As we enter the new year, like many of you, I find myself reflecting back on what has transpired during the year that has come to an end.
In my life I see victories, I see failures, I see growth, I see backsliding.
It’s a veritable mixed bag — truly.
I’m not sad to close this chapter in my life story.
Looking ahead to the year before me, I am excited. I have high hopes. I really do. But at the same time, I have to be realistic.
Here are some things I can and can’t do this year:
I can choose to live a healthier lifestyle. I can take better care of myself: eat right, relax, get more sleep, and exercise regularly.
I can’t compare myself to other beautiful, fit women. We all have our own unique hereditary factors that make up who we are. Some have better luck with that than I do. No sense in letting my thoughts linger on something I don’t have control over.
I can have a positive outlook. I can banish the negative thoughts as quickly as possible when they cloud my thinking and return to focusing on the good things that are going on. I feel that being thankful is a big part of how I can stay positive.
I can’t keep bad things from happening to me. They will, they just will. I can’t be crippled by these less than ideal events, unfair treatment, and people who wish to hurt me. But, I’m no longer willing to let these negative things affect my joy.
I can make my relationship with God a priority. I know what a difference it makes in my life when I carve out time each day for reading my Bible, studying God’s Word, and praying. Looking back on my life, I can clearly see when I wasn’t making this quiet time a priority and the effects it had on every aspect of my life.
I can’t keep the enemy from trying to get me to believe his lies. Yes, I am talking about the spiritual enemy. The devil, Satan, whatever you wish to call him. I believe he is constantly trying to take my joy and feed me untruths about who I am, and what I’m not. I can’t stop the lies from coming, but I don’t have to listen.
I can do my best as a mom. My two boys need me. I will do what is necessary to make sure my children are safe, healthy, and loved. I can let my actions portray my love to my kids and not just tell them that I do.
I can’t be perfect. A perfect woman, a perfect mom, a perfect anything. I’m going to have days that are better or worse than others. I know with 100% certainty that I won’t be able keep it together all of the time. There will be days that I will make wrong decisions. But, my mistakes in and of themselves can be good teaching tools for me, for my kids, and maybe even for others in my life.
I can be a good friend. I can spend time and cultivate relationships that I value. I can let people know I appreciate them. I can be a listening ear and be a shoulder to cry on. I can jump with joy and celebrate accomplishments of those around me.
I can’t fix relationships if the other party doesn’t want them to be fixed. If someone continues to ignore boundaries, tries to evoke negative reactions from me, and says disparaging things about me, I can’t control it. But, I don’t have to let it discourage me, and I certainly don’t have to engage. I have far too many people in my life who love me to let a few bring me down.
I can and will choose to make this a new year a brand new start, a fresh and glorious beginning in the newest chapter in the book of my life.