A Fresh Start

How do you celebrate the New Year? Do you use the change of calendar for a fresh start? Do you join a gym? Do you commit to Whole 30? Do you start a Bible reading schedule?

I like to get new budget and bill file folders and a new calendar planner. It helps me focus on new goals and dreams. Although my success rate for goals achieved is mixed, the goals I never set are the ones most likely never reached! So, I soldier on with the goalsetting because I know good can come from it.

The tendency we can have is to be excited and energized by our “fresh start” and over commit our schedules into a frenetic pace (been there/done that). What if our “fresh start” for 2019 involved scheduling times of slowing down, of pulling away, of solitude?

Jesus’ three years of ministry recorded many instances of him going away to a quiet place (Mark 6:31, Luke 5:16, 6:12, Matt. 4:1-11,4:13, 14:23, 17:1-9, 26:36-46).  If our perfect Savior set this example for us in His human experience on earth, let’s not dismiss the practice as unimportant.

A great way of practicing the discipline of solitude is through journaling. Stopping regularly to sit quietly with my thoughts can be transformational and the writing keeps me focused and on track. The voices of my day are constantly competing with the voice of my Good Shepherd so I must consistently tune my ears to distinguish the difference (John 10).

Grace Women is joining together to grow in our practice of journaling. Over the course of 2019 we will gather together six times to encourage, listen and learn from each other in a group called Manna: Food for Thought Journaling Group. Weekly emails and a private Facebook group will be available where we can spur each other on! To learn more and register, visit www.gfcnow/women.


Cheryl Bowers, Women’s Ministry Coordinator