This is the fourth year I’ve started the new year in a new way for me, with resolve and anticipation in what I will uncover as I start in Genesis 1 and read the Bible cover to cover. I used to look back and make resolutions from my regrets and what I didn’t accomplish the prior year. This new pattern and has given me a different focus as I look in the rearview mirror of the past year. With this clearer lens I begin 2018 remembering what is behind and with a stronger, more intentional resolve step into the new year ready for the depths of whatever comes my way. Last year was filled with both highs and lows, joy and pain, life and loss, light and dark, laughter and tears, more and less, freedom and restriction, celebration and mourning, good and bad… it was a “both” “and” kind of year. As I look back, I am filled with gratitude that I can see God’s hand in all of it and look forward to this year anticipating how He will work and what He will do as I walk imperfectly with Him through my days.

Once again I begin from a what feels like a physically broken state, with a limited capacity to function in a day due to debilitating physical pain and fatigue. This reality reminds me how important it is to be present in my relationships, utilize time well, be grateful, patient, flexible, prioritize, live simply, generously, out of an internal motivation of love and to spend my energy on things that really matter. I’ve also learned how to be thankful for the relationships in my life and to find joy in the intangible things in this life. One of the best internal shifts for me has been a focus on gratitude for what I’m able to do instead of frustration over what I can’t do or what I used to be able to do. I’d seriously be amiss if I didn’t point to Jesus as the One who has transformed my heart, mind and internal motivations. It’s not by anything I have done, but as a result of His love, grace and mercy towards me and my imperfect efforts!

As I step into 2018, I will carry with me thankfulness to God for all of last year, both the good and the bad, lessons I’ve learned and resolve to love God and love everyone the best way I can and to read the Bible cover to cover, present with the God who never leaves me and see what He teaches me through His living and active word! Will you join me in reading the whole Bible in whatever way speaks to you this year? It’s been quite  a journey since I started this tradition January 1, 2015! Here is to great new beginnings in 2018….


Beauty & Blessings!

XO, Michelle


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