Happy new year, a few days late

Sometimes, I think of January like one of those pictures of a New England winter. You know the ones. There’s a lonely road curving around a hill and snow everywhere. No people, cars, or animals are in sight. Ice outlines even the smallest details of the trees, whose barren limbs reach up toward a clear, cold sky.

It’s almost indescribably beautiful and more than a little lonely.

Just like January can be, especially this first full week when the Christmas decorations are packed away, the glitz and glitter of New Year’s Eve is over, and we all breath a sigh of relief (that most of us probably don’t want to admit to) and secretly think that now that all that’s over we can get back to our regularly scheduled lives. The bustle and confusion of family gatherings are over, our friends have gone home, and work/school/whatever has resumed.

Sometimes, though, I think of January in a slightly healthier way: as a new beginning. A time to pack the past failures away, to reevaluate, refocus, and look forward to a year full of promise and hope.

And as I sat on my comfy red couch yesterday afternoon, it’s that second depiction of January (with a few bits of the first one) that I set my mind upon. This is a new year full of promise and things I haven’t even dreamed of yet. Last year had its high and low points, and, honestly, not everything turned out the way I wanted or expected it to. The magazine is still running behind. Big decisions are looming about my grandmother’s health and placement. Stress abounds, but it doesn’t overshadow the truth of a new chance, a new year, and a time to refocus and remember who I am and Who loves me.

January can be lonely. It can be hard and long. But it can also be a new beginning, a chance to look at the good and bad of the previous year, and know without a doubt that you are dearly loved and that God longs to redeem even the bad things.

So, here’s to new beginnings and a new focus in 2010.

We can talk about whether to call it “two thousand ten” or “twenty ten” some other time. Or in the comments. 😉

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