Embracing Change

I always associate the month of September with new beginnings … with a fresh start … with life-altering resolutions and a sort of “Here we go again!” attitude.

When I was a little girl, I absolutely loved the first day of school, did you?! I adored the freshly sharpened pencils, the clean notebooks, the new shoes that pinched my toes and the possibility of a new friend or two!  I couldn’t wait to find out who my new teacher would be and was beyond excited to carry my new lunchbox to school.

I remember distinctly not being able to sleep the night before school began for a new year.  I vividly recall tossing and turning in my pink canopied bed with butterflies dancing through the hallways of my stomach!  And I wasn’t just in kindergarten when this happened … my first-day-of-school insomnia was an annual occurrence all the way to my senior year in high school.

As I was pondering the availability that September produces of a fresh start, I suddenly realized that in order to have a fresh start you must prepare for it! I didn’t enter a new school year as a child without being thoroughly prepared for it.  It took weeks of preparation so that all of the required details were accomplished that would guarantee a successful start to the new year of classes.

Perhaps what you have been ignoring in your life is the required preparation to have that amazing fresh start. You will never accomplish a powerful change in your life until you spend time in the preparation that it requires.

Let me just encourage you today to prepare for a fresh start!  Make a plan so that you can begin again!  Plot out your new course or you will forever be stuck on that unending hamster wheel of living.  Who wants that?!

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“Behold the former things have come to pass, now I declare new things; before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.” – Isaiah 42:9

Here are a few solid choices that you can make in order to embrace a new and innovative change in life –

First of all, this question, “What do I want to change?” 

Do you want to change your income level?  Or your weight?  Or your health?  Or the way in which you parent?

Do you want a better marriage?  Do you desire to have a healthier relationship with your parents?

Do you want to work less?  Read more? Waste less time on social media?  Reconnect with old friends?  Spend more time with family?

Write out your desired change and keep it continuously in front of you.  Write it out on a sticky note and put it on your dashboard of your car.  Write it in lipstick on the bathroom mirror. Write it on a 3x5 card and put it in your wallet.  Attach it to the refrigerator door with a magnet.

You must be constantly reminded of that which you wish to change otherwise you will never get around to it.

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The second question you must answer in order to enact life-altering and long-term change is this, “Why do I want to change?”

Motivation is a grand determinate in order to accomplish desired change in one’s life.  Conversely, lack of motivation is like throwing water on your slowly burning embers of desire.

If you don’t know why you want to change, then you will never change!  Figure out the “why” before you determine the “how”.

When I lost nearly 50 pounds a few years ago, it was because I had battled cancer and I knew that I had to change my life in order to live a long time!  Talk about motivation!  When death stares you in the face, suddenly you get your motivation on!

I didn’t lose weight to fit into a size 6 or to look good in pictures, I lost weight so that I could live and serve God wholeheartedly.  That is my motivation … what is yours?

And the third question that you must confront is this one, “How am I going to make the desired change?”

Answering this third question is where that infamous rubber meets the road to change.

Do you need to meet with someone to help you establish a budget?

Do you need to join a gym? Do you need to get a library card? Do you need to put a lock on the refrigerator door?!

Plot out a few practical steps that will actuate your desired change and then discipline yourself to embrace new habits.

New habits are nothing to be dreaded but they are the freedom that you have been longing for!

“Discipline” is not a dirty word but it is the word that champions build a life upon!

All successful change requires diligent work and a little bit of sweat!  If you long for a fresh start in life, prepare to be the newer, better version of yourself.

What do you want to change?

Why do you want to change?

How will you make the change happen?

It’s up to you, my friend, but I believe in you! I believe that this is a brand new season for you and that a fresh start is just one choice away.

“Yet one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13 & 14

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!