Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Fresh Start

When I began thinking about this post, I planned to say "Welcome to August". But since we're already a week into the month, that probably wouldn't be the best way to start. Since it took me longer than expected to get brain wrapped around this topic, instead of thinking about a new month, I'll focus on a fresh start. That's what August gave us with this new month. A fresh start. A clean page on the calendar.

When I turned the page on the "official" family calendar on the side of the refrigerator, I smiled. It's my birthday month. We will be spending a few days at the beach this month. And it's one month closer to fall and cooler temperatures!

We often think of a new month as a clean slate. A time to start over. But if your calendar looks anything like mine, it isn't exactly a blank page. There are a number of activities already listed. August is shaping up to be another busy month.

Even so, there's something refreshing about turning the calendar page. A new month means new opportunities. New adventures. New challenges to be faced. 

Turning that calendar page also means moving on. Leaving the previous month behind. Letting go of all the less-than-we-might-have-liked-them-to-be moments. The new month is time to let all that go, and time to move forward. And for us, it also means that the official date for retirement has arrived.

Every day is a fresh start. An opportunity to move forward. Whether it's a new job. Or no job. Or a weight loss plan that has gone off track. Or frustration about a relationship or a health issue. Every day is the gift of a fresh start. An opportunity to try again. To move forward.

A couple of years ago, as we moved into August, I was completing a writing project. Beginning a new month moved me into a new season, from writing to editing. Editing can be a tedious process: checking spelling; replacing one word with another; rearranging sentences; formatting; doing it all again; and then doing it all again; and again. Editing gave me an opportunity for a fresh start. To look at what I had written with fresh eyes.

Editing is not just for books or magazine articles. Sometimes our lives need some editing as well, and a new month is an ideal time to stop and consider what might need to be edited in our lives. 

Editing some things out of my life is an area where the Lord has been really dealing with me. As in, what things in my life need some correction. What additions need to be made? What things in my life need some fine-tuning. What things in my life need to be deleted.  You may find that to be true in your life as well.

Here are a few questions to help you get started in your editing process.

What foods need to be deleted from my life? What foods need to be added?

What habits need to be deleted from my life? What habits need to be added?

What corrections need to be made in my speech?

What needs to be deleted?  In my activities. In my recreation. In my reading. In my TV watching. In the way I spend my money.

What needs to be added?  In my activities. In my recreation. In my reading. In my TV watching. In the way I spend my money.

 Life is a process. And all those processes need some editing from time to time.

What better time than today, as we have begun a new month, to take some time to consider what changes might need to be made. There's no time like the present to do a little editing and make a fresh start.

"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord."  (Philippians 3:7 NASB)

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