I don’t know how your New Year’s Eve went, but I enjoyed ours very much this year. It was a quiet and reflective evening for me. Part of the evening was going through my Gratitude Jar. This is the first year I have done this and it will now become our tradition! It was so fun and encouraging to read through all the things that God had done in our lives during 2013. We can sometimes go along each day or week or month and not think about what takes place around us. It’s good to be aware of found keys when they were lost, a phone call from a friend at just the right time, extra money made available, just the right person to help at just the right time, and so many more. I love to be reminded of those things as I drop my heart in my jar, as well as, after the year is up. Thus, I would encourage you if you haven’t tried it, to get a jar, decorate it, and start dropping those great things into that jar and at the end of the year, have a year in review. The best part for me when I went through my jar? A sweet little 8-year-old boy, my grandson Ethan, had placed a few in the jar! One was especially precious to me and made my night. See? You never know who will be touched by what they see you do, talk about, or show as an example! It will be framed in my office!
What is the advantage of practicing gratitude? You begin to see things differently. You look for ways to see God’s provision. Remember, it’s not about what you want, it’s about what God has for you. Each time He does something fantastic, big or small, you come to live with eyes wide open and see what He wants you to see. If we are truly thankful for our lives, then we can find more joy in the life we live out every day. I find I’m expecting those blessings. It will give you a direction for each day because you are looking for that heart dropping moment. When we expect from God, AND we have faith and trust in Him, He will come through; sometimes bigger than we think!
Part of my end of the year is also to ask God for a word for my new year. I start in the Fall to ask God what He wants to be concentrate on this next year. Last year the word was Light. This year, through various confirmations, I was given the word Watchful. He wants me to be watchful of what it is that He wants me to see. Think about that for a moment…He DOES have things He wants to accomplish through me. He has things He wants to accomplish through YOU! Are you asking Him what they are? So He is asking me to put my trust in Him, watch for Him, and then move on His direction. Just like the watchman on the wall that would guard the walls and watch for intruders AND messengers, I need to keep my eyes keen on the horizon! There may be a message coming, a person I need to recognize, understanding I need to give. I don’t know what it will be, but I am willing to learn about that word this year of 2014! I will study all about that word so I know exactly what its meaning is. But then, I will learn more about what its meaning is for ME personally. So you will see things that strike me via my photos and writings about WATCHFUL this year. I hope you too, will learn more about it also, and consider asking God for a word for you to learn more about and make personal to your life.
If this is a new approach to you, pray about it and ask God for direction. If having a relationship with Jesus is something you question, take a moment and ask Him to show Himself to you and give it all over. He would love to do that in this new year! Open the door and walk through with Him. Nothing is too hard for Him to handle with you. It’s like a song I wrote for myself several years ago. But the first verse reminds me where I need to go:
My burdens are many, it’s a heavy load.
and an uphill struggle; a rocky road.
But I have to keep join’, remembering the Word of my Lord,
“I will never leave you, keep the faith and my Word.”
Chorus: So I keep on walking, singing Jesus love for me.
Repeating verse 16 of John, chapter 3,
Picturing Jesus walking next to me,
I can smile and give, my thanks through grace , I’m free.
Have a wonderful 2014! Get up everyday and ask what one good thing you are supposed to do that day. See what God does!
Walking the journey with you…