Out With the Old, In With the New

January 8, 2020

Well, I’m wondering how your new year is going?

So far, mine is pretty typical: shocking my system out of the

“I’ve eaten WAY too many carbs and sweets” stupor, trying desperately to make up for all the sleep lost over the holidays due to laying awake at night, wondering,

“Am I going to have enough wrapping paper? Have I spent close to an equal amount of money on all the kids? Do I need to plan a get-away around the time the credit card bill comes in?”

And, finally, enjoying my last few days with my brother and sister-in-law, before they return to their abode in the frozen tundra, also known as Wisconsin.

Our church always participates in a 21-day-fast during the month of January – before you gasp or become totally impressed, it’s not, like, you only drink water and dress in torn sack cloth and ashes; it’s more of a “you give up what’s important to you” kind of fast. I never know exactly what to give up. Of course, the temptation is to “sacrifice” something easy, you know, things like having my gums scraped or watching the news or especially this dreaded rash I have had on my face for the past month. But, I want you all to know that I’m better than that; for me this year it’s sweets, sodas and, wait for it…TV!!! Maybe I’ve should have gone with the sack cloth and ashes…

Anyway, if you listened to my podcast last Friday – and I really hope you did! If not, there’s still time – you know that I’m not a huge fan of “resolutions,” in the way that most people use them. But, I have added a weights routine to my weekly workouts and, of course, the no sweets or sodas should help me lose, oh, I don’t know, 50 pounds or so? If only…

Also, I think January is always a good time to declutter, reorganize life and decide what makes it into the new year and what doesn’t. Like, going through all the junk that has accumulated throughout the year and deciding what to bring into the new year. So, that prompts my question, what are YOU bringing in to the new year?

Of course, on the surface, this question is an easy one. You immediately think of clothing, shoes, books, etc that either stay or go. If we look a little deeper though, there are other things we can decide to keep or get rid of; things that aren’t that easy to let go of.

Me, personally, as I’m fasting, I’m rethinking my attitudes about life, family, ministry and the like, trying to get rid of old patterns of thinking that are destructive for me; and that’s the biggest sacrifice so far.

Coming into a new year can be exciting, but it can also be a little daunting, at times, right? I mean, I’ll be the first person to admit that 2019 held some pretty scary, frustrating and difficult things, for me, but especially others around me: illness, flooding, loss of possessions and loved ones, violence, I could go on and on. Still, 2019 was familiar; parts of it were very comfortable, so also comforting. What will 2020 hold? At this point, who really knows? There will definitely be good, even great times and events, but, because life is, well LIFE, there will probably be some not-so-good times, too.

So, how will we handle 2020? What can we do to make sure we can look back at this year and know we lived our best life, dreamt our biggest dreams and impacted the people around us to the best of our ability?

The way I see it is we have to line up the way we think with the way God thinks. We model our very lives – thoughts, words and deeds – after Jesus. And, listen before you think,

“Oh, OK, got it,” that’s a tall order. I mean, on the good, amazing, “perfect” days, it’s easy. But when the boat hits the rocks, it’s pretty difficult.

To me, it all comes down to my thought process; deciding that no matter what comes my way, I will not fear, I will not become discouraged, I will remember the promises God has made to me , keep my eyes on Him and keep moving forward.

It’s about deciding to leave the old way of living – being afraid, easily distracted and thrown off course by every little unexpected or difficult thing that comes along – and embracing the idea that, no matter what happens, God is working in and through me and His plan trumps ANYTHING life can throw at me.

So, I hope you’ll join me in deciding that, along with all the t-shirts I’ve accumulated over the past 12 years, but haven’t worn in 6, these old ways of thinking are going into the trash, too!

Now, if I can only get rid of this rash…

Don’t forget to listen on Friday to my podcast, Life…It Happens with Sherra Edgar. It’s available on Spotify and Anchor.

and above all else love