Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Small Miracle of a New Year--Seven Things I can Do



I'm never very excited about New Year's.

Christmas is full of friends and family, fun and surprises, warm fuzzies and faith. New Year's is a flip of the calendar, high expectations to do better, and resolutions to make it so. "Happy New Year" echoes hollowly everywhere I go, and I think, "How will saying it mean this year is any happier?"

I am the grinch that stole New Year's.

The scary part of a new year is, there is much I have little control over. I can't make this year any better than last. I can't change what's happened; I can't take away the pain. The decisions of last year will affect this year, and I can't make it any different.

What can I do? This is my list, in no particular order.

1. I can be thankful. There is wrenching pain, loss and difficulty, but every day holds blessings. I will focus on these blessings, count them and thank God for them daily.

2. I can dream. When dreams have gone sour, it's tempting to say, "I will never dream again." I'm not doing that. I am a dreamer and I will dream and continue to work to make my dreams reality.

3. I can buy myself little treats. All my adult life, I have denied myself. It's usually for economic reasons, but it can become a habit, and not a nourishing one. Everything I have my eye on, is inexpensive and won't break the budget. A magazine. A pair of earrings. A piece of clothing. I've fallen into the thinking that if I spend the money on something that isn't absolutely necessary, disaster might occur before the next payday, and then what am I going to do? I will never go wild and crazy with my money, but I will allow myself to loosen up a little.

4. I can sing and pray and quote scripture to deal with fear. I can't say I won't be fearful and never worry. If I promised that, I would fail at one minute after midnight on January first. I'm a person who struggles constantly with fear, and worried thoughts hover in my brain. But I will fight back. "When I get really afraid, I come to You in trust." Ps. 56:3 The Message

5. I can encourage, praise and build up. There is a whole world of people out there who are constantly being put down and made to feel that they make no valuable contribution. I can work to convince the ones in my life that they are a special creation of God and a blessing. "Thank you for doing that."  "I appreciate your attitude." "You did a great job, thanks." Everyone needs to hear praise on a regular basis, and I can be the one to give it.

6. I can get excited. I've always been an enthusiastic person, but sometimes people, and even life, crush my enthusiasm. When it gets extinguished, I am embarrassed and sometimes decide I will keep my excitement to myself. I'm not doing it. I will be excited and anticipate and look forward with enthusiasm, no matter what the final outcome.

7. I can walk forward. I may have to refer to #4 constantly as I do so, but I will believe what God tells me. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans for a future and a hope." Jer. 29:11 I will trust in that plan.

I will do what I can do to be the person God wants me to be, today, tomorrow and throughout 2017. No matter what happens, I can and will walk with Him through each day. I won't do it perfectly, but when I fail, I will ask for forgiveness, forgive myself, and do what I can do the next day.

This is what I can do. And I can wish and pray for the best of the new year for you, my friend. Not necessarily happy, but blessed and hopeful and doing what you can do.

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3 comments:

  1. #4 has crippled many a life something I have struggled with faced with going on and building a new path after crisis. Ourfather through the power of the Holy Spirit guides and directs our path over the fearful troubled waters of life on Earth. I'm helpless without my faith in God. He is my comfort and my strength in times of fear.

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    1. Dear Friend, You are so right. Fear and worry can steal from us if we allow them to. The only way to fight this battle successfully is through clinging to the Lord. I wouldn't survive a day without Him. Ann

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