Monday, January 2, 2012

All Things New

A friend gave me some paperwhites this Christmas.
Don't they just say "fresh?"

A new year, a fresh page, a clean start...

When I think of January, I always think of it as a "clean" month.  Not cold, not wintery, not boring, not blah, just clean.

January 2 is when I put away Christmas.  Although I'm usually sad to say goodbye to my tree, I'm happy to take down everything else.  I start with the most unnoticeable, like collecting the Christmas linens and throwing them in the wash, then I move on to the accessories, like candles, greenery, outdoor wreaths and Christmas knick-knacks.  By that time I feel ready to undress the tree and get it ready for bed.  And then...I am in "The Zone."

Once my house is emptied of its holiday trimming and excess, I go at it with broom, vaccuum, mop and duster.  Furniture is moved back into place, gifts are put away, decorations are packed into storage.  Everything is clean and orderly and it feels as if the house can breathe again...or maybe it's just me who starts breathing easy.

Because then I move on to the fridge.  Stale cookies are dumped, and left-overs are creatively rebirthed into hearty winter soups with toasted herb bread (black bean soup and potato-leek are on this week's menu, served with day-old bread brushed with butter and herbs and toasted back to life).  And then I attack the storage unit of all those Christmas goodies, and I'm not talkin' cupboards! More like my hips!

I'm carefully watching the sky as I type...willing the sunshine to hang on until I'm off work so I can go for a power walk in the fresh, slightly chilly January air.  I love the woodsy smell of damp earth and pine and cedar and moss.  I love finding the very first buds that promise me the wait for spring will be a short one.  And I love feeling my body come alive with exercise and good eating after the butter-sugar overload of festive food that makes me sluggish and slow and content to curl up like my cat on a comfy couch.  (My kitty actually loves how much I've been sitting the last couple weeks!).  Can't wait to get back to morning runs and evening Zumba (and glad it's winter so I won't have to wear shorts!).

And last, I get my spirit back in order.  I always think it's funny how when you read your Bible through in a year, you always end with's a noisy, chaotic, dramatic and pretty crazy book.  And then on January 1st you start the year with Genesis, and the first chapter is all about order, organization, newness, freshness, and life.  I like that.  It seems so fitting after the Christmas chaos to turn the page and enter a place of order and rest.  God said, "It is good," and I have to say I agree!

So, I'll sign off now...must get busy working on that tree, and emptying the fridge, and simmering the soup and going for a walk! Happy New Year to you! Enjoy the freshness of a clean January day!

We received these gorgeous chocolates from Japan!

Potato soup with fresh-cracked pepper and
white cheddar cheese
A great way to use left-over mashed potatoes!
Everything Christmas put in its place...
hibernating until next year!

My winter running trail...
not so wet as my usual one this time of year!
This is my favorite winter shrub. I don't know the name
of it, but the fragrance is like lilac!  I stop every time
I'm out running to smell them.

This is in my yard and I don't know it's name either,
but it starts blooming in the winter.  I think it looks
odd when people in our neighborhood put
Christmas lights on them.  Just looks wrong in December,
but in January it looks so promising!

1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year Karyn, love your beginning. Yes, it is refreshing to start the book of Genisis.
    We wonder what God has planned for 2012. I pray for our families, that God will be the center of our lives..a new beginning for each one of us, and He is in control of our walking with Him.
    Love you very much. Sasa