A New Soul



The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year.
It is that we should have a new soul.

– G.K. Chesterton


Mt. Baker in December

We have had considerable winter already in the northwest with a white Christmas that soon melted away and then snowfall again on New Year’s Eve. It has been beautiful – a welcome change from our typical winter rain and mud-fest. It is natural to desire an overnight transformation of the old and dirty to something new and beautiful:  an all clean pristine white cottony sheet covering thrown over everything making it look completely different than before.

Similarly, at the tick of the clock past midnight on New Years’ Eve, we hope for just such an inner transformation as well, a fresh start, a leaving behind of the not-so-good from the past and moving ahead to the surely-it’ll-be-better in the future.

But it usually doesn’t stick, despite a flurry of good intentions and a skiff of newness plopped down here and there.  Even if we find ourselves in the midst of blizzard conditions, unable to see six inches ahead and immobilized by the furious storms of life,  that accumulation eventually will melt, leaving behind even more mud and raw mess.

It isn’t how flawless, how clean, or how new this year will be, but rather how to ensure our soul transformation stays whole and pure, unmelting from within, even when the heat is turned up and the sweat drips.  This is not about a covering thrown over the old and dirty but a full blown overhaul in order to never to be the same mess again.

I lift my eyes to the hills where the snow stays year round: sometimes more,  with a few hundred new inches over several weeks, or sometimes less,  on the hottest days of summer.  Our new souls this new year must be built of that same resiliency, withstanding what each day may bring, cold or hot.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…transformation that sticks within my soul.


Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow.
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
~James Nicholson (hymn chorus)

Mt. Baker in August




4 thoughts on “A New Soul

  1. Love this post! We haven’t had too much snow here in the Upper Left of the USA in my neck of the woods, but that’s mainly life in the wet farm valley’s! I hope all your New Years Resolutions stick!


  2. Whiter than snow (pure), yes, by all means. But that should never exclude the lived memories, the times of saving visitation and intervention, the healed scars as reminders of His Mercy and Grace extended, of His Promises kept….


  3. This comment isn’t about this article in particular but just acknowledging a deep gratitude that you are here and doing this so faithfully every day. Your posts are just about the only thing (other than emails from family) that I never delete no matter how busy I am. I cannot even express how deeply or how often the beauty of your photographs and the depth of your words touch me, in my daily-ness and root me in beauty rather than fear or sorrow. There is a depth to it that is holy. A joy that is sorrows companion. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being faithful.


  4. Thank you, Kelley, for giving me a big smile at the start of my day. It means a great deal to me that what I do each day means something to people I may never have opportunity to meet, but whose lives I can touch in some small way. Your words are balm to my soul!


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