Happy New Year! I Mean… First Day of Spring!

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Happy New Year in March // www.thehisfor.com

It’s March. We are stepping into Springtime. 70 days ago, we were planning our New Year’s Resolutions and beginning to implement them into our daily lives starting January 1st. Unfortunately, majority of us have already quit pursuing our resolutions by now.

Sometimes, we want to commit to something and then after one day off track, we decide that it’s over. Why is that?

Whenever I tried something new [a diet, an exercise regimen, a decision worth committing to], I would start off strong and be so proud of myself and then all the sudden, I’d have a day where I just didn’t make it happen. I’m such a control freak and, honestly, a perfectionist that, many times, that ONE day ended up costing me the rest of my commitment. I would let guilt set in and tell myself, “I’ve already fallen off the path once, I’ve broken the system. It’s over.” and my old habits would kick right back in. Then, just like that, my good intention to change my life was over.

One day, my husband and I were discussing the idea of switching over to a paleo diet from just our organic, gluten free diets. I’m a foodie and never thought I’d eat healthy until I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, so I told him I didn’t think that would be the best idea. I didn’t want to fail, yet again. I told him that I knew myself and that I wouldn’t stick to it. I fell for the lie that I wasn’t capable and that I was a failure at anything that required that level of commitment. Later that day, I was listening to a song by Nichole Nordeman that I’ve heard and sang a million times over. But that day, the words “His mercies are new every morning” touched my heart in a different way. Wait a minute… so God gives me a fresh start every morning? He does. Every. Single. Morning.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his mercies never fail.
 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23

His mercies are new every morning.

That means, that feeling you get on January first, that stirring inside you that makes you feel NEW. I can have that every single day? Springtime is a great time to remember that. Nichole Nordeman (once again coming in with the win) puts this concept in perspective with her song about the changing seasons and how she sees God’s purpose in our lives in each one. Here’s what she says about Springtime:

“And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me”

God makes us new every morning, just as the world awakens brand new in the Spring. But being made new is twofold, we have to accept the grace extended to us in order to feel and live it out.

I’ve always heard that God extends grace to me when I fall off His path. Growing up Christian, I knew it intrinsically. But that day in my car, the truth behind those words hit me like a ton of bricks. And as I reflected on the truth, I felt each brick fall, releasing the weight of all the pressures I carry on my shoulders. I realized that God extends me grace, so why do I continue to feel so guilty or so sub-par? Why can’t I extend the same grace to myself? I can still commit to living the best life possible, but I need to remember that I’m only human and, inevitably, I will mess up. Whether it’s sticking to a Paleo diet, or an attempt to be more positive at work or trying to be a good mother and wife or deciding to work out consistently or even trying to live according to His word, what if I were to recognize the days I mess up, and choose to keep guilt from holding me captive? What if I were to acknowledge the gift of grace of God and wake up in the morning ready for a new day?

What would happen if I allowed myself to accept His grace every morning? I decided to give this Paleo diet thing an honest try and guess what? There were days I didn’t stick to it, but each of those days was followed by a morning where I chose to start fresh. I was still living like that months later. Day by day, I got through that lifestyle change with God’s encouragement and grace.

His mercies are new every morning.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I can take advantage. If I were to eat french fries every single night and wake up the next morning and extend myself grace and say “It’s a new day on my paleo-diet journey.” and then repeat my offense again, I wouldn’t be Paleo. And if I take advantage of God’s grace and consistently place my own selfish gains above the truth of His word, I’m not a Christian. The commitment is still necessary, however, the guilt doesn’t have to be.

His mercies are new every morning.

That means that every morning, God gives me a clean slate, a fresh start, a new year.

So, are you going to allow the guilt of breaking your resolutions to hold you down from starting again? God doesn’t want that. He wants us to walk freely in His grace. What an incredible gift! Today is a new season. A new day to love others as we were first loved. A new day to stick to that workout regimen. A new day to be joyful and positive in your job or at home with the babies. A new day to eat healthy. And if we mess up, His mercies are new every morning so make sure your mercies for yourself are too.

It’s Springtime. Happy New Year. Go out there and make it your best year yet! And if you mess up? You can start fresh again tomorrow.

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