A New Beginning


I just love to get something new. I don’t say that because I get new things on a regular basis, and I certainly don’t want to sound materialistic. But when I do have the opportunity to purchase something new, I like to savor it. I like to enjoy choosing something new and enjoying the “newness” of the item.

What I mean by that is that I love the freshness of a new thing. For instance, I love a new book. I like the way it smells, the way the pages stick together and how the spine is often very firm. When I go to the store to pick out a book I look at the shelves, read the backs of the books, and make my selection. However, I don’t buy the book that everyone has looked at. I like to reach way back on the shelf or way down to the bottom and pick out a copy that hasn’t been handled by lots of people. That’s a funny quirk that most people don’t know about me. I do the same thing with clothes, too. I can see a stack of sweaters and hold up a few to check them out, but once I decide which one I want, I reach way down to the bottom of the stack and pick out one that hasn’t been unfolded or tried on, etc. It’s weird, I know, but it’s what I do.

I really like new things. I guess that’s why I like the beginning of a new year. I like the fact that it’s a new start, a fresh opportunity to begin again. It feels like the opportunity to go where no one else has ever gone before—into the future. As I begin 2012, I can honestly say I’m more ready for this new year than I have been for any year in a long time. I’ve been ready to say good-bye to 2011 for a long time. 2011 is what I would classify as a difficult year—a year with lots of challenges, lots of lessons learned, and lots of hard days. With that said, I sort of feel like I’ve been able to walk out of 2011 and slam the door behind me, all the while looking forward to 2012 with great hope and anticipation for better days to come.

In recent days I’ve thought about this new year and the opportunity to begin anew, and I’ve been constantly reminded that a new beginning is nothing if we don’t seize the opportunity and make intentional choices to live differently. 2012 will be just another year if I don’t approach it with a new attitude and a fresh spirit. So, are you ready for 2012? Are you ready to take hold of this new beginning that life hands us every 12 months? How are you planning to live differently this year? In what ways do you hope to become a better person in the days ahead? These are all big questions to ponder and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Think about these questions in light of leading children in missions education. How will you lead differently this year? How will you reach children for the cause of Christ this year? In what ways will you help instill a missional heart in the lives of the children you lead? Every year counts, so be sure to make this one count in the lives of the children you lead. It’s a brand new year that no one has touched before. Live it fully and savor all that 2012 has to offer. I can’t wait to hear how 2012 gives you the opportunity to change lives for the Kingdom.

Happy New Year!

By Suzanne Reece
Children's Ministry Consultant

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Recently, one of my friends made the following Facebook post:

“I was in Walmart behind a lady as she struggled with her groceries. She had the cashier ring about half of the groceries up with a distinct priority. About halfway through, she had the cashier start adding items 1 or 2 at a time while she watched anxiously the total on the screen. Eventually she had the cashier stop and left about 6–8 items on the belt. Her young daughter of about 7 years (who was patiently waiting) asked about the small watermelon on the belt and wondered why they weren’t getting it. She didn’t ask about the Oreos, just the watermelon.

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