Giving Up ~ 3 Things to Consider During Lent

The Lenten season has begun.  For many Christian denominations the tradition of Lent marks 40 days (excluding Sundays) until Easter. It’s a time for reflection, repentance and remembering what Jesus did for us as He made His way toward the cross, culminating with Easter Sunday and the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.

As a child I was fascinated as my friends would come back to school after religion class with ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday. It was a tradition we didn’t follow in my Baptist denomination and I was curious. The ashes symbolize purification and sorrow for our sins. Each of my friends also gave something up for Lent. It was usually candy, pizza, soda or some other food sacrifice. I remember it wasn’t easy for them to carry this out for 6 weeks but admired them for the effort.

candy cake

In the days leading up to Ash Wednesday this year conversations at work and among friends turned to Lent and who would give up something they enjoy during the 6 weeks of Lent. It got me to thinking about what, if anything, I should give up. I considered giving up chocolate, but that was quickly dismissed. Other considerations were candy, all sweets, or “junk” food. I even considered giving up social media. All were things I enjoy a great deal and often struggle with overdoing. Any would be a good choice and may help change some bad habits.

Somehow any choice I came up with seemed like it wasn’t enough. I feared it would become about me and not the sacrifice Jesus made for me. Would I think of Him each time I turned away from a temptation or would I simply be proud of myself for each little success? My desire is to go deeper and give up something that would impact not only myself but my little corner of the world.

I prayed and pondered, coming up with almost more than I bargained for as God showed me things He’d like me to give up for Him. Here are five of them:

1. Insecurity/Jealousy
Wouldn’t you think jealousy would have left us in our teen years? In reality it follows many of us into adulthood. It amazes me sometimes how often I wonder if someone likes another friend more than me or I catch a glimpse into another’s life and wish it was mine (not taking into account that I don’t see the whole picture, just one small slice)

I know many of my jealous tendencies come from insecurity. Maybe yours do too. At times when I am not confident enough in who I am in Christ or grounded enough in His love I become discontent and jealous. I focus too much on what the world thinks instead of keeping my focus on Jesus.

One of the Ten Commandments instructs us not to envy others or covet what God has given them either materially or through our gifts and talents. When we do we are sinning.

Wow. So if it’s not enough that jealousy and insecurity makes us feel miserable, it’s sinning against God and making Him very unhappy as well.

How would my life be different if for the next 6 weeks I focused internally on God’s desire for my life instead of externally on what everyone else has/does? How would yours?

2. Being Quick to Speak
Do you have someone in your life who always has something to say? When you’re with them you feel like they’re not listening to you but rather trying to figure out what to say next. It can be very frustrating to spend time with them, especially if you need someone to really listen and care.

I know sometimes I am quick to have something to say and will sometimes offer my opinion when it’s unwanted. Is this you too?

Scripture has something to say about this as well:
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19

I am sometimes also quick to speak when it comes to prayer. I have so much to say or ask for that I don’t take the time to listen. In doing so I shut out the wisdom, peace and joy God wants to share with me and possibly through me. If I don’t listen to Him how can I offer others the thing they need most – the love and joy of the Lord.

How would my life be different if for the next 6 weeks I spent more time listening to others and to the Lord and less time talking? How would yours?

3. Overindulgence
AAAAAGGGggghhhhhh!! This is such a challenge for me! From chocolate to snacks and even with social media once I get started it can be difficult, sometimes impossible to stop!

Unfortunately along with overindulgence comes an unhealthy lifestyle. Eating too many sweets, snacks and fatty foods adds pounds and leads us down the road to likely early death. Too much time on social media and surfing the internet wastes time and possibly skews our way of thinking. Also it potentially opens us up to experience things we’d rather not and exposes us to things we’d rather not see or focus on.

When we eat ourselves into a food coma or immerse ourselves in social media we have less time for time in scripture, prayer or fellowshipping with friends and family members. We find our time and focus has been sucked away – time we’ll never get back.

Are there areas of your life where you struggle with overindulgence?

Scripture also warns against overindulgence.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12

How would my life be different if for the next 6 weeks I set more limits on myself in areas I overindulge? How would yours?

This all seems like a tall order and more than I am capable of. Even one seems like a big challenge that would take much longer than 6 weeks to achieve. I’m really not sure that was God’s intention but instead to draw my focus more to Him and less on myself and my desires.

