So it should come as no surprise that leaving 2013 behind is throwing me off a little. How exciting that we're entering a new year, new milestones, new newness, who knows what kind of craziness is going to happen in all of the new ahead of us!
2013 was the best ever. EVER.
...in every way possible. Just... the best.
So when I got up this morning with Mercy, all excited about the newness today brings, I couldn't help but find tears welling up... We spent some time in her room, she explored and since she's strictly in 6-9 month clothes now, I started cleaning out her 3 month clothes.
I dread this every time... Putting away little onesies and precious outfits that she's outgrown is literally devastating to me! My favorite little things that I couldn't wait for her to be big enough to wear, she's now too big to wear and that just boggles my mind. How am I supposed to say goodbye to these little things that mark milestones in my sweet girls growth?? How am I supposed to just put them in a bag and toss them in the attic to be forgotten until maybe needed again...?? Oh man... I can't handle it.
...and looming in the back of my mind is the knowledge that in just a few months I'll be doing this again.... Oh man. Already feeling sad about that!
So... of course, after I was completely done, before I handed the bag over to be sent to the attic, I snuck back in to grab my very favorite:
...just not ready, y'all.
Newness, I love it. I love experiencing each new little bit of awesomeness that happens with Mercy every day. This is SUCH a fun stage, watching her learn new things on a daily basis, and her fascination with everything new she finds is so much fun to see.
...but with newness, we inevitably have to say "bye bye" to the old.
And that's just not easy for me.
Thank God for Mercy. She is teaching me so much through this stage. For her, this newness is a breeze! When that girl started crawling, there was no looking back! She was so ready to go and leave sitting still in the dust!
...and don't you think that's God's desire for our hearts?
As we daily turn our lives over to Him and learn to trust in Him, don't you think He longs to see us joyfully leave old sins and old habits in the dust?
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
This is what happens when we turn to Christ. It happens out of joy and gratitude to the Savior of our souls. It's a natural occurrence, Christlike newness. Certainly not something that credits us with salvation, but in contrast, it's something that happens in response to the free gift of salvation we've been given in Christ. And... it's awesome.
It is. Super awesome.
Even with this incredibly awesome Christlike newness that I experience daily, I struggle. I struggle so hard to say goodbye to sins that I'm dealing with, that I've dealt with for years. Leaving those things in the dust, that's called repentance. It's turning from our sins, and doesn't always come easy. Especially when you like to hold onto things of old like I do! ...so hard to say goodbye to old sins and habits that harm my relationship with God.
This one here:
...she's teaching me loads and loads about saying bye bye to the old.
She's a daily reminder of the joy found in Christlike newness. When she accomplishes something new, her face lights up with excitement as soon as she locks eyes with her daddy. I love to watch him work with her on new skills she's practicing, he helps her learn to put one foot in front of the other as she practices walking holding onto his hands, he helps her learn new sounds and syllables, he claps and shouts with joy when she pulls up in tough spots. I looove to watch her crawl to him, reach for his hands, turn her head and smile when she hears his voice.
Mercy goes to her daddy for help and he is so more than excited to help her grow and learn tough new skills.
As I watch those two and consider my own struggle to say goodbye to the old, I am reminded of my Daddy's desire for me to come to Him for help in my own trek towards newness. I'm reminded of His joy in teaching me to turn from the old toward Him and the beautiful newness He offers me... and I'm reminded of the JOY in all of this.
There is so much joy in Christlike newness, in the gift of salvation and in this amazing life of following Him.
Saying "Bye bye..."
Love it, embrace it, friends. It's new. It's good.
Let's experience Christlike newness each day in 2014, let's seek His face and learn to grow more and more into His likeness. Let's LOVE all the new that He offers us.
Speaking of new, check out Mercy's new camera, now she's just like her mommy!!