today is a new day. you can start fresh, wipe the slate clean and begin again. that’s the first statement on this really lovely poster i have at my house that jen lemen created for cool people care.
i bought it for a few friends last fall. i framed one for me, too, and i look at it every day. there’s something powerful in the simple words, a gentle reminder that life is meant to be lived. there is beauty to see, people to love, kindness to be passed on, hope to be nurtured. sometimes in the midst of the craziness i make life way more complicated than it needs to be, and i need a little nudging, a little simplifying, a little refilling my soul with a few simple reminders of what kind of human being i really want to be.
today is a new day. you can start fresh, wipe your slate clean and begin again. how many of us live this way? i know i don’t, not the way i’d like to. this kind of freedom is the kind of freedom i believe God really wants for people, a deep and beautiful sense that there’s no need to beat ourselves up for the failings of today, that when we come up short and screw things up, we always always have a shot at giving it a try tomorrow. and yes, when we screw it up tomorrow, too, the next day awaits afterward and there’s grace for it, too.
what if we became people who lived more from this place? i believe we’d see a lot more freedom & hope, a lot less fear, self-condemnation, stuck-ness. i know in my own life that i would gain so much time back. if i added up the hours of emotional and spiritual energy i spend churning on my mistakes it would total a few years! (and as i get older, i don’t have as many to lose…) i think God is nudging me to learn the fine art of loving my mistakes. learning to let them go, laugh at them, and accept & embrace them as part of my humanness, to be more gentle with myself and receive gentleness back from God & my good friends, too. to see each day as a gift, a chance to learn, a chance to try, a chance to grow closer to Jesus’ heart & ways, deepen relationship with the people around me (and this sometimes means that the day will be filled with way more angst & pain & struggle than rainbows & sunshine but the connection and bigger story is far more beautiful).
i also believe the reason so many of us don’t move toward some of our dreams and passions is that we take a step toward them, it doesn’t go down the way we had hoped, and we are afraid to try again. the reason so many of us have broken relationships is that we do something stupid (or someone does something stupid to us) and we let it fester and foster and think there’s no way to make it right again. the reason so many mommies feel guilty and can’t seem to shake it is that we think that the only thing our kids will ever remember about their childhood was the moment we just screamed at them and practically ripped their arm out of their socket walking through the target parking lot. the reason so many live in shame & self-hatred is that we think who we are in our worst moments is who we really are. so we end up paralyzed, stuck, mad at ourselves, God, our circumstances. we miss out on the world, and others miss out on us.
we forget that each day is a new day, a day of redemption, a day of forgiveness, a day to show up and lean in to life as much as we are able to, a day to run toward instead of run away from, a day to be reminded that life is short and we don’t want to miss it because we can’t seem to let go of yesterday.