HHoutreach with butterfly

Over the next 6 weeks I’m going to try to give up more of my heart to God. I’m going to try to listen to Him more, waste less time that could be spent with Him, and allow Him to speak to me about my life and listen less to the world around me. I’m excited to see how my life will be different through the process.

Will you join me in the next 6 weeks to consider what God would have you give up as we remember what He gave up for us on the cross?

I’ll be praying for you!

blessings and peace,
Paula

Valentine Victory

It’s coming…only 3 days away. The day of roses and chocolates – another Hallmark holiday.

How I used to dread Valentine’s Day! For weeks before February 14th I pined and pouted, miserable at every commercial for jewelry and every comment from friends about what they would be doing to celebrate with their sweethearts. I didn’t have a sweetheart and it made me miserable. I wanted to be in love and for someone to be in love with me. I wanted a reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Over the years I stopped whining long enough to look around me. What I saw were many others who were alone on Valentine’s Day. Some had never been married like me, but others were alone because of divorce or widowhood. I saw them not only lonely without their loved one on Valentine’s Day but also with bittersweet memories that sometimes made the day even more difficult than mine.

I also discovered something else. While there are many happy marriages with sweethearts rekindling their love each Valentine’s Day there are many married couples who won’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day together. They are struggling to stay together and to rediscover their love for each other.The proclamation of a day of love will not magically fix things between them.

All of this observation has me looking at Valentine’s Day differently. Yes, I still wish I had a sweetheart, but not just for Valentine’s Day. A friend of mine commented the other day that if you’re in love with someone you should show it every day and you shouldn’t need a holiday to tell you to express it. I agree! And this applies not only to a significant other, but all of those whom our lives touch.

Now when I look towards Valentine’s Day I seek ways to brighten the day for others. I think about those around me who will be lonely and without celebration and do what I can to make their day better. .

Here are some ideas:

  • Mail Valentine’s to those who are alone.
  • Pick up candy, flowers, balloons, etc. and hand them out randomly to people who look like they could use a smile.
  • Pick up the phone and call someone who might need a friend.

Praying for others is also critical because where I can’t physically touch lives God can through His all-encompassing love.

There are so many options. Pray about what you could do, on your own, with your significant other or as a family.

 

If you have a sweetheart and look forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day I’m not suggesting you tone down your celebration or don’t share your love with others. Your relationship can be an inspiration to others. But as you look ahead to the big day I ask you to also look around. Find someone who may be alone or lonely in the midst of a relationship and reach out to them. A phone call, note or even a little chocolate heart can make all the difference in their day.

The greatest Valentine any of us can receive is the love of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ who showed the ultimate love by coming to earth and living a perfect life, only to take the sins of all mankind when He died on the cross. If you don’t know this Love I pray that you will give your heart to Jesus and know the love that never fails not only on Valentine’s Day but every day of the year.

Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you. May this year be one of expressing love not only to your sweetheart but to each person you touch. You could be the missing peace to someone’s Valentine’s Day puzzle.

blessings and peace to you…

Paula

No Hope At All

Have you ever discovered that a bible verse you’ve quoted to yourself or others over and over has been somewhat incomplete and possibly misquoted?

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

Many times I have quoted 1 Peter 5:7 to myself or someone else to ease the strain of anxiety or turmoil, either within or from without. I realize now that quoting it on its own takes it out of context and turns it into some kind of magic potion that is probably different from God’s intention for the verse.

You see when we take it out of context we omit a key piece to the peace that comes from casting anxiety on the Lord. Look at the previous verse:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
that He may lift you up in due time.

Humble ourselves?

Is submission easy for you? For most of us it’s not. Whether it’s submitting to the wishes and plans of a family member or friend or taking direction from your boss when you disagree with them, we humans don’t really like to submit to others especially if it means we may give up something we want (or think we want) in the process.

Let’s face it. Our nature is to want things our way and live a life of comfort. When I am anxious about something I often try to find a solution or make it better and more comfortable for myself and others. I wrack my brain and strive to find an answer for the dilemma or figure out how to change someone’s feelings or attitude.

That’s not always God’s plan.

God asks us to hope. To have faith in Him and hope, for the present and the future.

And hope requires submission.

Romans 8_24-25Romans 8:24-25

Hope requires us to admit that we can’t solve the problems around us and submit to the One who can…in His timing.

