What does it look like to start fresh? For me it has come down to a few simple things:
1. Do not start tomorrow with today's mess. Spend 15 minutes after the kids are in bed on whatever room needs it the most, it makes a world of difference.
2. Whatever happened today does not have to carry forward to tomorrow. Make amens, or just make a commitment to yourself not to repeat it.
3. Start each day with the only one who is going to carry you through it.
That last one is hard for me. A good friend once told me that praying was me talking to God, but reading the Bible was me listening. Starting fresh begins with listening. When I do it consistently, it is no longer a big ordeal to find time for it. It is already a part of my routine, it is how I start the day. Following through on numbers one and two is a critical piece of this. I am less distracted during my reading when I know there will be a clean sippy cup available when Finn wakes up. And number two simply cannot happen without number three.
I used to make big announcements to my husband when I was going to change something. I think I did it because once I made the announcement I was fully committed, no turning back because someone else was going to hold me accountable if I didn't follow through. After a while it was hard to take me seriously. The change would last a few days, maybe a week or a month, but eventually I went back to my old ways. The beauty of starting fresh everyday rather than once a week or once a month, is it is far less dramatic. There is so much less to apologize for, to clean-up after, or to reconcile.
When you're deciding what to start fresh with, make it reasonable. It's much easier for people to get on board with the decision when it's realistic. Our latest "start fresh" moment was deciding no phones at dinner. Whenever one of us would decide to respond to a call or text during a meal, the other person's demeanor changed almost instantly. When your spouse is annoyed it changes the entire dynamic of a meal. What was a pleasant conversation turns into an argument. So just eliminate it. It's a half hour tops. Plus, I know Finn is only 15 months, but he is so observant. Twenty years from now when he gets a cell phone (ok, it's probably ten, but I can't think about that), my rule of no phones at the table will hold zero weight when I have modeled the exact opposite.
We all have the power to start fresh each and every day. No one else can do it for us and it has to start somewhere, so let it start with us. Today can be day one. There might be a lot of day ones along the way, but hold tight to the one who makes you new every single day. It just might change our families in the process.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
2 Corinthians 5:17