Happy New Year!

Today is the Church New Year.  As fall approaches and the calendar year begins to wind down, it’s an interesting counterpoint to have a beginning.  We had a lovely service at church today and spent time contemplating the old and the new.

The Church New Year is a time to reflect.  Since last September 1st, have I drawn closer to God?  Have I taken full advantage of the cycle of fasts and feasts?  Have I let them change me?  It isn’t about empty resolutions to lose weight or change habits.  It’s about relationship.  Lord have mercy on me for not loving You fully this year.  Give me the strength to do so this year!

To help Hilary understand the feast, we talked about how every day is a chance to seek God.  To not pull away.  New Year’s Eve is a big event in our house.  I don’t know what it is, but the kids just love staying up late and welcoming the new year.  To bring back that fond memory, we had a party for a new year of a different kind.

I got the idea for a New Year’s banner from this site.  Hilary loved methodically gluing sequins to felt.  Her enthusiasm lasted till about letter “P”!  We worked together, though, and came up with one seriously cute decoration.

Whenever I craft with kids, I’m reminded that it’s not about perfection.  This sign is really, really, really not perfect.  But it’s a Hilary original (with some help from me), and that’s just the way it should be.  I had plans to make a party hat and noisemaker in matching shiny, sequin-covered cuteness.  Hilary didn’t want that, though.  She wanted to do the crown her way, and she didn’t want to decorate the noisemaker at all.  That’s what makes crafting with kids fun.  It might never end up looking exactly like your idea or the picture, but if you let your kids lead, it will end up looking just like them.  That’s much better anyway!

Holy Tradition tells us that on this day, Christ entered the Temple and read the words of Isaiah 61, saying: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because of which He anointed Me.  He sent Me to proclaim good news to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to declare the acceptable year of the Lord, the day of recompense, and to comfort all who mourn.”

He is the One Who makes all things new.  What a happy, happy new year!

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