carry on.
In all of the tiny, quiet ways that matter the most.
Let’s see what happens when we remember that mercies are new every morning.
What would happen if, instead of relying on a fleeting sparkle at midnight (as romantic as that sounds!) we continued in our small steps forward, creating ripples in the future we can’t yet see.
What if we don’t need permission from the pages of a calendar to keep moving toward goodness.
What if we grabbed hold of the mercies that are a heartbeat away?
What if we didn’t need to start afresh, but to simply continue.
What could our year look like if we just continued to show up in all of the unassuming ways that really matter?
I think it’s always been the quiet places within us that beg for our attention, amidst the world’s hustle, its harshness, its hurt.
What if we continued to show up, and kept going, carried on?
What if we didn’t break stride in our journey toward freedom, and resumed the good work of healing the wounds below our skin – facing them and bringing them into places of Light.
What if we just carried on, holding tight and trusting in the God who is writing a greater narrative across our lives. Even when things don’t make sense in the moment. Even in the wrestle.
And then we continue.
Continue to hope, to hold fast, to show up in tiny miraculous ways;
a breath of prayer,
a word of kindness,
a held tongue,
a brave no,
a patient surrender. Again.
Not in a grandiose approach, but in the daily surrender, and the everyday ordinary.
In the curling up on the old worn couch, in serving my family in all of the daily mundane holy ways. I’ll show up in a run by the river and in the snatched prayer of a taxi-mum, and the late night whispers of encouragement over my husband. I’ll continue the welcome home to messy community around our dining table and the lunchbreak phone calls to the trusted friend, and the neighbourhood bike rides with my daughters.
I’ll keep praying, running, reading, writing, loving, serving, bringing. Walking toward goodness.
Even when it’s hard. Even when it’s not Monday, or January.
So, today, on the first day of a new year, I begin simply by carrying on.