By Debra Susan Bowman
As the new year approaches do you see it with dread or delight? Your attitude could very well impact the results. Only Scrooge would declare to people “Have an unhappy New Year!” Every one of us wants a prosperous life and not just in money. We want things to go well in every area; the emotional, physical and in relationships. Here’s a few lovely “L” thoughts on how you can make sure you have the Happiest New Year ever!
Be generous and extravagant towards others. Show kindness with simple manners like opening doors and saying please and thank you. Remember, kindness matters to those who matter most to you so lavish it on your loved ones. Even help an elderly neighbor, donate to your local food pantry or help a homeless person. As you choose to act, choose a joyful attitude as you go. You will bless others and in turn be blessed.
There’s nothing like the sound of laughter from children. We are raising our grandson Anthony. He brings life and laughter to our home. When he giggles there is no keeping a straight sober face, the laughter is contagious. Go infect someone today – with laughter! Even my alzheimer patients laugh at “ I Love Lucy” shows! No matter how sad you are, start smiling. Soon your face will notify your body and you will feel happy all over.
Connection is crucial, like loops in a chain that holds things together. There are three ways to connect; up, out and in.
- Up to God as you pray, meditate, and grow as you spend time in God’s Word and worship
- Out to family & friends as you connect with friends, social and support groups
- In as you strengthen yourself so you can enjoy the journey as you care for others. Stay positive; exercise, journal, or take a mini-vacation with a cup of coffee in the morning on your porch or with a friend.
LEAVE THE PAST BEHIND
Don’t let go of the good memories, but don’t let the bad ones consume you. Forgiveness is for you, not the perpetrator. Let the load you may be carrying be lifted and there will be a lifting of the anger, depression or anxiety you may be struggling with. God will help you if you can’t do it yourself. Press on past the past. Pressing produces a reshaping. It is exciting to see what the future holds as you come in contact with new feelings and emotions.
You can create new pathways in your thinking. Anthony is in kindergarten and the kids are learning that going up the stairs backwards (carefully!) stimulates learning and challenges the traditional thought cycles. I know of a lady who challenged brain cancer by taking up ballroom dancing. Read literature, work puzzles, or sing new songs with your little ones. You’ll be surprised at how this motivates you to keep going in a healthy way.
Love is a strong emotion that produces a positive passion. As you love life and others you will find yourself enjoying every second, every day and that adds up to a great year. Don’t close yourself off to the possibilities or loneliness may come instead. Love even the unlovely. Sometimes your kids do things you wish they wouldn’t. When my son was a teen I found myself disliking what he did, but I never stopped loving him. Consider this with your family, even the ones who are unlovely. Love rules!
Listening is a deeper level of hearing. There is much noise in the world and many use all that noise to drown out the voice of God, or cover over their problems. Turn the volume down and listen with your eyes as you see the gestures, the broken-hearted, the tears,the smiles or frowns around you. Listen with your presence. Sometimes the best things are not said with words, but are said by simply being there.
Listen to what God says for His Word is powerful and brings peace and provision;
Luke 2:13, 14 – And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
The benefit of listening is bountiful and rewarding to all involved. I wish you well and I pray you have the most wonderful New Year!