We look at the world around us and see so much that’s wrong. Innocent people losing their lives because someone doesn’t know how to control his or her anger, leaders who do not fear God or look to the best interests of those whom they lead but instead to their own desires and those we look to for truth disappoint us. It can be so hard to hope for the good.

But hope must be exercised in order to grow stronger. Hope linked with faith is an unbeatable combination.

Think of when you start working out to strengthen your muscles, lifting weights or doing work on your abdominal/core. Do you feel strong the day after the workout?

weight_lifting

No, those muscles feel weak. The thing is if you allow that feeling of weakness to override the knowledge that good will come from consistently working those muscles and believing you will gain strength over time, nothing will ever change. But if you consistently work on those muscles, believing in what you cannot immediately see, over time you will realize things have changed.

I believe the same is true for hope.

Hope is something that must be exercised, and goes hand-in-hand with faith. (more on that in a future post)

Hebrews 10:23 tells us:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

As we submit to God and His will, admitting we don’t understand but hopeful that God’s promises are true today just as in the days of old we will be able to cast away our anxiety and allow Him to take over.

If you’re having trouble with this and need proof of present hope, look a little deeper. Perhaps we need to look a little farther out of our own circle. There are stories every day of God providing for people in need, healing the sick, even bringing miracles. Just because we haven’t seen what we hope for come to be just yet doesn’t mean it won’t. It means we need to continue to hope, and put our trust in the One who promises He will never leave us or allow us to walk through the joys or struggles alone.

This isn’t only true for everyone else it’s true for me, and for you. It’s easy to forget and be tempted to give up hope.

Don’t do it. In this puzzle of life the missing peace can only be found by humbling ourselves under God’s hand, trusting, and hoping for what we cannot see…

and casting our anxiety on Him.

 

blessings and peace to you!
Paula

 

The Language of Joy

Do you think joy has a language?

I’m beginning to think so. The way we talk to and about ourselves and others, both audibly and silently, can determine our joy quotient.

Hear me out on this! I’m not suggesting we fill our vocabulary with flowery phrases or constantly gush over people but perhaps the words we use and thoughts we choose impact our lives more than we think they do.

Let me ask you a couple of questions:

1. Do you look for the good in others or are you quick to criticize?
(now apply this question to how you treat yourself)

2. When someone (including you) makes a mistake or doesn’t get something right the first (or second or third) time do you encourage them or give up on them?

3. Do you look for the proverbial silver lining when times are tough or do you only imagine the storm on the horizon?

It is difficult (perhaps impossible) to be joyful when we are constantly being critical of ourselves or others.

negative thoughts

Think for a moment about someone whom you consider to be joyful. What kinds of words do you hear them using? What kind of outlook do they have on life?

Joy-filled people use more positive words than negative. They encourage others and choose to see the positive in the midst of the negative.

It seems trite and almost too easy. Unfortunately the reality is that for most of us it isn’t easy at all.

Just as changing habits to make our physical bodies healthier requires adjustments to our diet and activity levels, changing our minds to eliminate negative thoughts requires adjustments to our thinking and approach to each day – even each hour.

You’ve likely heard the phrase “garbage in, garbage out”. If your mind is filled with garbage thoughts – negative and demeaning thoughts – you allow those thoughts to steal your joy.

While some people may have more of a bend towards having a positive outlook it can become a learned behavior. And just as with any habit, making small consistent changes eventually brings a new way of life.

Give it a try today. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts make a choice to find something positive in the midst of it. Don’t allow yourself to feed the negative thoughts, but put them into perspective. If you really can’t find something positive about the situation, turn your mind to thinking about something else.

See if you begin to find more joy in life, even when life is hard and not so joyful.

Joy is what happens

Blessings and peace as you find joy in today…and each day to come.
Paula

 

Joy In January?

We’ve just come through “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year”. It is a time when we sing of “Joy To The World” and “Love and joy come to you…” It seems people are more cheerful and joy is not hard to find. It is a very special time of year.

Then comes…banner_januaryIn my part of the United States that means cold. And snow. And gray. When the calendar flips to January my mind and emotions seem to flip a switch from the joy of the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays to the dread of weeks – no, months of cold and snow and gray, drab days.

I’m sounding like a real downer aren’t I?

Unfortunately that’s what happens to me when January comes around. And I don’t like it.

This year I wonder, “could there be joy in January?”

