hello monday: vol. 1

Hello, Monday. Welcome to 2018.

It probably just adds to my organizational nerd status, but I am far more excited than is probably normal about the fact that today, the first day of 2018, is a Monday. Because it's not just a new day or a new week, but a new month and a new year. It's like the ultimate fresh start.

 
daniel-hjalmarsson-269425.jpg
 

I am one of those of people who recognizes that, ultimately, January 1 is no different than any other day of the year. In actuality, there is nothing magical about it. But at the same time, I fully believe there is something magical about this day, whether it falls on a Monday or a Friday or a Tuesday.

You might be stepping into the year full of baggage from the last 12 months and all the other years of your life. You don't leave yourself behind when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, but that doesn't mean something extraordinary isn't happening. Collectively, the world turns over a new leaf and we begin a new chapter, unaware of all the things the next 365 days will bring into our lives.

I embrace every bit of the excitement of a new year. I get giddy over the thought of starting a new planner. I fill out goal planning workbooks and dream up all sorts of goodness for what a new year might bring about in my life and 2018 is no different.

For a lot of people, myself included, 2017 was a bit of a doozy. A lot of good things happened, but a lot of hard things happened, too, and you might've felt like you were limping over the finish line. I got that surge of energy in the last few days, but I spent most of December hanging on by a thread, praying that the magic would be a reality in my life and good and new and wonderful things would begin happening on January 1st.

I don't know what's in store for your life in 2018 anymore than I know what's in store for mine.

I do know that I'm tired. I know the last four years of my life have been utter chaos and I am praying that Jesus holds off for these next 365 days before throwing me another curveball. I know, probably much like 2017 and all the years before that, good things will happen and mediocre things will happen and really sucky things will happen.

And I know, like always, it will be easy to take the cynical, defeated route. It will be easy to say I just don't care anymore because life is too hard and the world is too much of a mess. But I also know that's not how we were created to live.

"Behold, I am doing a new thing," says the LORD in Isaiah 43:19. "Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"

The last four years have taught me a lot of things. I think I've grown more in the span of them than in much of the 24 years of my life prior to them and anyone who knows me will tell you I am a rather different person than I was on January 1, 2014.

That day, I asked the Lord to teach me how to trust Him. He has done that and so much more in the time since, and part of that lesson is recognizing that He is always doing a new thing. He is always working and moving and shaking the mountains and doing incredible, unfathomable things. Some of those things will be obvious and undeniable and will make you laugh and cry and rejoice over the goodness and sovereignty of our God. And some of those things will take years of tending and cultivating before they spring forth, before our limited human minds can perceive what He has been doing all along.

Whether you limped over the finish line of 2017 or sprinted into 2018 with fervor and gusto, I pray this year you would keep your heart and your eyes open. The world has collectively turned over a new leaf and the Lord is doing something new in that. So look around and keep your eyes peeled. Stop and still so you may perceive the tiniest shoots springing forth and be part of the goodness of His work in your life and lives of others from the very beginning.


PS. In the spirit of new things, I am starting a new thing — Hello Monday. Every Monday for the duration of 2018, you can expect a post like this to pop up. They won't be planned or curated or deliberated over. I will come to the keyboard each Monday morning and greet the day and share whatever the Lord puts on my heart for that week.

I don't expect them to all be praise-worthy or profound. I don't quite know what to expect from the project as a whole, but I do know in 2018 I want to be deliberate about showing up in this space in a way I haven't in the last couple of years. I want to be deliberate about using the gift the Lord has given me for writing to encourage and uplift whoever stumbles across this space. Thank you for joining me. See you next Monday. :)