New Beginnings

One of my favorite Christmas cards this year was a picture of the Christ child sleeping on a bed of hay with the light of a single, bright, star streaming down onto his body. The greeting exclaimed, “Jesus is the perfect gift that perfectly fits the size of every heart.”

God has given us the perfect gift in his Son. The baby, the Christ-child, breaks into our lives and let’s the light of joy and contentment shine through. God gives us a glimpse of what it’s like to be our best selves despite our imperfect human condition. This Son of God, love’s pure light, fills us with surprises. The perfect gifts lie within us. Surely, God wants us to open our hearts and minds to receive the gifts he has in store for us.

As we begin this New Year our thoughts may wander in many directions. Let’s focus in on those things that have been percolating inside of us, deep in spaces possibly unknown to us. Allow yourself to feel the desires, creative musings, intellectual pursuits, and spiritual insights just waiting to emerge.

Ask yourself about your relationships. Am I in right relationship with God? How are my relationships with others? Are there spaces within me that feel too full of the unnecessary? Are there spaces that feel empty? Have I held onto something for far too long? What is it that needs to be let go in order that I may truly become the person God intends me to be?

Fear, often disguised and cunning, may hold us back from receiving the gifts promised to us by the Savior’s birth. Awareness is key. Let go of any negative self -talk that has become a pattern for you. Stinky thinking is a sure way of keeping God at arm’s length, rather than close and in our consciousness. Forgive yourself and others. Move through the angers and resentments that are eating away at you, so that love permeates your being. Place your trust in God. Continue to ask for direction from the Holy Spirit. This keeps us grounded in the present moment rather than worrying about things that are out of our control. Check pride at every door through which you enter. It can be a crippling to always need to be right, to find yourself manipulating situations and people, carrying shame, needing to control everything, or unwilling to admit mistakes. Find yourself taking a deep breath in and asking God to fill the tense spaces in your body with pockets of patience and feelings of calm. Let the divine plan unfold with divine timing.

Once the fear has dissipated, ask yourself the questions that are unfolding inside of you. Reflect on the feelings making their way to the surface and don’t hesitate to go deeper.

Our reminder to keep holy the ordinary experiences of our unfolding days, comes from the images of the Christ-child laying still on a bed of hay in simple and humble beginnings. May this New Year bring simplicity and peace.

Kathy Irr

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