How to Ring In the New Year

happynewyr webIt is hard to believe 2015 is here.  I for one, am MORE than ready and am thrilled to have rung out the old year and rung in a blank canvas with 365 days of potential.  I started writing this post on January 1st and then, well, life happened.  My Christmas remains half up in a strange nether state of seasonal limbo. (Confession: I haven’t taken anything down, I just never fully put it up.  Yes, 2014 was THAT kind of year.)

My goal this year… Move in.  Really this time.  Much of my overflow still resides in suitcases sporting African dust between their wheels.  It is time to pare down and let go of clothes I will probably never wear again.  They worked fine in Africa, but not so much here.  Clothes are not memories.  They are in this case threadbare fabric from years of vigorous wear and washing a world away.  There is no gentle cycle in the bush.  Not if you want to get the clothes clean at least.

It is time to give away that which would bless and list on eBay that which might help me pay my bills.  I’m taking January as time to really organize my year to come as much as it can be.  Goals, dreams, visions, strategic planning with the only One Who truly knows the path ahead. I have wanted to be truly organized and simplified for over a decade.  2015 is time.

After my fridge died a painful prolonged death where simultaneously an Ice Age began on my refrigerator’s interior ceiling and global warming wreaked havoc in the door and dehydrator, I finally got a new refrigerator.  I was elated.  Thank you apartment complex! Then suddenly my sweet silent world got catapulted back to the relentless sound of a generator running right beside me.  I’ve been on the hunt for noise canceling ear plugs. I really, really love my silence.

10903741_1599356316960993_944927464_nI rang in 2015 by painting it into being.  Cuddled up with hot cocoa, fuzzy slippers and a set of luscious colors, little could make me happier.  It was a kind of prophetic statement of sorts. I’m stepping into a new season. Forget stepping.  I’m diving into a new season.  Total commitment.

God keeps guiding me to focus on creating, writing and painting.  As well as helping others connect with Him creatively and become released into deeper measures of creativity themselves.  So I celebrated the passing of years by creating. Seemed fitting.

Fast forward 12 days, Happy New Year friends!  We are under 2 weeks in, so it is still almost new.

Tennyson has long been one of my favorite poets.  And one of my favorite pieces of all time is a section from his In Memoriam that speaks to the dawning of the new year.  The painting of the bells will make a lot more sense when you read Tennyson’s words below.  I performed them years ago for an assignment in the dramatic interpretation of literature and they were planted deep in my heart.

It is my prayer for all of us, this year and for the years to come.

“Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
   For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
   The faithless coldness of the times;
   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
   The civic slander and the spite;
   Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.”

–Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam

This is how you ring in a new year.  You let go of the old and embrace Him Who holds all time and eternity in His hands.  Even your new year with its dreams and challenges, hopes and uncertainties.  Many amazing things to come for all of us.  I can’t wait to journey with you as we watch His goodness unfold around us each and every day.

Start 2015 knowing that you are loved with a Love that never fails.