Happy November

Today I’m grateful for second chances.  For new beginnings.  For a whole new month, with nothing written on it yet.

Triberg, Black Forest, Germany
Triberg, Black Forest, Germany

One of my favorite things in life is a new journal.

I love starting out fresh with a whole notebook full of blank pages, each one just waiting to be filled with wonderful, exciting, inspiring thoughts.  As I begin to fill the pages my handwriting is neat and orderly, my notes organized, each idea worthy of the pristine space.

That lasts for a day or two.  And then I’m right back to my normal routine.  Scribbling down thoughts as they come.  Drawing lines and arrows to connect ideas that go together but didn’t show up at the same time.  Marking through something that I realize is not really what I think.

By the time the journal is filled the outside is marred and scratched.  The cover may be bent.  There are coffee stains in a few places.  Some pages might be torn or crumpled.  And it’s full of thousands of words, a few sketches, hundreds of exclamation points–along with heartfelt prayers, daily praises, lists of blessings, Bible verses that I want to apply to my life, tearful confessions, and things about myself that I want to change.

As I near the back of the notebook I find myself looking forward to another new beginning.  The next empty journal.  Another chance to really get things right this time.  The old journal begins to feel heavy, confining, like an old garment I’ve outgrown.  I hope that discomfort means I’m growing spiritually and emotionally, ready for new lessons and new thoughts.  Much as a snake sheds its old skin periodically, I want to shrug off the old and embrace the new.

Castle Rampart, Esslingen, Germany
Castle Rampart, Esslingen, Germany

The first day of the month is like that, too.  I’m ready to set October aside.  Let go of the expectations for myself that I didn’t fulfill.  Leave mistakes and regrets behind.  And step forward into a new month.

Hopefully, I carry forward with me the lessons learned.  I review my plans, check my progress, and reassess my priorities.  I make another fresh start, with hope and joyful expectation.  Exciting things could happen in this new month!

Many people go through this process at the beginning of a new year.  And I’ll do that, too, in January.  But I don’t want to wait a whole year between times of deep reflection.   If I’m getting it wrong, I want to know now so I can correct it.  If it’s working, I want to do more.

With the Apostle Paul, I want to press on–to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  (See Philippians 3:12)  I want to be more and do more for Him.  I want to grow and learn and be molded into His image.

Thank God, I have another chance.  It’s a new month, and I am rejoicing in hope!

Blessings on your November,