A Toast to the New Year…and New Freedoms

Dear Reader:

Many of us forget that New Year’s Eve (1862) was one of the most momentous celebrations in American history. The first recorded “Watch Night” service (a church service held on New Year’s Eve) however, was held by the Moravians in Germany in 1732…from there other cultures began adding their own church traditions to this last night of the old year welcoming in the new year with hope and endless possibilities.

Quinn Caldwell (All I Really Want) adds his thoughts on one special historical church service night as African-Americans gathered in churches throughout the land and especially in the South. They were longing for the new year like never before…praying that the confirmation, to be held on January 1, 1863… would take place the following day…that President Lincoln would sign the Emancipation Proclamation (as promised) freeing slaves in the states fighting against the union.

Caldwell asks an interesting question of all of us. If we knew we were going to be set free tomorrow…would our celebration change?

Let’s think about this for a moment.

Aren’t we all imprisoned by whatever in our lives holds us in chains? It is different for everyone…addictions of every kind…drugs, over eating, over drinking, over spending, over thinking…perhaps fear, our past, a broken relationship or financial stress? If we really thought that whatever holds us in chains…preventing us from being free to really be who we are inside…was about to be abolished…what would we do differently?

Would we go partying or perhaps fall down on our knees in church or at home alone? Would we skip the event we didn’t want to go to anyway and paid too much money for when we couldn’t really afford it and instead call someone we really love and spend a quiet evening together with a friend who has always been there for us?

When we woke up this morning we probably haven’t witnessed anything quite as dramatic as an Emancipation Proclamation…but shouldn’t we still celebrate the chance to change our lives and free ourselves from the chains that hold us back from living a completely fulfilled life?

So until tomorrow….God, stay with me today and teach me to expect freedom. Make me expect a whole new world this new year with endless possibilities to seek and discover in Your Name. Make your vision clear to me.  Amen.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Don’t forget to say “Rabbit” to start off the first day of the first month of the first new year! I posted “rabbit” signs all around so I wouldn’t forget…don’t want a repeat of 2018 if I can help it….all I want in the New Year is good health…with that.. happiness will follow.

And look at the colors for 2019….right up my alley….starting with ORANGE!

Eloise had a wonderful birthday and had her cake moment which is very special for a one-year-old. Mollie sent some more photos of the day and year….it is a special birthday!

*I rarely post on Facebook but thank all of you for the sweet comments on her birthday yesterday ….have missed hearing from some of you and wishing you a Happy Happy New Year! 🙂


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to A Toast to the New Year…and New Freedoms

  1. ambikasur says:

    Hi Becky… Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year.. God bless you more abundantly this year… With love and prayers..


    • Becky Dingle says:

      God has blessed me more than abundantly….however I want all of us to feel His love as it circles this old world we live in….keeping us feeling secure and loved beyond comprehension. The best for you Ambika in 2019!


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