A Fresh Start

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

I love fresh starts and new beginnings. New Year’s Day, birthdays, school year endings, and anniversaries always make me excited because it means it’s time for me to reflect. As a year closes and a “new chapter” begins, I find myself often times reflecting with God on what blessings I experienced, what was hard, and where I grew.

I also love to look forward, to pray and think about what needs to change and how I want to grow. God is so good to give us new beginnings all the time. Lamentations 3:22-23 says “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” I love that verse because it’s such a reminder to me that we have NEW morning mercy every day. No matter what happened yesterday, we have the gift of a fresh start with God.

And no matter whether your birthday is close or you have another “new chapter” right around the corner, we are all over halfway through 2021, and that is cause for celebration and reflection! We have four months of the year left, so how can we use those four months to grow, love others, and get closer to God?

One of my favorite ways to reflect is through journaling, so below I have shared with you some of my own questions that I am working through this week. My recommendation is to find a comfy, quiet place, bring your bible and your favorite journal and pen, make sure you have a good cup of coffee or tea to drink, and just be quiet for a few moments before working through these questions.

Bring each one to God in prayer and thank Him for the good He has done in you already in 2021. Believe in His promises for the second half of the year, and know I am praying with you and for you that by December 31st you will be able to celebrate all the things God has done in your life from now until then. Praise Him for teaching us to live reflective, focused lives that keep us connected to Him!

Questions for journaling:

Reflecting on the first half of 2021:

  1. What am I really thankful for from the first half of this year?
  2. In what areas of my life have I grown in the first half of 2021?
  3. Where has God blesses me or come through for me in the first half of 2021?
  4. What hard things have I delt with in the first half of 2021? Which of these do I need to give to God in prayer? Which of these do I already have hope or peace for?
  5. Who has been a blessing in my life in the first half of this year? Who have I been able to bless or serve?

Looking ahead to the second half of 2021:

  1. How do I want to grow for the rest of the year? What areas of my life (spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, relational) do I want to focus on and improve?
  2. What am I praying for in my own life? How do I want God to come through for me?
  3. Who can I pray for for the rest of 2021? Are there practical ways I can love and serve this person?
  4. How can I grow closer to God in the second half of 2021? In what areas of my life do I need to add something, continue something, or take something away to make this happen?
  5. At the end of 2021, who do I want to be? (Spend some time praying and asking God to help you grow in these ways.)

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