As the new year comes in …
This is my last post of 2014. It’s been a good year for me in blogging, despite the difficult times when I was not able to muster the energy to keep up my schedule. (I’m still trying to break through one of those phases.) As we close out the old year I have a few thoughts and questions for us to consider together.
Do you meditate on the past year and lament your losses and mistakes, therefore forgetting to celebrate your successes and good efforts? or do you remember the good stuff and ignore the not-so-good events? or are you one who celebrates it all … the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the gains and the losses … as stepping-stones along your way?
This quote was in my mailbox this morning:
“Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything… we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to realize it as such.” – Henry Miller, The Henry Miller Reader
I believe that our attitude has a great deal to do with how we view life and what comes our way. It affects everything from our mood to our health. We are not only what we eat, we also are what we think.
Yesterday marked the seventeenth year since my dear mother passed from this life; seventeen years ago December 30 we sat with her as she released her last breath. Yesterday held a sadness for me because sometimes I miss her so much it hurts, but that day in 1997 was a day my mother was set free from the cancer that was attacking her body. I can look at it as a day of loss – which it was on a deep personal level – but I can also look at it as a day of celebration for her as, with an expectant heart, she went Home to our Lord. I will see her again and I do look forward to that.
In the meantime, I have a choice to make. I can let reminders of grief pull me down, I can live in that sad place and dwell on the negative hard places that naturally occur all along the way, or I can remember with an inner peace and joy how she lived her last days and died with such grace, never once complaining about her lot and suffering! (Seriously, it was amazing.) I can make it my goal to be more like her in that way, taking what comes with grace and dignity. That’s not an easy thing to do.
This was one of Mum’s favourite Scripture portions, especially verse 13:
Philippians 4: 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Through experience I have learned that my attitude affects everything. If I think sad, negative, angry, discouraging thoughts all the time, if I choose to live with regret, I get mentally and then physically pulled down. It does work that way. I get anxious, moody, sad and ill. If I think positive, hopeful thoughts and try to be cheerful, if I let my spirit soar above the problems, I feel better and make life more comfortable for everyone around me. My motto is “I live in hope”, meaning I try to keep looking to the better day, the better situation, without letting go of the progress I’ve made and the good I have now.
As the new year comes in …
I truly want to make a difference – first in my own life, and then in the lives of those around me and beyond. I’m a bit of a recluse so the latter is really hard for me unless I can be anonymous (a joy of mine) and not have to face the masses or even a small group. But when the Lord moves me … that’s another thing.
So now, as we close out 2014 and open the door for 2015 to sail in, let’s agree to live the positive upbeat life and not allow the negatives and past regrets to pull us down.
Philippians 4: 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Something I would love to have happen in 2015 – starting now – is more chat between us, so I truly HOPE you will leave a reply to my final questions of this year.
Have you experienced such hard things in your life it’s been a struggle to rise above it? What have you learned from how you face life, how has your attitude made a difference? What advice do you have for others … as the new year comes in?
My sincere wish is for the best year yet for you – a year of successes and accomplishments! I look forward to hearing about them.
See you in 2015! Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂
What a perfect end of the year post Lynn. It is not always easy to be positive but I agree, life is much better when we are. Although my goals were met this past year, I am having trouble adjusting to my new life and have to remind myself this is what I wanted. We just have a few hurdles to cross but I know it will all work out. Have a wonderful New Year blessed with gratitude and positive thoughts.
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Darlene, I know you succeeded in accomplishing many things this year. Bravo!
I’m sure it isn’t easy adjusting to a totally different culture there in Spain. It’s not as if you can just go home there and things are the same as the way you left them here in Canada. You’ve only been there a few weeks so don’t be hard on yourself. You will adjust. 🙂
Thanks for the kind wishes. Happy New Year to you!
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Beautiful post! Love your spirit…and your mother’s too. Such a great way of looking at life, which none too coincidently I try to put into practice myself. I look forward to chatting with you on future posts. I like that resolution as well. Again, Happy New Year, Lynn! – your new blog friend, Rhonda.
Welcome to my blog, Rhonda! Thank you for your kind words. It’s wonderful meeting you through the blogosphere. 🙂 I look forward to our blog chats.
Lynn, happy 2015. may you and yours prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. 3 John 2
Phil 3: 13 – 14 but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4: 6 Be careful ( Strongs 3309 . 1 to be anxious. 1A to be troubled with cares) ( care implies oppression of the mind weighed down by responsibility or disquieted by apprehension. This is why the Lord says to be careful, full of care, for nothing, for no thing.)
.for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Our daughter went home to the Lord in 2012 ( 4 years of cancer treatments – worse than the disease, 36 w/husband and 3 children) and it has been more difficult for my wife as she was our only daughter (5 sons). Do I miss her, absolutely, but that causes me to look forward, forgetting that which is behind, to the day we meet again.Even 50 years would be a pittance campared to eternity.
Grief is good, but only for a reasonable period of time. Then, we should remember the good things, as you mentioned above in Phil 4: 8
Do cast your care on your Heavenly Father, for He truly, truly cares for you. Don’t take it back. Leave the care with Him, for only He can truly give you His peace that passes understanding. If you find yourself taking the care back, repent and return it to the Lord.
I have prayed for you – – and I think you know that my/our Father always answers my prayers. ;o)
The Holy Bible: King James Version. (1995). (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version., Php 4:5–7). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc..
Ray, my friend, thank you for this good word.You are an encourager.
I didn’t know about your daughter, I’m so very sorry. I understand how hard it must be for your wife and for you… the kind of grief only one who’s been there can truly know.
Thank you for your prayers. May you be encouraged as you minister to others in the Lord’s love. May 2015 bring joy and delights to you and yours in a new way.
So good to hear from you again. 🙂
Happy New Year! I think you summed it up perfectly! 😀
Thanks, Erik; I’m glad you think so. 🙂