Happy New Year! 2017 is officially here!
Another New Year means another opportunity to start fresh, and start over. It is that time of year we all resolve to do things better … It is probably no surprise that the majority of New Year’s resolutions made year after year are centered around weight and fitness. Truthfully, I’ve spent my share of time perusing web sites that offered the best detox, juice cleanse, and 3 day miracle weight loss cure for this New Year. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be physically fit and healthy – God desires that for us too. But, this year, I’ve resolved to also get serious about my spiritual health with eternal results.
Recently, I have been mulling over all the things I have to be grateful for, and yet, much of the time I focus on the ‘have nots’ rather than the ‘haves.’ When I think about my home, I feel frustrated with the gazillion toys strewn all over the play room rather than relishing my children’s glorious giggles that ensue while creating the chaos . My husband consistently puts our needs before his own and lives out sacrificial love every day in the details of life. So why do I find myself so irritated about his dirty clothes left on the bathroom floor every night?
Each day is an opportunity to focus on the positive or negative, the light or the dark. I’ve realized if I am looking for a reason to be upset, angry, or disappointed, I will find it. My spouse, friend, co-worker, and children will fail me. They are flawed humans living in a fallen world. But, on the flip side, I can always find some redeeming quality or characteristic. Look for the nuggets of gold…they are always there.
I am looking forward to a new perspective in 2017. I know it can start with a conscious decision to focus on gratitude. So, I’m going back to the basics, and I would love for you to join me.
Let’s make 2017 THE YEAR OF GRATITUDE!!!
I’m taking this year to reconnect to those simple things that hold great weight: God’s love, God’s grace, beautiful sunsets, giggles and grins, random acts of kindness; the list is infinite.
Instead of reaching for my phone first thing in the morning, I am going to grab my journal and seize the day with all of its’ wonderful opportunities. I would suggest journaling either first thing in the morning or right before bed. You can start with listing just one thing you are grateful for. And, it doesn’t have to be a profound or deep truth. It can be as simple as ‘my morning cup of coffee’ or ‘family.’ Whether it is one of life’s simple pleasures, the love of a spouse or family member, or the grace of our Heavenly father; write it down…just start.
Starting a gratitude journal has many wonderful side effects including:
- Relieving Stress
- Giving clarity on what is important to hold on to, and what you can eliminate from your life
- Helping you become more self-aware
- Gaining positive attitude
However, THE BEST consequence of a gratitude journal is the gentle reminder that all of life’s simple moments of comfort, peace, and pleasure point back to God’s providence in our lives.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23
I know there are deeper struggles than messy playrooms and dirty clothes. There are losses of loved ones, sick kids, career setbacks, divorce, and so much more. There may be days when just getting out of bed is a challenge – I’ve been there. The struggle of those days can’t be minimized, but please know God has an endless supply of love and grace to cover and protect you in those dark hours. His Holy Spirit is our comforter and His peace passes all understanding. On those days, I encourage you to just rest in the absolute truth of God’s love and as silly as it may seem during such a difficult season, write down one thing for which you are grateful.
I would love it if you joined me in purposefully making 2017 a Year of Gratitude. Many of you may already be keeping a gratitude journal or maybe this is something you have done in the past. However, with Paper Sunday, you will now have a go to guide and can actively participate with us! At Paper Sunday we will be posting on social media each Friday something for which we are grateful. Follow us, and share your gratitude posts with the world. We love to hear from all of you!
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Blessings this New Year!
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