Starting Over

Starting over, turn over a new page, turn a corner of life. Down through the ages there have been many euphemisms for ‘a new start’.

On New Year’s Eve in Clinton, Oklahoma, I was young enough to think bedtime could not be as late as midnight. Mother continued to sit by the fireplace with her Bible in her hand. When I asked what she was doing, her answer came, “I will begin a new year tomorrow, and I want to be ready.”

As the joy of writing enveloped her and after Dad left this earth, New Year’s Eve always began with planning what to write and how to live the next year. One year she wrote devotions through the Bible. One year she wrote sermons through the Bible. In March, 7th day of 1995, she wrote – “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all our generations before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. You gave me strength for nearly 88 years of life on this earth. You have given me more joy than pain.

Mother knew new beginnings from moving from home to Oklahoma in the panhandle, to Clinton and later to Watonga, Oklahoma. Then early in the 1990’s she left her home of 48 years in Watonga to move to Arkansas. She transplanted her life to a strange town and found joy in writing and in her new church home. And most of all she learned that a new environment is just like beginning a new year. It is faith in God that counts – He goes with us when we change our geographical locations and brings us blessings unnumbered.

I sit in my favorite place watching the trees sway in the summer breeze. Clouds obscure part of the blue, blue sky, and I thank God for this oasis of peace. I know that the oasis I feel is the presence of God. And that doesn’t change no matter where we are.

As the time to change our geographical location in 2 ½ weeks, we find comfort in knowing that though we have spent hours in planning and packing – that which we hold dearest in our hearts – faith in Jesus Christ – travels with us and cannot be extinguished.

Though we leave many memories from 38 years in this one place, God is blessing us mightily through our church family and their help, support and love in so many ways. Then there are our four blessed children and their families who care and help us with a move we would not be able to do on our own. They have shown us honor beyond measure during this time…and I ask that God blesses them mightily in the days and years ahead.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12

Turning a page, beginning anew or starting over is not a one time thing, or just when something happens that is monumental. No, it is a moment by moment happening. The choices that we make moment by moment in attitudes or behaviors can give us peace when they are in God’s will. No matter what pain we may experience along the way – trusting in God and His Leading is brings us hope and peace.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

How do we manage these choices? Gratitude and Praise and Encouragement. Forgetting the criticism, the whining, and ‘put-downs’ and replacing them with a can do attitude and a smile is a beginning. Praising God for the little things and those around us. That makes the difference. We have the freedom of speech – not to tear down – but to build up and share a gentle, loving spirit.

They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:3

Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them. Isaiah 42:10

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

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