I love new chances, new beginnings and new opportunities! Every year, I enjoy setting goals, reviewing areas I want to grow in, and renewing healthy habits. I like the chance of putting the past behind me and looking forward again toward a hopeful future. Obviously, the idea is to build on the lessons learned from the past, but the focus is building a better future. Being a teacher has always given me two new beginnings each year, January and then again in August, as we begin a new school year, and I try to take advantage of each of those new starts to refresh and refocus.
 
Priorities need to be re-clarified and re-emphasized, and those little steps or decisions that are so important in a daily way need to be affirmed. Making sure I am not too spread out, with too many goals, is important so I can truly focus on what is important. My health and personal growth, my relationship with God, family and friends, and the wise use of my gifts for God’s kingdom are important to consider, as I create and firm up my objectives for the year.
 
At ECA, we are certainly looking at a very different new year. Construction has begun, and most of our wooden structures, full of memories and nostalgia, are now demolished, and a new structure is in process. Change is not always easy, but to move forward, we have to let go of some of our past. Giant machines cleared out the walls, pathways, and roofing, making way for a new, sturdier structure. Just as we had to make a decision about clearing out and knocking down the “temporary” wooden structures, my prayer is that all of us will know what needs to go from our past so that we can build a better future. Step into 2018 with worthy goals, letting go of the past but building on lessons learned.
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