Monday, January 2, 2017

Fresh Starts and New Years

Fresh Starts and New Years

I’ve seen a few New Years in my lifetime. That doesn’t mean anything other than I’m getting older, which really only means that I was pretty adept at dodging cars while playing in the street as a child. I have also made my share of New Year’s resolutions throughout the years, but I don’t do that much anymore because I came to the conclusion that anything worth making a resolution about was probably serious enough to just go ahead and do.
Having said that, I will take up your time and mine today by sharing some hopes and resolutions for 2017:

1. I resolve to be a giver of cheer this year. Those who know me would agree that I am usually a glass half full type of person. The last two years have made an outlook more and more difficult, but as a Christian I need to remember that God is still such in control and that the word “oops” is not in His vocabulary. Everything comes into our lives for a reason and according to His purposes (even the bad stuff) and it’s high time that I began reminding myself of that and living in accordance to the confidence that knowledge gives me. When I remember to have that outlook I will find that my life will begin to bring joy to the lives of others once again.

2. I resolve to be more thankful this year.  It’s too easy to slip into an attitude of ungratefulness (is that a word?...spell check thinks it is). I/we live in the greatest country in the world, regardless of who’s President, and we have more to be thankful for than anyone else in the world. We need to quit thinking of what we don’t have and comparing our lives to others and considering just how blessed we truly are. Thankfulness flows out of hearts that are focused properly.

3.  I resolve to sing more this year. There is no better therapy for the blues or the blahs than lifting up your voice in a song. I’m blessed with the ability to sing pretty well but I don’t use that talent as often as I should. I have decided to change that. It doesn’t matter whether you have lots of talent or not....well, maybe it does (I suggest the car and the shower for those who don’t have a lick of ability in this regard). You don’t have to only sing church songs, sing love songs, country songs, silly songs (some of my favorites)...just sing! I guarantee your heart will feel better because you did.

4. I resolve to journal this year. This is the toughest one of all for me. I have had a truly “on again, off again” relationship with journaling (and blogging; truth be told). But I have come to realize that one of the reasons that the tough times have gotten to me is that I have a super-short memory when it comes to God’s work in my life in the past. The simple act of recording my thoughts about the day will give me a reference to look back to when the tough times threaten to overwhelm me and that’s a great thing.

5. I resolve to pray more this year and talk less. Nobody stays around long when a person is constantly complaining about their situation or is always being critical of others. The people in my life who are the toughest for me to be around are folks just like that. Therefore I have decided that from this day on I will take my concerns and complaints to God rather than sharing them unnecessarily with other. Gods a better listener and when I shut up long enough to really listen to Him I discover that He gives far better advice that any  of you...or me.
And lastly:

6. I resolve to speak more words of appreciation and affection. I desire to become someone who give others hope and not discouragement, joy and not sorry. In short, I want to be someone others want to be around because I help them find joy in their lives.

Is it too forward of me to say that I hope these would by your resolutions as well?

Happy New Year