It’s hard to believe it’s 2019 already. It seems like we started 2018 just yesterday. A New Year brings with it a new beginning. Every year I make New Year’s resolutions and by February, they are but a faint memory. This year I decided not to make any so that I wouldn’t break any.
Now as I look forward to a fresh year and a new beginning, I find that without some resolutions I lack direction and hope for a better future. New Year’s resolutions cause me to plan and look forward to things. Even if I break them, they’re always there in the back of my mind haunting me and reminding me I need to get back on track. The next New Year makes me want to do better at keeping them than my last.
Most resolutions made are for self-improvement in order to do better than we did the year before. I believe that when I make my resolutions, they should involve the mind, body and spirit. Because of this I have belatedly decided to make some resolutions and see how long I can keep them.
For my mind I plan to read more to expand my knowledge base and to rekindle that enjoyment I get from reading. I plan to read mostly positive and uplifting works so that it is easier to control my thought life and keep it focused on good and positive things. This is healthy for the mind, body and spirit. Negativity only brings us down.
For my body I’ve decided to treat it more like a temple – a holy place – though imperfect - irreplaceable. God created for me a unique body and has commissioned me to care for His creation. By year’s end I had slipped into the ocean and almost drowned in icings, fats and unhealthy snacks. Busyness prevented me from exercise. I plan to eat healthier and workout more.
For my spirit I will connect more with the Lord. I resolve to spend time daily with Him – even if I can only spend 5 minutes – it’ll be a focused five minutes. I plan to pray more, read my Bible daily and rely more on Him. I certainly have tried it alone and I’m not doing such a good job. It’s time to do it His way for a change.
It is my prayer that I get beyond February in keeping these resolutions. I know I’ll have days when I fail, but the key is to get back on track the next day. I also need to rely on God to help me stay on track.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:28-29
Christmas is nearly upon us. As I look out my window, it’s hard to believe it’s December. The sun is shining and it’s about sixty degrees. As a Northerner who has moved to the South, I’ve missed those cold weather snaps that bring with it the biting north wind and snow flurries swirling around me as they cover the ground in a fluffy white blanket. It’s so much easier to get into the Christmas spirit when there is cold and snow than when it seems more like spring.
The onset of winter brings the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas – a time of family, thankfulness and giving. We count our blessings of the current year and look forward with anticipation to the New Year and what it has in store for us. While it is sad to say good-bye to another year, it is hopeful to welcome the new one. It’s a new beginning and clean slate. Anything that carries over from the old, we anticipate turning into better times or good things.
I find it fitting that we go from a time of Thanksgiving where we count our blessings to the celebration of the One who bestows our blessings on us. Soon after Christmas, we celebrate the start of a New Year filled with hope and anticipation We can do this because Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus. Jesus represents hope and love.
Every year I meditate on Christ’s birth and what it would have been like to have been there. When I think of that first Christmas evening and what it must have been like, I can almost feel the chill in the air. I have an overwhelming feeling that something extraordinary is about to happen. The night is so clear that the stars are accentuated and seem so close you can reach up and touch them. There is one so bright and beautiful that it takes my breath away. Then there is joyful singing that starts out barely distinguishable and begins to build until it fills the heavens and vibrates my heart. I see angels dancing for joy in the night sky as they announce that God has come to Earth to live among mankind and bring peace, love and joy. I stand amazed and a bit frightened for I’ve never seen such a heavenly display before. I can feel in my soul that this is good and will benefit me and the rest of mankind. A warmth spreads throughout me as I feel God’s presence in a tangible way – the energy of His spirit flowing through me. The hole in my soul is filled by Him and I feel complete.
I am thankful for God’s gift to us – Jesus, His Son. He came as a baby. He went from child to adult just like I did. He felt every emotion and dealt with every situation I have. There is nobody who understands me better nor is there anybody who loves me more. He willingly died so that I could be worthy enough to be with Him for eternity. There is nothing I can do to end His love for me. I’m grateful for this special gift from God and join the angels as they praise God in the highest this Christmas.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6