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Friday, 02 August 2013 00:00

Fresh Beginnings

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A few days ago I was meandering by the school supplies displayed in a local store and it brought back some sweet memories. Do you remember as a child preparing for the first day of school? Even though we didn't want summer to end, a new beginning brought excitement. At our house we had some special rituals. We would spend a whole day shopping, gathering all our required supplies from the published lists, and then we would go get new shoes and a new dress.

Now this dates me for sure, because when I was growing up we had to wear dresses to class. In my later school years, high school and beyond, that changed and the unladylike 'pants' were allowed. We would plan and organize our new “stuff” for days before the start of school. We would even get new haircuts and plan every detail of the first day with our friends. 

The whole first week of school was just wonderful to me. I absolutely loved the brand new notebooks, the scent of new plastic, fresh paper, art supplies, new clothes and the most important part, new pens and pencils. I still love pens! I remember the thrill of a new teacher outlining all we would be learning and telling us all about herself (or himself). The sights and smells of fall and kids' laughter, marching bands and football games---what could be better? One year we even got to be the first to attend a brand new school in Artesia, Abo underground school. Everything there was new: desks, textbooks, blackboards, etc. That was a thrill for sure. To me, fall was the real beginning of a new year, not January. Fall and the start of school meant all kinds of new beginnings, new friends, new activities and realizing I was progressing toward adulthood, little by little. I could forget all the crumby things that happened last year, the kids who picked on me, or the teacher I just knew did not like me. That was all over and done. Fall was a fresh start!

When I reflect upon those rites of passage and how I began my school years so hopeful, I realize that as an adult I still feel that way a bit. When a new year begins, many of us feel that surge of fresh possibilities. With a really tough year I've been plodding through, I only wish I could be assured that this coming fall would be full of joy and new opportunities. As adults we don't quite get the same scenario as our children and grandchildren. Whatever trial we are walking through will not necessarily be over with the school semester. In fact, some of our trials are painfully long and no one has an answer for when they will end. We just endure, one day at a time, hoping and praying for the end of that particular journey. Also not so easy is letting go of those who have hurt us, abandoned us or just plain don't care that we are battle weary. Nevertheless, we set our faces like flint, remind ourselves of the promises of God, and keep putting one foot in front of the other. There will be an end, eventually. And sometimes we get glimpses of blessings rising from the ashes. God's mercies are new every morning, and great is His faithfulness. Those are two of His promises that I hold onto and love. So, even if the trial has not ended, the occasional discouraging thoughts do end as the Lord answers our prayers for strength and peace. 

I think one of the best things I can do is to make an effort to simplify, and live in childlike faith. I need to stop focusing on my problem and take time to find joy in a new notebook full of fresh paper, the scent of new plastic, or yes.....a new pen or two! I need to take time out each day and just transport myself back to that 'first day of school' mentality and get excited about the possibilities ahead. I think this year I will live vicariously through the kids and allow myself the pleasure of resurrecting some dreams that I have discarded in lieu of grieving. It just might work! Now I'm off to the office supply store (one of my favorite places to browse!)


Read 3214 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 November 2014 06:34

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