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Take it to Heart
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The Treehouse
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The New Year’s Baby
By DeAnna Brooks

Maybe it's because I'm a new grandmother! Well, Noni, actually, for two months now. And every time I hold my granddaughter, look at her, a sense of "new-ness" is birthed in me. You probably know exactly what I'm talking about, because it comes upon me whenever a tiny baby crosses my path. Most likely it does the same to you. Why is that?

When holding my granddaughter that sense is especially strong. An effervescent joy – like champagne bubbles tickling my nose and filling my heart with laughter! I can feel the smile stretching across my face until I feel almost silly. Aches and pains stamping discomfort across the page of today seem to vanish. Frustrations evaporate. Disappointments, that moments ago seemed so overwhelming, no longer cast their gloom on my day. Worries, such recently unshakable companions, are strangers now as I gaze into this face. A face still unmarked by life's imprint, a face looking back at me with unreserved faith. Resting in my arms with such utter lack of concern; content just to be.

Maybe that's it! Babies birth hope! They are the human packaging of new beginnings! That sweet breath just begging to be breathed deeply, with eyes closed and face lifted heavenward.

New beginnings! Isn't that what we each long for? An opportunity for us to start fresh? I think the onset of each New Year brings that very yearning, even if unspoken, to each heart. I know it does to mine. Not a desire to set a New Year's resolution, but to walk in a "newness" throughout the coming year. We look at a newborn baby and something in us yearns for that innocence again. It's an ache, bittersweet, that grows with the reality that those pages have already been written on in our book and we can't recapture them again. That’s when it strikes me – I am a newborn child!

I am born into a Kingdom where my life is birthed anew in Christ. I am a new creation in which all things have become new! Maybe that is why every newborn baby is a reminder to our weary hearts! Maybe that is why we feel such joy when we hold such promise in our arms. We are holding God's promise to us.

It's interesting that Peter draws on that very image when he writes in 1 Peter 2:2, "…as newborn babes desire the pure soul-nourishing milk, that you may grow by it." (LITV) Peter's words follow an endorsement of a new type of living. A life absent of all those elements that we know are robbing us of joy; robbing us of a sense of wellbeing. The Contemporary English Version words the passage of 1 Peter 2:1 in a fashion that strikes at the heart, "Stop being hateful! Quit trying to fool people, and start being sincere. Don't be jealous or say cruel things about others."

Ouch! Strike close to home? Or maybe it was a bombshell that blew right through that highly prized plate glass picture window. The one that we kid ourselves about, believing it offers only us a one-way view of the world. I think that is the whisper I hear every time I see a newborn or hold a baby, smelling the sweetness of its breath. It's a call to newness.

It's interesting that the image of an incoming year is the opposite of Father Time. Think about it. It's a baby, in all its freshness and all its promises of today and tomorrow.

This year I don't want any New Year's resolutions. I long for a recognition of the "infant" in all of us. And I'm not referring simply to that craving we bury – to undo the undoable. I'm talking about choosing a different path to follow. I'm talking about coming to the divergent roads, and truly choosing the one that makes all the difference.
DeAnna Brooks is a freelance writer currently living in the blessed hill country of Texas. She has written, primarily for her own enjoyment, for over twenty years and is now looking to spread her wings. You can write to DeAnna through the Your Letters page of this Magazine.

LIFE LESSONS FROM 2004:
True forgiveness can not be given until we first ask God to forgive us for our part in a scuffle. Until we claim responsibility for our part – no matter how small – we'll never see the situation from another's perspective. (Dori Knight)

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