the after party

The presents are unwrapped and the paper is in the trash.
The family has left and the leftovers are in the fridge.

It’s the day after Christmas.
The hustle and bustle of the previous month is finished…now what?

Well, friends, this is just the beginning!

We celebrate the birth of Jesus; we gather our families close and exchange gifts.
And then we dive right into the after party. Which, as we all know, is THE party to be at according to Hollywood.

The after party.
Champagne and sparkles.
Twirly dresses and bow-ties.
Headbands with numbers and noise-makers galore.

Friends… we celebrate the birth of our Savior and then we ring in a new year!
A fresh beginning. A new start. New hopes and dreams abound because… this is the year.

We’ve all thought it from time-to-time:This will be my year!

I hold a gym membership… I know what this time of year means.

It means that people decide to better themselves and for a whole two weeks (sometimes three) all of the good machines at the gym are taken by resolutioners (‘resolutioners’ is a word I just made up to describe people who, once a year, do things they normally wouldn’t do). They take over the gym, the produce section at the grocery store, and crowd various places that normally are easy to navigate.

Forget the former things;
do not dwell in the past.
Isaiah 43:18 (NIV)

From an early age we are taught to give it all up to God – let go and move into His light.
And so, as a united world, every year right after Christmas and before the start of the new year, we think of various ways to let go of the past and move into the future in a whole new way.

We exercise.
We eat right.
We promise to call our grandparents every single week.
We are going to watch less TV.
We are going to give up eating fast food.
yadda yadda yadda

What if, instead, we just let it all go? What if we moved into the new year, not with our own hopes for ourselves, but with His hopes for us?

Treat each other with kindness.
Love one another without judgement.
Pray for each other.
Call each other up just to say ‘hi’ and ‘I love you.’

I’ve never been good at resolutions. In fact, I rarely make them.
Well, unless you count drinking more coffee than I did last year as a resolution… but that just seems to happen naturally.

Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.
Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.
Brooke Atkinson

This year, my hope is that we all head to the after party with our hearts full of love and excitement as we look to our future.
He has many dreams and prayers to fulfill for each of us in the upcoming year.

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