As is typical this time of year, I’m considering New Beginnings and what they can do for us.  My sister-in-law and I had a conversation that got me thinking.  I’m inspired by the beginnings we see in nature, ones she listed out for me.  New seeds push through the soil and reach up into the light to grow and create new plants.  Baby chicks break through a shell to start a new life.  Clams create a new beautiful pearl by coating an irritating grain of sand.  Caterpillars literally have a meltdown (their bodies dissolve) inside their chrysalis to create a new life as a butterfly.  These new beginnings and new life are not without struggle and effort—sometimes, massive painful effort.  Yet without that painful, difficult push forward, it would be impossible to succeed and have that new life.  The joy of having wings, of the beauty of the pearl, or the fresh breath of life outside a shell comes because of the struggle.  Sometimes it feels easier to hide from the struggle.  But what if we embrace it?  What if we invite it in?  What if we take the long view and see where it could lead us?  The perspective could change everything.