What is it about the calendar changing over from one year to the next that gives such freedom of a clean slate? I have such an optimistic view of the upcoming year, maybe because I am being met with so much hope that the last year has brought. However, the flipping of the calendar pages had nothing to do with each passing day, my attitude and my self brought on each new day and challenge. I create my atmosphere, just as you do to. God gives me an environment to flourish in, it is up to me how I put it to use. We are all given the same opportunity each day, what we do with it is entirely up to us. I have lived in the excuse pool before, reasoning out all of the reasons that I didn’t accomplish my goals, always placing the blame everywhere but on myself and my actions. However, when I embrace the good, bad and ugly and choose to move forward regardless of my surroundings; I found myself in new territory.
When I didn’t let my present sufferings dictate my future, my life began to change in ways I could only dream of. I spoke life into my situations and life grew. I didn’t focus on my shortcomings, I chose to see them the way that God intended. I took every lesson and used it as discipline for my future growth. Each step out of the muck and mire began to get easier, I quit looking at myself as a victim of circumstance and started looking at myself as an accomplished child of God. I spoke into my life what I wanted it to be and it began to happen, I chose to drown out the negative with the positive. When I began to watch my tongue and not say anything to belittle others, I began to find a joy and happiness that I didn’t expect. It takes work…sometimes saying I need to “vent”, or in other words gossip, speak ill of someone who doesn’t see the world the way I see it- doesn’t make it ok or right to do this, all I’m doing is airing dirty laundry and bringing myself down, as well as someone else.
Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. Romans 14:13
So, I want to encourage you as we begin this new year together to always put your best foot forward. Everyday will bring new challenges, you can control how you handle every one of them. I want to challenge you to not place blame in the coming year, to take ownership of your life and your circumstances. To meet God each and every day and go forth with what he desires for you. over your own plans. Don’t make any excuses of why you can’t do something, find a way to make it happen. I know I am going to give it my best, doing what I can to live my life to the fullest and showing love to everyone I encounter. That is how I want to be seen and remembered by the ones that see me. I want to show grace and offer forgiveness. Basically treat others the way I want to be treated. I need forgiveness everyday, I want my children to give it to me therefore I will extend it to them. I want my marriage to grow stronger, I will show compassion on my husband and give him the grace I want to in turn receive from him. It is a very simple lifestyle that often gets jumbled up into something way more extreme than it should be.
Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Love my neighbor/my husband/my children/my family/my friends/challenging people/all of humanity as I love myself. I pray you leave 2017 behind, take the lessons that you have learned and apply them to each new day of 2018. Go ALL IN for Christ, showing his love and compassion to everyone you encounter. Let this be the year that love triumphs over everything! Mimic his perfect steps and he will meet you there…