Why Granny Needed a Man

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My granny was a quirky little Portuguese lady with a big laugh and a love for coffee. Every January 1 she'd call my dad and ask him to come to her house. "If a man is the first person to walk through my door on New Year's Day," she'd say, "I'll  have good luck all year." 

I often wondered what would have happened if one of her female friends knocked on her door before dad arrived. I suspect she'd have left them sitting on her frozen Rhode Island stoop.

Granny had another superstition concerning New Year's Day. "Whatever you do on New Year's," she'd say with a shake of her prophetic finger, "you'll do the rest of the year." I was really concerned the year the toilet overflowed and the oven caught fire. If her prophecy was true, things did not bode well for the other 364 days of that year.

While I don't send my husband out the front door only to turn around and walk back in to secure luck for another year, I often think about my granny's second pronouncement.

"What you do on New Year's Day, you'll do the rest of the year."

Overflowing toilets notwithstanding, the first day of each year sets the tone for the other 364. I'm not a fan of resolutions, because they leave little room for failure. I favor goals instead. They're much more gracious.

If you're like me and can look back over resolutions you've made and broken, or goals you've set and failed to accomplish, take heart. You're in good company.

I suspect the apostle Paul made and broke a few New Year's resolutions, too. Why else would he have written, "Forgetting those things that are behind, I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus"?  (Philippians 3:13).

When Paul "forgot" the past, however, he didn't forget the lessons he learned. He just didn't let those failures define him. He didn't allow the failures of his past to prevent him from starting over.

"Let the past sleep," writes Oswald Chambers, "but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ."

As we begin the new year, I invite you to do three things with me:

1. Trust God with the past, knowing that he will cause all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

2.  Set new goals that will help you to draw closer to God and become more like him in the coming year.

3. Begin today. In the words of my little granny, "What you do on New Year's Day, you'll do all year long." 

I pray your new year is filled with good, God-honoring activities.

I'd love to hear about the goals the Lord leads you to set for the new year. Leave a comment below and join in the conversation. If you're reading by email, click here to comment.

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  1. Your title caught my attention and I thought "Lori is so good with her titles." But your words didn't disappoint I've come to expect. Great thoughts as I begin the new year. And the first "man" I want to usher in my door is Christ this year to keep me on track. Of course, I know He never leaves us...but you know what I mean.

    1. Amen, Gail, sometimes we have to formally "invite" him to realize he's been here all along. Praying for you as you start strong.

  2. Thanks, Lori, for taking the time to comment on my blogpost regarding grief at Christmas and our journey walking through it. I appreciate the words that lift me to the Father and remind me I'm always held in His hands.

    Have a blessed New Year!
    Marty@Marty's Musings

  3. So glad you linked this up! I read it yesterday in my reader. I'm thinking of asking my husband to walk through our door :p

    1. Well, Leslie, it certainly can't hurt :) Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I am in such agreement with your encouragement for the new year. Isn't it funny how christian people hold to so many superstitions. I had a Grandma who had quite a few too.

    1. Lynn, I guess this is why we have to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ," so we can filter everything against the grid of scripture to see if it holds up. I can't find that "man through the door thing" anywhere! Thanks for commenting today :)

  5. You always bring a smile to my face and warmth to my soul when I read your posts. I threw resolutions away a long time ago. But I do attempt goals and the past couple of years most of them are focused on walking in faith, and growing closer to the Lord. This year 2 things that I am doing is my One Word which is JOY and 2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team with Beth Moore Living Proof blog. I have a few other goals but those are 2 that I am using to stay focused on the Lord and HIS WORD!!
    Happy New Year!

    1. Piper,
      I love your word for the year. I had the opportunity to "count it all joy when you encounter various trials," and choosing to focus on the joy in the midst of challenges made a huge difference. May God give you a new year FILLED with joy :)

  6. I loved reading this...Thank you for very encouraging...

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Sally Ann, and for your kind words :)

  7. Haha, so cute! Granny sounds like an interesting lady!

  8. Thanks for the encouragement Lori.

  9. that is aso awesome! I love it!!! Wisdom can be found everywhere! :D

  10. What a fun post! It sounds like your granny was a character. :) What we do today, does indeed set the tone for the next day and the next... Very wise words.

  11. Great post, Lori! Love that Oswald Chambers quote. I'm marking that down to keep in front of me. Thanks for visiting me at Doorkeeper. Blessings!

  12. Hi dear Lori
    Oh nooooo! I surely hope your gran was not right with her words. I suffer from Fibro/CFS and started the new year with a painful flare.
    Of well, such is life! As long as we live in our Lord Jesus, we can face anything He allows to cross our paths! Nice meeting you at Mindy's. This is my first visit to your blog.
    Much love XX

  13. Thanks for linking this up with me over at WholeHearted Home. I hope many ladies are encouraged through this post. I spent some time making new goals for this year on New Year's Day. I looked back over previous years, and yes, I am still working on some of my goals. Goals are more grace-filled than resolutions.

  14. My grandma use to make us eat Smoked Herring for good-luck in the new year. Yuck! That was one superstition I can do without :)