Yesterday was exhausting.
I worked all morning to put away two Christmas trees and all their attending ornaments and lights.
I also made two pies and a big dinner for my family,
all while taking care of a hungry baby.
I had help, and the day was wonderful.
But still, as 2012 drew to a close,
I was tired.
But every year on this first morning,
I turn the little daily verse to January 1st
and my heart lifts with joy.
It's a fresh new year.
Early morning, and sunshine flooded our living room.
I spent the first hour of the day dusting.
What a shocking amount of dust the sun revealed.
I washed the chalkboard clean and pondered what to write on it.
Usually I like words from a song,
but this verse from Ezekiel is the promise I need
for a new year.
Resolutions are fine, and goals are useful.
But what is needed for life
is a brand-new heart.
The dust of 2012 is about to be washed away.
It required strong morning light
to show me what needed to be cleaned.
Now that the room is empty of Christmas decorations,
this is one of the only colorful things in it.
An amaryllis, nodding warm beside a frozen window.
It will bloom in the first week of 2013.
Happy New Year.
Every year, when I flip the kitchen verse to these lines from Ezekiel, they astound me.
"For I will take you out from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them,
and ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God."
(Ezekiel 36: 24-28)