• Barb Lownsbury

Fresh

Fresh. Close your eyes and imagine inhaling the warm, tasty aroma of a freshly baked loaf of bread. Ahh. Or picture a fresh blanket of snow draping delicately from the trees and sparkling like diamonds in the sun. Beautiful! Imagine fresh linen sheets hanging from a clothesline over a lush, green lawn as they billow gently in the breeze. There’s something about fresh that makes us smile. Fresh experiences, fresh faces, fresh food, fresh life – somehow they refresh us, in our minds and our hearts.

Reality, though, is there are days when we feel anything but fresh. Sometimes it feels bit more like we’ve been forced to smell some nasty spoilt milk and haven’t experienced a fresh loaf of anything in a while. I hate those days! One thing I have learned, however, is in life those days are inevitable. We’ve all had the experience of taking a sip of spoilt milk. Yuck! But it’s not the negative experiences that defines us. It’s what we do with them.

So how do we get back to fresh? Sometimes it’s taking a moment to get fresh perspective. For me, the negativity, the hurt, the accusations my mind sometimes throws at me can be daunting. I may intellectually know the lies I’m hearing in my head aren’t true, but emotionally I lack the will to fight back. It’s a crucial time, these moments. We are at a crossroads and we have a choice – to keep moving forward or to just surrender to it. I’ve done both in my life, frankly. Sometimes I push too hard and don’t deal enough with what’s going on so I can learn what I’m meant to (I’ve found, by the way, that’s not a good solution – God has a way of just putting me back into similar situations until I finally “get” it). Sometimes I just wallow in the misery. I feel almost powerless to fight back, to lean into God and let Him stare down my demons for me.

There’s a stanza I love from Coldplay’s song, “Everything’s Not Lost.” It says,

When I counted up my demons Saw there was one for every day With the good ones on my shoulders I drove the other ones away

Looking for fresh perspective requires being honest with myself about the hurts and challenges I’ve faced and the hurdles I’ve had to get over, but it also requires looking beyond the those things, using them to grow in any way I can, then reminding myself of what’s my truth – that I am an amazing, beloved, precious child of God, infinite in my abilities to grow and make an impact because my God is an infinite God, full of possibilities and strength. He Himself will refresh my spirit.

Ephesians 4:22-24 says, “… you know to take off your former way of life, your crumpled old self … to take a fresh breath and to let God renew your attitude and spirit. Then you are ready to put on your new self, modeled after the very likeness of God: truthful, righteous, and holy.” So I keep fighting to connect with God, just as He keeps fighting to break through the cobwebs of my lies so I can see His face clearly. Eventually, inevitably, we connect and I’m refreshed, able to move forward. Ahh.

For further thought: Find something to do this week that refreshes your spirit and reminds you of your worth 🙂

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1314 Bourdeaux Way, Dayton, Ohio 45458

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