Starting Fresh


“The truth is that a life well lived is always lived on a rising scale of difficulty.” ― N.D. Wilson

I find myself a bit of a contemplative on the cusp of a new year. Do you ever get there too? A whole year ahead holds so much potential, but I confess, looks daunting from here. Things we can’t see clearly always are. 

photo source: DSC_5212-3 by Chalk White Arrow on Flickr
photo source: DSC_5212-3 by Chalk White Arrow on Flickr

I think with each passing year, my desire to live it well causes more contemplation. More anticipation. Perhaps because I’m discovering a little of what ND Wilson writes in Death by Living:

“Lay your life down. Your heartbeats cannot be hoarded. Your reservoir of breaths is draining away. You have hands, blister them while you can. You have bones, make them strain-they can carry nothing in the grave. You have lungs, let them spill with laughter. With an average life expectancy of 78.2 years in the US (subtracting eight hours a day for sleep), I have around 250,00 conscious hours remaining to me in which I could be smiling or scowling, rejoicing in my life, in this race, in this story, or moaning and complaining about my troubles. I can be giving my fingers, my back, my mind, my words, my breaths, to my wife and my children and my neighbors, or I can grasp after the vapor and the vanity for myself, dragging my feet, afraid to die and therefore afraid to live. And, like Adam, I will still die in the end.” 

That inspires me to live well. Courageously. Abundantly. To take life and make the most of it, despite navigating waters I can’t see clearly through.

photo source: via Pinterest
photo source: via Pinterest

So as I dream and wonder and think on this new season, I’ll pass along some things that are helping me form my ideas. And maybe as we take daily, measured steps, small things happen. Things that can change a life.

  • Dream Guide: Jennie Allen – A contemplative look at the year behind and ahead. These are without fail a good tool as we shift gears for a new year.
  • OneWord365 – I love this. Choose a word that you want to empower your next year. Post in on your nightstand, keep it close, and make choices with that word in mind. Check out the website and learn more.

“Despite the oft-repeated claim that awareness does nothing, it almost always does something—something small, perhaps, but something measurable.” – Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jaci says:

    I love this, Amber. I have chosen “art” as my one word. I hope it will inspire me to take the time to make art this year. It seems there is always so much house work, etc to get in the way. What is your One Word? Just curious.

    1. Amber says:

      I like that a lot, Jaci. It’s so true that the things that are sometimes the most meaningful to who we are, are often things that get shoved aside with all the things we “have to do.” I hope holding that word close to you this year helps to keep it a priority! It’d love to hear how it effects your year.

      My word is “courageous” because I feel it in me, but am recognizing that I too often let fear of unknown consequences or safety get in the way. So I’m putting that forth as a calling this year – to courageously step forward into some new unknowns.

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