Aaaaahhhhh. Back to school. As much as I enjoy the lazy, traveling, sleeping in, no rush and exploring days of summer, I always look forward to the fresh start of a brand new school year. I love meeting my children’s new teachers. I love fresh crisp school supplies. I love seeing my kids in new clothes and I love the opportunity for a clean start. Wiping the slate clean and starting new is invigorating.
I love it so much that I use lots of excuses throughout the year to do that… back to school, January and even the start of summer. The thing about each of those fresh starts, though, is that they are all temporary. I can set goals for how to be a better disciple, wife, mom and friend, but I am always going to fall short. I am going to make mistakes. And I am probably going to get frustrated about those mistakes, too. The good news is that all the fresh starts throughout the year cannot compare to the one fresh start I am given over and over by my Father in the gift of forgiveness which came from inviting Jesus into my life and into my heart.
Recognizing my shortcomings and the need for Jesus in my life to wash away my sins is the best fresh start I can get. And I am so thankful that it is a continual sea of fresh starts, because I make a lot of mistakes! Does this mean I should just give up and not set any goals or try to be the best I can be? Absolutely not. Following Christ not only means accepting His love and forgiveness, it also means striving to live a life that honors Him.
So yes, I still take advantage of all those worldly fresh starts to set new goals and try to live a better life on earth… but I also embrace all of those more fulfilling complete fresh starts given me by my Father. And I try so very hard to model those fresh starts with my own children when they make mistakes and ask for forgiveness. That’s not always easy, but I find that when I truly forgive my children for their mistakes and move past them, we all do better. Their trust in me grows, their behavior changes and the explosiveness of whatever bad decision they are seeking forgiveness about is often diffused. And then we all feel better and can move on. It’s hard to admit mistakes and ask for forgiveness. But when I do, boy do I ever feel better! I know my children ultimately feel the same way.
Do you feel the invigorating power of a fresh start with our Father? And do you model it for your children?