3 ways to make 2015 your best year yet…

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Happy New Year!!

Here’s a few thoughts I have on ways to make 2015 your best year yet-

1. SLOW DOWN- As I scraped things off my cabinets yesterday, I thought why does this happen?  I quickly realized it’s because I am often in a hurry.  I really hate to waste time, and can get a little anal about it.  Maybe one of my resolutions should be to not “help” my husband by telling him the quickest way to get everywhere!

The thing about always being in a hurry is that I don’t always do things the best.  When I don’t take the time to slow down, I often make careless mistakes or sling things all over my kitchen.  I wondered yesterday if I slow down a little this year if my kitchen will stay a little cleaner.

I think it’s important to be in the moment we are in, not always rushing to get into the next moment.  So I am going to try to slow down a little, relax, and enjoy #myreallife now. 🙂

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

2. WRITE IT DOWN- As we look to this coming year, I am reminded the important of writing things down.

What do you want to do this year?

What do you want to do today?

Write it down.  It gives us the space to go back to and see the way we have been blessed.  I have a list of 100 dreams, and I periodically go back through them to see what God has done.  Sometimes we miss it if we haven’t made a record of these things.  I am a nerd who loves to have a paper planner so I can cross things off my list.  It helps me with my need for a sense of accomplishing things, but in the long term it helps us see what is happening rather than focusing on what isn’t.

And the LORD answered me:

“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

Habakkuk 2:2

3. FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS- In this season where we often want to correct everything we need to work on, I think it’s important to spend a significant amount of your time on things you are actually good at!  God created you to be a unique gift to the world.  While it is valuable and important to desire to live life to the fullest, don’t lose sight of why you are here.  The world needs your gift.

If we spend too much time focusing on our weakness, most of us will get discouraged and give up.  I’ve heard it said that you can only really work on one issue at a time.  Figure out what area there is grace to work on in this season, but don’t lose focus of the things you already do well.

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,

each of us is to exercise them accordingly:

if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;

Romans 12:6

Be blessed in 2015!

3 ways to hope again after loss.

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As I put the chili together on the stove, I felt a stirring to come to this place.  Guests will be here in an hour, but my mind keeps drifting to those who have experienced loss this year.

I love the new year.  I love fresh starts.  I spent the day scrubbing my house.  I still have piles to sort and organize but today was  a start.

I think maybe subconsciously I needed to start the year with the grime of 2014 behind me.

There have been wins and there have been losses.  There has been hope deferred and trees of life.  I have tasted of both, and watched those around me bounce between the extremes.

I have watched people walk through the loss of a child, whether stillborns, miscarriages, failed adoptions.  I have watched hearts break over a life not fully lived.  I have ached on behalf of both friends and strangers whose journey I have seen.

I cannot imagine the pain of celebrating this Christmas without a child that should have been there.  I cannot imagine the pain of that loss nor the longing for just one more moment.

I also cannot say that this year has been without pain or hope deferred.  I tie the year up with both the good and the bad.

If you have walked a hard journey in 2014, know that I am praying for you.  You are on my heart this New Years Eve, and I am praying for radical redemption in 2015.

I am praying for your broken heart to find comfort in the Comforter that is more that you could ask or imagine.  I praying that His hands touch each sore spot tonight and bring healing like only He can.

Here are three ways to find hope again after experiencing loss-

1. GRIEVE- There really is nothing like a good cry.  Sometimes you just have to go there.  I never want to go there.  Its never at a convenient moment that my huge eyes fill with tears.  But it’s important to go there.  It’s important to feel the pain, share the pain, and get the support you need to get THROUGH the pain.

Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5

2. MEDIATE on God’s goodness-  In our darkest moments, the enemy wants nothing more than for us to blame God.  Remember who He is.  Bad things happen, but that doesn’t mean it was “His will” for you.  He is a good Father who loves to give His kids good gifts.  Remember that when the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy and then tries to get you to believe God did it.

He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;

he hears their cry and saves them.

Psalm 145:19

3. DREAM again-  After we experience loss, often all we want to do is to give up.  Job wanted to crawl under a rock and die.  Can you blame him?!  But remember at the end of Job’s life God restored him and he had more than what he had in the beginning.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,

after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you

strong, firm and steadfast.

1 Peter 5:10

After you have taken the time to journey through grief, meditate on His goodness, take some time to write down your dreams.  What has God put a desire in you to do?  Turn your hope back on.  Your hope level doesn’t have to be based on what happened in 2014.  Your hope level can and should be based on who He is not what has happened to you.

It’s a new year and a fresh start, praying for those who experienced loss is 2014 to be abundantly blessed this coming year.