Nancy Kalman

Nancy There is something about “Firsts” aren’t there? They are exceptionally special. Today, I witnessed the first snow of the season…the beauty of each exquisite, unique snowflake floating down from the heavenly skies and blanketing the earth. I leaned up against the window pane… feeling like I was looking at a live Norman Rockwell painting…. with little children figures frolicking and giggling as they roll a snowman, play ice hockey and make snow angels. There was quiet in my house (which at times is a gift to me! ;) as I looked out at the view that reminded me of sweet, old silent movies.

As the first of the year approaches, our minds tend to go to making goals for the year and changes and whatnot. I think that is a good thing but so many of us, including myself, tend to be hard on ourselves. Maybe you want to lose weight, or work on getting out of debt, eating healthier, etc. These are all respectable goals or New Year’s resolutions. However, be careful not to make those goals too lofty or burdensome. And remember that your Heavenly Father loves you dearly no matter what.

This year the “first” reminds me of how special all the firsts are in our lives…to reflect on all the new beginnings…the past chapters… and to celebrate not just the accomplishments but also our failures. The lessons learned spark a fresh, new perspective to a greater good in each of us. We can look back, learn and let go.

Not only so, but wec also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

May I encourage you to take some quiet time to reflect on this past year and thank God for your blessings and the difficult seasons. Try challenging yourself to do something new and different, creating a first for yourself. This may be a first tradition for your family, a new sport or craft, volunteering, forgiving someone, or a first time to do something your spouse enjoys that is of little interest to you. You may be surprised of how much you like this new first.

Just like that unique, beautiful snowflake, God made you EXTRAORDINARY. Each and every day is a new beginning for you and me. Make it special, celebrate and shine Christ’s remarkable light in you.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).