Glistening snow wraps the rolling landscape around my home in winter white. Traffic is practically non-existent on the country road that meanders in front of our house. All is quiet as we sit snugly and warm inside our wintry snow globe world.
Tranquility reigns inside our house as well, but each room appears stark and barren since the Christmas decorations and fa-la-la-ery are packed away for another year-long wait.
The family is spread hither and yon once again, the bedrooms empty of suitcases and laughter. The showers are silent and even the dishwasher has been given a little reprieve.
Mama in her kerchief and Dad in his cap settle in for the winter, along with a yawn or two from Callie, the calico cat, who occasionally rises from her naps to wander through the house in search of a warm lap to curl upon.
Another New Year has arrived.
Last year, New Year’s Day dawned with a sense of excitement and anticipation with the knowledge that there would be three weddings to plan. But last year is now history and those joy-filled moments we all experienced are now sweet memories.
Sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup of tea, I glance outside at the winter landscape and think how the pure white blanket of untouched fallen snow resembles blank pages of this new year stretched ahead of me.
What will I write about this year? What events and thoughts shall I chronicle?
These words from my ever-growing notebook of quotes seem fitting to describe my contemplations on this New Year’s Day:
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” ~ T.S. Eliot.
It’s true – last year’s language overflowed with wedding joy. And while the weddings have ended, my children’s new lives as married couples have just begun.
And I think to myself that I must also welcome new beginnings and this year’s words need a different voice.
I’m not a maker of resolutions. I never keep them, and frankly, get bored trying to keep them. Instead, I approach life as it comes and if I resort to any resolve at all, it is to live the day better than I did the day before.
I also don’t make bucket lists. There are just too many things in the world to see, to do, to experience and it overwhelms me to even think about making such a list. But I do make lists, just lists of things to do each day, things to accomplish, things to finish. And I relish crossing those things off my list with gusto.
Two years ago on New Year’s Day, I choose to write with a distinct purpose in mind for 2011. I envisioned that year as an open book of opportunity and decided to address each blog post in that vein with each day a page in each of the 12 chapters (months). If you missed that, you may read about it by clicking here.
I considered reopening my book called Opportunity again to serve as a steering wheel while I navigate through the coming year. But I’ve come to realize I enjoy changes, variety, spice in life, so a different impetus must propel my blog forward into the next 12 months.
So in what direction should I aim my writing this year? With a blank page in my to-do lists and an even blanker page in the new book entitled 2013, I turned to my guidebook for life, my Bible, God’s Word.
And the pages so easily fall to my favorite scripture of all. My guiding words. My life verse, if you will.
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:22
Be joyful. Not just on wedding days, but every day.
Pray continually. Not just at night before you go to sleep, but throughout the day as the Spirit prompts.
Give thanks in all circumstances. Not just for things, events, or occurrences that are favorable – those you like – but for all things, even if they prove difficult.
For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. My joy does not depend on my circumstances, it depends on my relationship with my Savior.
And what has He done for me? Too much to even attempt to relate, but He has given me life, both this one and one to come. And He has given me a New Year to live better than I have before.
A new blank page upon which to write the blessings of each day.
“That’s it!” I thought. Another quote jumped off my quotes notebook page and shouted, “Look at me! This is what you must do:”
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
And so I begin writing on my heart that this fresh, sparkling, new first day of January, 2013 is the best day in the year. Why? Because…
“Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!
This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!
I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”
~ William Arthur Ward
Happy New Year from Mama’s Empty Nest! May God grant you the opportunity to sing more joyful songs this year and see, as I hope to see, reasons why each day is the best day in the year.