Monday, March 19, 2018

Four Fresh Starts

April 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Four Fresh Starts

Just when you think you know what you have to do, it turns out to be impossible (again)! That doesn’t have to be where we stop; it’s where we grab our Fresh Starts. Let’s begin with a little prayer that promises big results: “Lord, I’m so glad you’re here! I’m needing you again—and that’s just fine with me—(and with you).”

Let’s plant four fresh starts to five of our biggest concerns:

  1. Future: How will I take care of myself when things get that bad? And that bad after that! And that bad. . .?
  2. Family/Relationships: Where are my children and what are they doing and how is it that they can live without me! I suppose the “normal template” of your relationships look different. . . but just in case.
  3. Business/Sustenance: Where to from here? I thought my own limitations were huge, and here come some on a global level! Do I bail today, batten the hatches, or go Gung-Ho!
  4. Time Crunch: You mean there aren’t fifty five hours in a day? That’s how much I spend when problems stare me in the face.
  5. Learning Curve: Uh, yeah, that’s what I’m talking about: the learning curve, that time sucking problem we all face. It’s a source of stress, too high, too new, too deep, too steep; and I’m getting too old for this, and where did I leave my brain cells?

Problems are potentially powerful possibilities! It’s where God provides the fresh starts you need. Here are four fresh ones, picked just for you.

Fresh Start #1: Don’t hold your breath.

Get over it—it might be awhile before you see changes. And that’s okay! You don’t have to hold your breath till it’s all over. For our human body, if we don’t breathe, we don’t live. Same with our soul (mind, will, emotions) life. It’s the process of stepping back a moment and stopping long enough to acknowledge more than just what we see.

Our spirits are always yearning to talk with God, and he’s always ready to commune with us. So what stops the process? The problem? Or failing to allow breathing room for that dialogue. See God as part of the picture. Inhale his comfort and strength,.

Fresh Start #2: Forward Steps aren’t always huge ones.

When it takes a long stride to get over a deep chasm, you definitely don’t want to be cut off at the knees. Chasms, alas, can be anything deep enough to trip us up so we fall in:

  • Grief over my loss is burying me!
  • My business requires big changes and I can’t get there overnight, but I should have been there yesterday!
  • I’m so frustrated that I haven’t learned this computer app after all this time!
  • Will there ever be reconciliation between us?

What are you expecting from yourself that you haven’t been able to produce by thinking intensely about? Have you succeeded by pulling answers out of a hat, sleeve, or any other orifice? Real-world time is comprised of small steps that get you there eventually; some of which might actually look like they’re headed backwards. Hey, maybe it’s a dance you should be enjoying with a certain Someone.

Fresh Start #3:  Need God.

            A couple years ago, I found myself back in a grade school setting (not attending, but employed there). I was hired to teach art to all twelve grades at a wonderful school. Trouble was, my job started two days later! I had been working at a college for years—do you think I was prepared? My materials were hopelessly out-dated and I had no back-log of lesson plans. I’d have to wing it until I could pull it together in the evenings. Winging it turned out to be how I lived my life for the next ten months, six days a week, till school was over.

            One evening after many months of wrung-out working, I was praying with friends, and ended up voicing my desperation. I admitted I felt I was in the wrong place at the wrong time—enjoyed the teaching, liked the students, loved the art—hated the overwhelming pressure of living in perpetual unpreparedness, 24/7.

            This observation came forth (admittedly not from me): “Isn’t it interesting how in a bad situation, we’re crying out to God, that we might be so over this problem, so above it and able to handle itthat we don’t need to cry out to him any more?” I was stunned. Did I want to be so strong I don’t need God? I imagined the unthinkable conversation, “So, thanks God, I’ll see you at this depth next time I’m ridiculously desperate, which I hope is not soon!” Ouch.

            Sometimes our greater strength is in crying out, God, I need you! Without this perspective change we miss the stroke of genius that makes the solution his work.

Fresh Start #4:  It would take a miracle!

Billy Crystal was the questionable Miracle Max in the 1987 movie, The Princess Bride. All the time he was spouting how he could do this and that to raise up “a mostly dead Westley,” he didn’t believe it could happen. When his wife, Valerie, played by Carol Kane, asked him, “Do you really think he has a chance?” Max answered, “Nah! It would take a miracle!” Let your inability propel you to look for the miracle.

            Can’t scale that learning curve another day? Can’t forgive so and so for what they did? Can’t imagine accomplishing your heart’s desire? Awww, so you think it would take a miracle. . . as if that can’t happen. Great! Believe God for your Fresh Starts today.

“But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” PHILIPPIANS 4:19


Jacque Coffee, MA, author and speaker, artist and coach, communicates one powerful message through many mediums. “God is Gung-Ho! about us.” It’s God’s heart for us to be strengthened through encouragement, support, truth-telling, and love that covers it all—so that we can catch our calling, spread his life, and fulfill his mission in the earth. This article was adapted from a chapter in her newly released book, “Your Gung-Ho! Life: The ABCs of Proactive Living.” Visit the gung ho girl at

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3 Responses to “Four Fresh Starts”
  1. Lorrie Baird says:

    Love JournEzine and loved Jacque Coffee’s “Five Fresh Starts” article written on April 9th based on an excerpt from Jacque’s latest book. I’ve read Jacque’s “Your Gung-Ho Life”…and let me tell you this is a life-changing book…one you’ll keep dog-eared next to your Bible for a quick reference on how to stay in focus and on track living a joyous, productive, PRO-ACTIVE Christian life. Thank you for JournEzine and thank you for publishing Jacque.

  2. Kathie Brown says:

    Very positive and upbeat outlook! Great Biblical advice to follow. God bless you Jacque.

  3. Maureen Farquhar says:

    What a great site and wonderful insight by Jacque Coffee. Her statement about “do we want to be so strong that we don’t cry out to God anymore” was such a simple yet profound statement. Thank you for this post!

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