By Sandy Lemoine/Guest Writer
The Picayune Item
As I walked into the church worship center that Sunday in January 2010, the large round red sign with the word RESET struck me like a written message from God in answer to my questions in the New Year…What’s next? Where do I go and what do I do now? I knew the key was in the word “reset,” but how do I do it? Resetting is not exactly like making New Year resolutions, but more like making changes in some areas of your life. It’s like changing directions.
So here I am in early 2012, and as in 2010, the decorations have been packed away, the company is gone, the Christmas music put back on the lower shelf of my CD stand, and the last left-over goodies eaten (after forcing the last chocolate covered cherry down). Well, I couldn’t waste it could I?! Yes, the Christmas holiday out of sight for another year. But the memories…thankfully they linger and will forever stay etched in my heart and mind as I creatively layout photos onto beautiful scrapbook pages.
It usually takes me 2 to 3 weeks to perk up again after all the excitement of the Christmas and New Year holidays. But when the dust settles from trips to the garage and attic, when the house cleaning is over and everything is back in its proper place, I realize two things. First, Christmas is in my heart always, 24/7, since Jesus lives there. And He is the Reason for the Season, so that joy and excitement never leaves. While that is certainly the most important reason to “perk up” and not have post-holiday gloom, I remind myself there are also many fun events to look forward to in a new year.
In 2010, after the excitement of the NFL Playoff games, my beloved New Orleans Saints headed to the Super Bowl after 43 years! The entire “WhoDat Nation” literally went mad with celebration. Somehow, as I watched that football hurling through the air seemingly in slow motion, the game into overtime, I knew I’d be joining thousands of other fans in downtown New Orleans to celebrate! And yes I did…Allowing my daughter and some younger friends to drag me out at 10 p.m.! We joined others as we shouted, rang our Saints cowbells and tooted our car horns! Crazy things like that keep me young at heart. I just wish my heart would have told my tired body that when my alarm went off just a few hours after the clock struck 2 a.m. and my head was just hitting the pillow!
Now, fast-forward to 2012! The New Orleans Saints have made it into the Playoffs again and many have high hopes of a repeat of 2010! I will be watching, waiting and believing! The anticipation of that, along with other upcoming annual occasions and events, helps to keep life exciting as I move forward. And the joy of the Lord within as I read the promise in Jeremiah 29:11, lets me rise above any sadness, hurts, failures and disappointments of the past year. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Yes…a new year, a new beginning, a fresh start to everything in my life that needs attention to “where it stands.” Physically, that would be better eating habits and getting back to the gym with regular workouts. Spiritually, that would mean taking inventory on thoughts and plans for my life, decisions and setting priorities in order. This particular year, as I did two years ago, I feel the importance of setting some specific things in order, situations that perhaps need to be dealt with differently than in previous months. But how would I do that? Once again, I will “reset.”
When I walked into my church that morning in 2010 and saw that red reset button, it was followed by a 4-week message series. My Pastor spoke about resetting in many areas. First “from within,” meaning taking inventory of ourselves, where we stand with our personal relationship with God, our prayer life, Bible reading, what God has really called us to do; and then about “outreach,” our relationship with others, fellowship, connecting and serving our community as well. I gained such direction and strength for the New Year from these messages, and was thankful that I could hit a spiritual “reset” button.
On the final week of the series I learned about the importance of solitude in my life. Solitude is “a strategic aloneness that is built into the rhythm of our life.” Jesus had specific times of Solitude where He spoke to His Father. I am learning that in this busy world I too must find that special time that works for me each and every day, a time of solitude. Prayer and time with God is of utmost importance, of course, but my pastor explained it even further as a time to replenish ourselves whether by reading, taking a walk in a quiet place, meditating and just having “in-put” moments.
So in closing, I find myself excited about the New Year and all the wonderful things ahead, both in God and the things of interest to enjoy and entertains us. So…from “And the winner is” to calling “heads or tails” to “Gentlemen start your Engines” or to the sound of National Anthem as one of the athletes stand to receive their gold, silver or bronze medal in the upcoming summer Olympics, I am going to enjoy every minute of it, live life to the fullest, and his RESET again.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Picayune resident, Sandy Lemoine was first place winner at the Christian Writer’s Conference in 2011 for her Picayune Item Writer’s Corner article “Time.”)