New Year's Eve is coming up and it is my favorite holiday. I love the other holidays we celebrate during the year but I feel something extremely spiritual in my heart when it comes to a new year's celebration. A new start and a fresh beginning seem like a blessing that God cherishes in giving us.
One summer, when life just seemed to be dragging me down, I actually had a similar celebration right in the middle of my time with God. I did the countdown and everything. I counted down from 10 all the way to 1 and shouted, "Happy New Day!" Then I laughed because it was so silly that I just amused myself. Yet I was amazed at how refreshed I felt. If you've never done it, I highly recommend you give it a try on a day you're feeling low. God renews us each second and every breath we take...it's only us who forget this fact.
In the spirit of getting prepared for the New Year, I've set myself up with 5 days of special reflection times. I've called it my time of P.R.A.(y) E.R.
Day One: Is P for Prepare. It'll be a day of fasting, Doxasoma (more of a Christian form of yoga exercise), silence, creative writing about a woman preparing to meet God on New Year's Eve and looking over an article about celebrating 'pauses.'
Day Two: Is R for Reflect. On this day I have a 2 mile walk planned, writing in my journal and reflecting on the past year with the focus being on what worked well instead of focusing on what didn't work well. I'll be studying an article on Humility and working on a 'Victory Jar' that will include positive aspects of the past year. I'll also be doing a review of my relationships...seeing if they are beneficial and seeing if there are some I should be working hard on. I've also thought about painting something that represents what it means to 'reflect.'
Day Three: A for Anticipate. My exercise will be to walk to the local library to have my Coffee & Cozy time. While there I'm going to consider next year's plans and dreams. To be creative, when I get home I'm going to create my own time capsule of these decisions.
Day Four: (cause you know I had to add the 'y' to make it work - lol) E is for Enjoy! I'm going to do some Yoga Stretching and play intensely with my cats. ha. My focus today will be celebrating God, rejoicing in this past year and gaining excitement for the new year. I have an article on Spiritually Literate New Year's Resolutions that I'll be studying and I'm going through an exercise about Enthusiasm.
Day Five: R number two is for Respite. I'm going to do some Doxasoma again and add some hatha yoga. Coffee and Cozy will be practicing an 'Ah' Mantra and prayer breathing. I'm also going to write a poem/psalm to God about newness and fresh beginnings.
I share all these things with you because prayerfully something in it will inspire you to do a new thing or two. Or perhaps just to encourage you about having a conviction that God has great new things in store for you. You have a fresh start and you don't even have to wait for January 1st, 12:00 am. Are you ready? God is always whispering to us from Isaiah 43:19 "See, I (the Lord) am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"
May you enjoy your New Year's celebration with a deep focus on God and freshness in your relationship with Him. I'll start writing again in 2012...but until then...I've got this 5 day vacation with God planned so I'll catch you later. :)