If you know me well, you know that I love the first day of a new month. Maybe it’s a result of my Southern Baptist upbringing, twinged with guilt and the overwhelming need for “redemption,” but something about a fresh start refreshes my mind and renews my soul.
I love the first day of a new month, because the day dawns with a reminder that “the old has gone, the new is come.” Whatever held me back the month before does not have to define this new day. The month begins and gives me a chance to look forward with anticipation and hope.
This new beginning, February 2016, is the best of all, because it is a new month starting on Monday! “Science” says that the best day to start something new is Monday. Why all months don’t start on Monday is truly beyond me, but I’m looking this Monday in the face and saying, “Thank God you’re here!”
I woke up this morning restless and disappointed from a month that didn’t go my way. I said, “yes,” too may times, failed to prepare for the unexpected, and allowed little room for grace in the mean time. By the end of the month, I stopped taking care of myself, and let others fill the space where I should be.
As I sit in bed contemplating the month before and the one to come, I hear the patter of rain against my house, washing away the grime that January left behind. With each drop, my heartbeat slows, and I find rest and strength. I close my eyes and listen to the water cleansing my little corner of the world, leaving behind only what is good and necessary. As the rain brushes the earth, I am reminded that the best journeys begin with water.
With Luna by my side and Sookie at my feet, I greet February with open arms. I pray that, this month, I will begin to see myself as they see me – worthy of unconditional love and grace.
Throughout this month, many will celebrate love and honor the heritage of one of the most vibrant races in the United States. For Christians, February 2016 will also mark the beginning of our journey to the cross. In a matter of days, we will remind ourselves of the dust from which we came, and set our hearts and minds on the One who gave us life abundant despite our proclivity to separate ourselves from him. We walk with hope towards the day he comes again to restore our souls.
February does not stand in my memory as a special month. A month with so few days, I typically wish it away, longing for spring. But, today, I look at my calendar – this new week and month starting on the same day, and I say, “Welcome February. Won’t you stay a while?”
Today, I open my mind to possibilities. The possibility that I will say no to commitments I can’t keep. The possibility that I will make room for grace. The possibility that I will take priority over whatever else threatens to overtake my mind this month.
In this moment, my heart is filled with potential and hope. I look forward with renewed vigor and pray that I will seize each opportunity to let God shine this month. I breathe in the new day and know that I am enough to make this month great.
From dust I came, but I am not dust. This morning, I pick up the ashes that January left behind, and step into the hope that there is more to come as February dawns. Won’t you join me?