I am so excited that it is a new year! With that comes new goals, new adventures, and new endeavors. Several weeks ago to kick off the new year, I went on a girl’s trip to Miami and before going on this vacation, I was starting to feel exhausted on every level. I kept hearing the words “refresh” yourself in my presence. The word “refresh” really stood out to me. I am one busy working mom by day as a teacher, blogger, wife, friend, daughter, serve in our church, and exercise enthusiast so lets just say I always have a lot going on, especially since I am a social butterfly! I am by no means complaining, but I was starting to feel the pressure of the world on my shoulders just to keep it real with you. I kept feeling that a renewal process wants to take place in the beginning of each new year. Not only within me but to those he calls his children. The definition of being refreshed, refreshing, or refresh means to give new strength or energy to: reinvigorate. This is EXACTLY what God wants to do within us! This is a fresh start God wants to give you! No, this does not only happen in the beginning of a new year because we can start fresh with God any day or time of the year. However, there is something special about a new year that brings along new hope, excitement, and anticipation. It is so important to start the new year refreshing yourself in his word, in his presence, in hearing him more clearly through prayer and fasting. Biblical fasting is an abstaining from food, drink, or anything one chooses to stop to refrain from doing for a period of time for spiritual growth, and we humbly deny something from the flesh to glorify God, enhance our spirit, and go deeper in our prayer life. I define fasting as God literally removing all the clutter in your soul so that you can hear from Him more clearly and feel the move of God flowing through you so that he can lead you, restore you, and refresh you with the power of his word. “The Law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple (Psalm 23:1).”
“A sweet friendship REFRESHES the soul” (Proverbs 27:9)
There are so many ways besides reading God’s word, worshipping him , and prayer (although these are the MOST important) that can refresh your soul. Spending time with family and friends and sharing great conversations and laughter, going to the gym and releasing those endorphins, going to a coffee shop, reading and/or journal writing, or shopping (you all know I love me some shopping therapy!), a day at the spa, getting away on vacation, or just simply treating yourself to a few of your favorite things to do. A lot of times we are so busy serving others that we forget to take time for ourselves. All I know is that with the busy lifestyles many of us lead, it is vital and absolutely necessary to just set aside time to dwell in the presence of our savior and get invigorated by his power and presence, and allow him to refresh our sometimes weary and tired bodies and souls. “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint,” (Jeremiah 31:25). To refresh is to renew and restore so when your body is feeling depleted, many times the solution is drinking a refreshing glass of water. Without water you couldn’t survive. Water is referenced 482 times in the Bible. When your soul is depleted, you need to reach for living water. Without this living water, your soul can’t thrive. Jesus said: “But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right path for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23: 1-3).
I have been asked why I blog if I don’t get paid for it. I have also been asked, what do I want out of having a blog (yes, people are bold enough to ask). Well, the answer is simple. I do get paid for it. Not monetarily, but spiritually I do get rewarded. You see, writing is my form of therapy and a time for me to spend time studying for a message God has laid on my heart to write about for my inspirational blog posts to share with all of you. Being in God’s word and getting refreshed in his presence is what sustains me daily. As he pours into me, I have the privilege of pouring into others. “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed themselves” (Proverbs 11:25). When you unselfishly pour into the lives of others and want to serve and share his love with others, he will never leave you weary and exhausted. He rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6) and he inhabits the praises of his people. Friends, in this new year may you truly be out with the old habits and in with the new good habits that are pleasing to God and edifying to your spiritual growth and to the lives of others around you. If you have never allowed Jesus into your heart or if you have turned away from God due to reasons only you know of, then now in this new year, is the time to “repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Ask him to come into your heart and be Lord of your life. It’s never to late to start fresh and anew so be refreshed, redeemed, and restored in his presence this new year and always!
With so much love, hope, and faith