Happy Fresh Year!

IMG_3857-001New snow. The first rays of dawn. A crisp apple. We appreciate all these things and more because they are fresh—unspoiled and full of promise. Should we appreciate this fresh, new year any less?

The problem many of us have is not how to appreciate the freshness of the new year, but how to keep it fresh. A diet that includes plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables is always a good idea, but that alone won’t sustain freshness. No amount of Tupperware® or Saran Wrap® will do the job either. We have to make a conscious effort to keep things fresh all year long—beginning with our own attitudes.

What comes to mind when you think of celebrating and sustaining freshness in your life? I’ll list just a few thoughts in hopes of motivating you to think of more:

Fresh marriage. My husband and I celebrated 25 wonderful years together last summer, but I never want to take God’s gift of a second, redemptive marriage for granted. I’m going to look for ways to keep our love fresh as we move toward a time of life neither of us has experienced before—to be open to new places, energizing experiences, and innovative living arrangements.

Fresh work. I’m writing a new book: a creative exercise with all the joys and angst of birthing a baby. I want to keep my work fresh—to use more primary resources and less of my tried-and-true secondary ones. To think thoughts I’ve never had and use vivid, descriptive words so that I deliver a fresh manuscript to the publisher by the April deadline, not a stale one.

Fresh friendship. This year I want to be totally present with friends old and new. To truly listen when they speak and find a fresh level of intimacy with each one. Friendship is a treasure to cherish—and keep fresh.

Fresh faith. A new year means beginning a new daily devotional, but what else will be fresh about my faith? According to Isaiah 43:18-19, we can always count on the Lord to bring freshness and renewal. The Lord said through Isaiah, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?” I don’t want to miss any fresh, new thing the Lord wants to do in me this year. In fact, I want to recapture the freshness of the hour I first believed.

How about you? How will you keep 2014 fresh until the last day of December? May you have a happy, healthy new year—and may it stay fresh!


  1. Jimmie Bohannon says:

    Happy New Year!! thanks for the good thoughts…i might copy them!~
    Love you, Jimmie

  2. Betty Van Liere says:

    Once again you are handing your friends and readers a challenge, Nancy. Hope I can follow in your footsteps.Betty

  3. Nancy,

    Thanks for your fresh — and refreshing — insights. The Isaiah passage you cited offers great advice for a new and fresh year. An earlier verse (#10) in that chapter has long been among my favorites.

    Warm wishes for a blessed and bountiful 2014. Bob

    • Amen, Bob! Looked it up and it’s excellent. Good to remember we are both witnesses and servants. Happy New Year!

  4. ReFRESHing for sure, Nancy! Thank you for your soul-stretching encouragement.
    May God continue to freshen your relationship with Him, your marriage, your writing, your friendships—all you are and all you do.
    Much love,

  5. Jim Brummett says:

    Fresh beginnings for this year. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. alice scott-ferguson says:

    totally all encompassing…i am copying and sharing, Nancy…SO GOOD!

  7. Dana Huskey says:

    Nancy, You’re singing my song and expressing my heart’s desire, as well!!! I am looking forward to your fresh work and I will be praying for you as you give birth this spring!! 🙂 God Bless, dear friend, Dana

  8. Nancy, this is a helpful, lovely reminder of things to keep fresh this year. No expiration dates on these, no way!

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