Is it possible to find true joy in the midst of the dreary days? I don’t mean just a feeling of happiness but true, deep-down, a bad day can’t rob me of joy! I am determined to find it.

My first idea was to consider what robs us of joy. I mean, if we seem to have it other times of the year and then ‘lose’ it something(s) must be getting in the way, right? Here are some things I have discovered in my own life that rob me of it joy:

1. Attitude/Mental Focus – I believe we have a choice about what we allow to impact our day. Choosing to be positive does make a difference in how we emerge from a situation, even when it’s not ideal. At the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna, what we allow to stick around in our heads and hearts will determine the direction we go. Consider this:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

The truth is we will be presented with challenges. We are not always going to be happy about them or welcome them into our day. That is the reality of life. The key is what we choose to concentrate on when we walk away from those challenges. If we allow negative comments or minor mistakes to get under our skin and overwhelm our thoughts we will begin to see even the good things though cloudy glasses.

I came to this conclusion on my drive home from an especially chaotic and negative day at work. I found myself reviewing segments of the day over and over in my head and with each segment reliving the frustrations, emotions and chaos. I began to pray as I drove and God revealed to me that I needed to let go. Each of the situations I was reliving was over. It didn’t matter if a patient was nasty to me on the phone or the entire office was feeling overwhelmed and negative. These isolated incidents were frustrating but they were just that – incidents. They were not an on-going challenge to be solved or problem to be reconciled. I could choose to allow them to impact my attitude or choose to let go and focus on more positive things.

Choosing to dwell on past negativity will cause us to carry those emotions into the future and rob us of joy.

choose-joy_complete-collection

2. Physical Factors – Working in an orthopaedic office I have learned much about how in injury or pain in one area of our bodies affects other areas as well. God created our bodies intricately and designed each part to work together…physical, mental and spiritual. When physical factors in our body are out of whack so to speak it can impact other areas, stealing our joy. Here are three that I’ve noticed impacting my joy:

  • Sleep – we all know how a lack of sleep impacts our immune system and our ability to function properly but until recently I didn’t realize how much it impacts my mood. Our brains become foggy when we don’t get adequate sleep and our emotions are more sensitive. Here are links to a couple of studies you can check out:
    Harvard Universityhttp://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood
    Psychology Todayhttp://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/between-you-and-me/201308/all-night-the-effects-sleep-loss-mood
    This is an area I still struggle with. Finding balance between activity and turning the world and my thoughts off in order to get enough rest can be a challenge for me. Reminding myself how it impacts my outlook on life and my search for joy is helping.
  • Water – In my quest to become physically healthier I have learned health experts encourage us to drink enough water. As I pay more attention to water I realize how much it feeds my brain and how well I think. There are studies on this as well:Men’s Healthhttp://www.menshealth.com/health/fastest-way-improve-mood
    WebMDhttp://www.webmd.com/women/news/20120120/even-mild-dehydration-may-cause-emotional-physical-problems

    I’m not suggesting water will solve our problems or automatically inject our lives with joy but staying well hydrated may clear our heads enough to find more joy all around us instead of having to wade through a foggy head.

  • Exercise – This is the hardest time of year for me to get exercise in. Morning is my favorite time to exercise and it’s cold in the house in the mornings. It’s a challenge to get up and change my clothes to get in a work-out to start my day. But when I do, my day starts right! Of course there are studies on this as well, telling how our endorphins (body’s natural opiates, designed to relieve stress and enhance pleasure) clear our heads and improve our mood.WebMd – http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression
    While morning is the best time for me it may not be the best time for you and I don’t think the time of day matters. It seems that exercising any time of the day will make a difference not only to our physical health but to our moods as well.

    I am not a medical professional and depend on doctors and medical studies to teach me more about how  my body, mind and emotions work together. But here I share with you my experiences and give you some things to consider to clear your head, making room for more joy.

3.  Outward vs. Inward Focus – The more time I spend inside my home the more I risk my focus turning inward as well. In the winter I struggle with not wanting to venture out into the cold for activities, therefore spending less time face-to-face with people, enjoying their company and serving others. I find my thoughts turn inward as well, usually on things that are negative about my life, body, etc. etc.

This is an area I have to be careful of and must make sure I’m not becoming a hermit once January hits. With the internet communities available there can be more personal interaction than 5 or 10 years ago but sitting in front of the computer can cause less desirable influences as well.

