Philippa Smyth lives in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand, with her husband Dean and their three boys, Micah, Toby and Zachary. Together they are Executive Pastors at The River Christian Church. Philippa loves Pinterest, journaling and coffee. She is passionate about helping people realize their potential in God and equipping them to fulfill their God-given purpose and follow their dreams. She can be found blogging over on http://blueskiesandlollipops.
Toasting marshmallows over an open fire, fireworks and sparklers, standing on the deck looking out over the bay at boat lights and more fireworks, hearing the shouts of Happy New Year from across the water. Celebrating the start of the New Year with extended family. Going on the hunt the next morning for coffee (success!) and then sitting down to a cooked brunch of bacon & eggs. Enjoying the serenity of a quiet bay and the deliciousness of fejoia sorbet. It was a great start to the New Year.
I love the promise and potential that a New Year holds. Fresh and new beginnings. A chance to open the blank pages of a diary and fill it with dreams and hopes, and then to see them outwork in reality as the year progresses. A New Year is pregnant with promise. Standing at midnight, whispering your resolutions and dreams into the night, all is full of hope and expectation.
But when the holiday is over and the reality of daily life begins - the work commute, the laundry, the bills - we somehow need to keep that magic of New Year's in our hearts. That hope, those dreams need to be fed and nurtured, protected from the knocks of life. And that means surrendering them into the loving hands of God. It means not worrying about having everything figured out, but in the small and daily steps of life, saying YES to Him.
If there is one thing I have learnt, striving to fulfil my resolutions in my own strength is tough and sometimes ensures failure. But with God, all things are possible. Surrendering to Him and His wonderful grace is always my best ever resolution. Kris Vallotton says it better - "I need a new years revelation not another resolution! The more I see Him, the more I become like Him. Trying to resolve my life issue with disciplines just never works for me."
When I reach the end of 2015 and stand at the dawn of 2016, if I am more like Jesus, if I have grown in attitude and action, in character and in life to reflect Him better, I will definitely be celebrating!