Just a few hours and 2015 begins. I woke this morning to the sun dancing across the skiff of snow that frosted the rooftops and lawns. Wow! My dollar store flower is dancing joyfully powered by that same sun. Tonight we will celebrate with an evening of square dancing – food, friends, exercise and no alcohol. Driving home will be safe and peaceful. Precious family – Dave, Joanne and Jenna who live in Ethiopia – will be here for lunch today. Our home is warm and comfortable and filled with love. My latest book, Dipping Your Toes – in Small Group Worship Planning will be ready for my editor’s deadline. Life is good.
Some of us dream of winning millions in a lottery and of course that would be exciting. Today, I know that I don’t need it. Yes, I’d enjoy giving lots away and taking a trip or two but today my life is already full, overflowing with blessings. Regardless of the pain and disappointment that may lie hidden in the year ahead, my intention is to greet each day with this morning’s appreciation and love for life. And so for you I offer these three recommendations for 2015.
- CHOOSE JOY because that is a life choice. I learned years ago, that each of us comes to every life event with a perspective. Too often those events bring challenge, disappoint, sorrow. Even in the midst of our tears, we can hang onto the blessings that bring us the peace of inner joy. Nothing and no one can steal our memories of:
- the love we have received in the past from friends and family.
- tiny successes that come with everyday accomplishments like washing a dish, shoveling the walk, or an apology given.
- Sunshine mornings, amazing sunsets
In 2015 choose to begin every morning with a prayer for inner joy and peace.
- GIVE THANKS because gratitude is the world’s best kept secret for “the good life.” In the midst of the worst that life has to offer, we can still give thanks that our eyelids blink automatically to protect our precious eyesight, the sun rises even when we can’t see it, that somewhere in the world a child is laughing. Sometimes we have to search hard for it, but always there can be gratitude.
In 2015 choose to begin and end every day with your gratitude list.
- TRUST GOD because you are God’s beloved child. Whether or not you believe that God exists, live as if you do. Know that you are a truly valuable creation.
In 2014, every time you pass a mirror, stop, look at yourself, smile and say, “Well, I may not be perfect but I exist. God loves even me, just as I am.”
Every time you forget to follow any one of these recommendations just smile and say, “Oops, I forgot. Well, I’ll begin again right now. I CHOOSE JOY. I’M GRATEFUL. I TRUST GOD, WHOEVER OR WHATEVER GOD IS. You will be amazed at the inner peace that abounds in your life, as you open your eyes to life’s goodness.
Print the three thoughts – Choose Joy, Give Thanks, Trust God – on piece of coloured paper and post on your fridge.
“HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU EVERYWHERE!”