Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year New Hope

Happy New Year! I hope you are excited about 2015, I know I am, and I want to take full advantage of each opportunity God gives me to enter His presence and serve Him in new ways this year.

As Beth Moore so aptly puts it in her study of Esther, "It's tough being a woman" and ladies, it doesn't get any easier, no matter our age. But one way to make it less tough in 2015 is to become more disciplined, especially in our personal habits. Because you see, when we are disciplined in our spiritual growth and physical and emotional health, every other area of our lives, especially our personal relationships, will benefit, too.

A new year brings new hope; hope to do better, look better be better. It only takes a few small changes to bring big results.

Who we are is the sum total of our daily habits. This time of year it is cold here in Kentucky (in the teens last night!!). The sky tends to stay gray, the holidays have come and gone, not much to do in January but......eat, stay in our flannel pjs all day, eat, sleep, eat, watch old movies on tv, eat, gossip, (I mean catch up with our friends) eat, sleep some more, in other words, just let ourselves go. And not in the right direction!! Let's get motivated ladies and not become another January statistic!

I'm sure you've heard the news reports pertaining to depression this time of year and one factor is less light. I am fortunate to have a big window in my living room and a wall of glass in my family room, and I enjoy sitting in these rooms on those cloudy January days to do my Bible reading and study, write in my journal, and just look out the window! Yes, it is ok to just sit and look out the window and soak up the light. No one will think you're strange in the least little bit. (lol) Light does amazing things for us and on Day 4 of creation, God created the sun, moon, and stars and they've been right there every single day and night since He placed them in the heavens. But even the bright sunshine, the full moon and starry night are not enough light for us; we need the Light of the World, Jesus Christ to truly bring us out of darkness.

So lets make it personal this year; let's get up, get dressed, PLAN what we will eat today, (because if I don't plan what I eat, food makes a plan for me) get some exercise outside if we can, read our Bible, write in our journal, spend time in prayer, drink lots of water, and I guarantee you that if you will jump start your day with a PLAN, you will be amazed at how different you feel, how different your family will see you, and how much more effective you will be for the kingdom. It is amazing ladies what personal discipline and good daily habits will do for our self-esteem, our marriage, our parenting, and even our housekeeping. (hope you'll keep reading.)

My friend, and pastor's wife, Linda, gives me a new journal each year for Christmas. I start writing in it each Jan. 1. This is one of the prettiest ones I've seen. Not a great pic, but it has some gold "bling" on the left side, which suits me just fine.

Depression and low self-esteem are real, and they plague so many of us from time to time, especially this time of year, and statistics tell us that holidays and the winter months deplete our immune system and can plummet us into bouts of depression or "the blues" as my Mama used to say. Even people who seem to have it all together suffer in silence and the public never knows their depths of despair. Robin Williams was one of the funniest guys of my generation. I did not always like the characters he portrayed or his types of humor, but he sure was funny. Who would ever have known the pain he suffered, or the dark valley he must have been in?

As children of the Most High God, we have all of His power, all of His mighty hosts of heaven (Psalm 103: 19-21), His promises (Romans 4:21) and the authority of His word for every anxious thought we may have about ourselves, our loved ones, our future. At the beginning of each new year I choose a verse of scripture as my "life verse" for the year. It is a verse or verses that I commit to memory, and try to apply it to the situations and circumstances I find myself in. Several years ago when I was going through a difficult time, I chose Phillippians 4: 6,7:

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God that passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Friend, it you will dissect that verse, word for word, study it, then apply it to your life and believe it in faith,  it will change you; I know it will because I remember exactly where I was when it changed me. This year I have chosen Genesis 18:14; "Is anything too hard for God?" A short verse, but one that will stretch our faith, and build our trust. I'm looking for His activity in every situation that I feel there is no answer for, knowing the thing I feel is too hard or hopeless is not to difficult for Him.

A disciplined woman makes a better wife; just ask her husband. A disciplined woman makes a better Mom; (just ask her kids if their lives and home don't run more smoothly when Mom is disciplined and in charge)
a disciplined woman is prettier and much more pleasant to be around; and a disciplined woman makes a better "you".

Only 3 weeks left in January, 4 weeks in February, then it's March. Soon the Easter flowers will be popping through the ground, the robins will be back, and the days are already getting a little longer: MORE LIGHT!

So let's take advantage of the these next few weeks of winter and use it as our time to grow closer to our Lord, develop some new habits, both physical and spiritual, and get disciplined, all for one reason; we will bring more honor and glory to His precious name.

Thank you all so much for a great year on the blog. We've reached over 40 countries, I've heard from so many of you, and I hope you will continue to read and "endure" this Kentucky girl's way of writing. And I'd love to hear from you again.

My prayer is that God will greatly bless you in this new year, prosper you and your family, and keep you in good health. Invest yourself in His kingdom today by investing yourself in someone else. There is no better life than a life lived for Jesus Christ!!

Love you,

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