Cherish Hope in 2023

What did you decide to do with this new year? Are you a little bit of a nay sayer that doesn’t like making goals, or don’t like to make a list of what you would like to accomplish in this new year because you don’t feel anything changes anyway? Or are you the person who sees value in thinking about the change you want to make within yourself, your daily living, your health, relationships, what needs to come BACK into your life, or activities? I know, it takes some honest moments for us to think about that, and most of the time, we don’t want to. I am one of the latter people as you may have figured out already. Not because I think it is going to change the world, although, it may change a few. But it is more about what I want to see differently in my life and in my surroundings. I make a list every year, but not all of it happens. I don’t care. Do you know why? Because… there are many things that do change. It keeps my focus on the right things. Ask yourself what you can do this year that will change even one part of your life…something that you love and enjoy the most. What would yours be? Pick just one. Let me know in the comments. Don’t think of it as some prison walls around you, but one thing that you love to do and commit to do more of it. Here are a few of mine. With all the moving and settling, I found many things had gone on without me. So some fun changes this year is in store.

⭐︎Photography is my favorite therapy. I have a couple books I am reading, online classes I am going to choose and take, and a couple lenses have come to live in my camera arsenal. It is a fun challenge as well to change things up and see differently through a different lens.

⭐︎Music is one thing that I have always enjoyed and I have many instruments, none of which I play really well. I don’t care about that either. I don’t play for anyone but myself anymore, but if it brings me joy, why would I want to not “get around to it”?

⭐︎Then there is another thing…I have a wonderful sewing machine that I love. Am I a great seamstress? Most certainly not!!! But I love to make crafty things or curtains or runners. But with all the moving all the time, I haven’t gotten that going, but I want to.

⭐︎I’m a reader. At one point I was reading a book about every week and a half. I wanted to read a book a week for a year. I made it to 46 one year. I love to read and I love to learn so I’m starting my year with a new book and making time for that, even if it is just 30 minutes a day. What a great way to getting higher learning!

⭐︎I want to have my quiet time and so I am getting back into that. Part of that will be using my Gratitude Jar; a different one this year with many personal touches. But this time keeps me focused on what is good and what direction I want to take in my day, and influences the way it goes.

⭐︎I need to establish a better health regime for several reasons. So I have started that. I didn’t get too strict with myself during the holidays, but I did be a bit careful or where I wanted to be and cut portions down even during the goodie time of year. Discipline.

If this seems daunting to you, start with one. I pray every day for God to give me the discipline to do what I need to do to stay healthy both in my body, mind, and spirit. Less TV, less social media, and more time doing what brings me joy. I would rather create something with that time. I am sitting in The Loft watching a very light snow coming down. That is a bummer for us right now because it can mean our window installations may be delayed, but I still love to watch it fall and give a time of silence to the surroundings. Enjoy your moments and don’t hurry through them.

There are a few things that I have on my list… 40 so far. Already a couple have come to fruition. So find one to concentrate on or to bring back into your life that you let go of, and go for it this year. I read where one friend was going to do more snail mail this year to put something in the hands of people she loved. That is a super idea and great way to reach out.

Here is my Gratitude Jar this year. The lace or edging is actually from my Grandmother. I remember her having it in the right top drawer of her sewing machine. When my mom gave me the sewing machine, all her items were in there, including that. I have left it in there and admired it many times. I decided I would “take the plunge” and cut a piece to use on my jar. The watch was one of my mom’s that can’t be repaired anymore and reminds me to “Cherish” my time and be mindful of how I use it. The chain you see hanging on it is from my mom’s heart necklace and was the original chain, which was a gift to my mom from my dad before they were married. She wore that necklace for her wedding and so did I. So I hung it there and it reminds me of my list. My mom was quite the list maker and organizer. The top of the jar is a glass top, so I cut out a card that came with some flowers from my youngest son and his fiancé and I put that into the bottom side of the lid. So all together, it is a great reminder of all things joyful and as I put in my hearts in the jar for all I am grateful for. It keeps my attitude in check in all areas of my life.

We hear so much about going big, thinking of ourselves and what we want, making a business successful so WE can feel successful, and the you can do it,. All the while, we strive for something more but feel less fulfilled. I am encouraging you to live each day and be present each day in the moment you are in. Notice the sky and clouds and colors and people. Be present for family and friends. That is more important than how much money we make, what jobs we hold, or how tied up we get in choices we have made only to leave the important people behind while we strive to create what WE think is successful. So I am adding things into my life this year that are more in line with my heart.

Today marks the beginning of one of the goals for this year and that is an exciting step. We are replacing all the windows that are metal in this house, and the work starts today! I am really excited about that. Press in to the what your heart desires, however, ask God if it is from him first. I have had some times I went ahead on my own, and I wouldn’t recommend it. Even though it was delayed, I prayed for peace and He gave it. He was able to come the next day and four windows were installed. I know resting in His plan is the best way. Tomorrow he will be here again for the next set!

So with the above in mind, I’m excited for you and for what this year holds… for all of us. It may be some of the same, but it could be a lot more if we make sure we are adding in the things we enjoy most, or maybe has got put on the back burner or lost altogether. I hope this post has encouraged you even if you aren’t the goals type, because just one change can change up life. Share with me your thoughts in the comments and let me know how I can pray for you this year. I wish for each and everyone of you to have a great start to 2023 in the months to come!

Let me leave you with this from a book I am reading to start my year:

🎚️”We consider that God has a purpose in our troubles. We know He’s cultivating character and motivating maturity. We ask for wisdom to see beneath the surface of the trials. We endure through the strength that comes from Him…we learn significant lessons we could never have learned any other way.” Chuck Swindoll from Clinging to Hope.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

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