Sometimes I find that performing a common, household task helps me to think. The past couple of years I’ve gotten into the habit of cleaning off the top of my fridge around the 1st of January. I can see the cleared surface and the shine. It’s a visual. A new year clean slate.
This time also affords me a fond look back over the flurry of December. I find all kinds of discarded items on top of my fridge, as well as those that were strategically placed there to stay out of reach. There are a couple of broken tree ornaments I thought I’d glue. The loud, tooty horn I swiped away when I could stand it no more and… ah, the angel halo from early December’s performance.
What’s this? A pack of water balloons and a mostly used bottle of bubbles? I spy a bucket of art supplies. Surrounding it all is the dust of so many weeks. I flip the calendar draped off the side of the fridge. January. Time goes so fast.
New Year Clean Slate
“Teach us to realize how short our lives are. Then our hearts will become wise.” Psalm 90:12
Something about this physical act of cleaning off and clearing out helps me to usher in the new year. Scrubbing away and clearing off the things that piled up. It’s a fresh start even if it is only my kitchen.
But most importantly, this tackling the top of the fridge also reminds me of the clean slate we have always with Jesus. Not just at the start of a new year. How thankful I am that I get a new start every day! Every hour. Every minute.
But what about how poorly I handled… Forgiven.
Well, but I should have… Forgiven.
Even all my parental failings? Forgiven.
His grace. Freely given. Available always. Wiped clean. I don’t have to make resolutions. His forgiveness deals with the dust that always seems to pile up in my life. This life of parenting. Maybe I should clean off the top of the fridge more than a few times a year?
Remembering my new heart, I turn and wash my hands clean at the kitchen sink, glancing at Vicki Bentley’s quote I propped on my windowsill. From Everyday Homemaking:
“You can’t change what you have or haven’t done over the past year. Just start where you are, ask the Lord to make you a “joyful mother of children,” pray for grace and wisdom (and strength and patience), and move forward.
See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
Do you have a simple way to start a new year clean slate? You might also like A Clean Slate – Planning and Dreaming for the New Year.
-originally published December 2010 at Passionate Purposeful Parenting