A few weeks ago, during a GraceLaced team meeting, we looked around the virtual Zoom “room” and acknowledged it…
We wished there was a way to start 2022 over again.
Whether it was sickness, heartache, conflict in relationships, gloomy weather, or unexpected anxiety, several of us were feeling like the beginning of the year had not started like we hoped it would. Maybe you feel the same way?
As we talked about it and spoke the truth of God’s Word to encourage each other, the good news was clear: God renews our hearts even when we can’t change our circumstances.
While we can’t actually turn back the clock and start 2022 over again, in the midst of tumultuous beginnings, we’ve found ways to reset our hearts; Scripture that comforts us and renews our minds; small steps—practical rhythms—that have refreshed our souls. So, if you too, need a rest because starting over isn’t an option, here are some lists our team made together. Our prayer is that God will use some of it to encourage your heart, right where you are.
Truths that are renewing our minds
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Practices and rhythms that are giving us life
Here’s what our team shared as being helpful in this season:
- Journaling and making time (even if it’s 5-10 minutes!), to slow down.
- Simplifying life—specifically buying less and using technology less.
- Picking up the morning routine I dropped in the height of the pandemic.
- Going to be earlier and waking up earlier.
- Exercising, journaling, reading and praying before work.
- Laying out clothes and meal prepping breakfast the night before to allow for more time to read in the morning.
- Bundling up and going for a walk every day.
- Using a Bible reading plan (even if I don’t keep up with the intended pace) helps me have somewhere to go in the Word every day.
- Spending intentional time together as a family on the weekends instead of everyone just doing their own thing.
Meditating on Scripture and making small, simple changes won’t magically “fix” the brokenness we may be feeling, but they can serve to point our hearts to Jesus.
He’s the One who can change our hearts even when our circumstances remain the same.
He’s the One who can satisfy our deepest longings.
He’s the One who hears us when we cry out to Him.
He’s the One who loves us without fail.
Take heart, friend—the heaviness you feel and the limitations you experience are meant to draw you close to Jeus. He really is all we need.
- GraceLaced Team