For me it is important to force myself to balance activities outside my home with those inside my home. When I am inside balancing ways to focus on others with cuddling up with a blanket, book and hot cocoa is vital. Making gifts for others helps me focus on them instead of myself. Spending time praying for others, writing a note (sending through snail mail or e-mail) to encourage or cheer another are a couple other ways I can turn my focus outward when I am feeling stuck inside.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to share with you more about what I am discovering about joy in my life. Hopefully it will inspire you to find more joy in January – and throughout the year!

blessings, peace, and JOY to you!
Paula

Dream A Little Dream

Happy New Year!

Usually for me the start of a new year is all about goals.

It’s about figuring out what I believe I can accomplish, writing it down, and making a plan to see it through to completion.

Sounds easy and straightforward doesn’t it?

Some years I accomplish my goals and some years end with goals not reached. Most years see some progress, but honestly at the end of the year there’s a little emptiness. Sure I can be proud of what I’ve accomplished but there’s a little something missing.

Every year I’m afraid to dream.

Goals are good. They are important. When they are S.M.A.R.T. goals we can see a great deal of success.
Check out this previous post for more on S.M.A.R.T. goals.

http://pauladavispeace.com/2014/01/18/are-your-goals-s-m-a-r-t/

But  sometimes there’s a dream in our heart that we’re afraid to utter — even to ourselves. We can’t pin it down enough to turn it into a goal. And perhaps it will take a little help from others and a dose of faith to see the dream become a reality.

dream

I have a couple of those. I can give you reason after reason why they stay buried and why they will never come true.

  • What if my dream is too big?
  • What if my dream is too big and I’m disappointed?
  • What if others think my dream is crazy?
  • What if I’m too old?

These are things that hold me back.

The last few months I’ve been thinking more and more about my dreams, and separating a true, deep desire from a hobby or something I’d be interested in trying. Sometimes being busy with little projects can distract us from going after that big dream – the desire of our heart.

One very cool thing is that God wants us to have desires and when the desires/dreams of our hearts are in line with what He wants for us God assures us they will come true.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

When the Lord plants a dream in us He will see it through to fulfillment. I believe at the same time it requires a few things from us:

  1. Spending more time in God’s word, building our faith.
    We can’t know if the desires we have deep inside us are from God unless we spend time with Him. When we spend time studying God’s word and being quiet before Him we can be sure He will confirm the desires that are from Him and show us those that are not. He will build our faith as we know Him better.


     Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
                                                                                                           Hebrews 10:23


  2. Setting aside fear
    When thoughts of fear and insecurities come to mind we need to stop thinking them. I know it’s not as easy as it sounds but it is vital to our faith-building! Make an effort to be aware of how you’re thinking and choose a ‘faith phrase’ to use to replace the negative.


    For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
    1 Timothy 1:6-7


  3. Take the first step
    Ask God to show you one thing you can do to start chasing that dream in a concrete way. Then DO IT!! It may take years for the dream to be completely fulfilled, but it can’t be fulfilled at all if we don’t get started.


    Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

    Philippians 3:13-14


God does have big plans for each of our lives. As the days of this new year turn into weeks and months we are likely to get caught up in day-to-day activities that threaten to blur our dreams, so make a reminder for yourself. Write it down and/or find pictures that represent the dream. Put these reminders where you will see them regularly and keep it fresh throughout the year. I believe when 2015 comes to a close we will see ourselves closer to seeing our dreams become reality. It really is what God desires for us.

I wish for each of you joy, peace and prosperity throughout 2015. And I pray you will be unafraid – beginning today – to go after the dreams God has planted within you. You’re never too old – or too young to accomplish His desires for you.

And now I’m going to take my own advice!

blessings and peace to you…
Paula

Erasing Regrets

In just a couple of days we’ll be ushering in 2015. For me each year seems to start out slow, but by September I begin to wonder where it went. And as the last few days approach many of us start to look at setting goals and making resolutions.

But what do we do with the year we’re leaving behind?

Do you find yourself ending the year with regrets? If we’re honest I think most of us do. They may not be huge disappointments, maybe something we have been trying to overcome for a while that we feel we made no progress on again this year. Or that little thing that nags at us and won’t seem to let go.

Starting a new year positively is much easier when we erase regrets, make things right inside and out, and allow ourselves to move on to a fresh new adventure.

erasing regrets

Here are some thoughts on letting go and leaving the negatives of 2014 behind:

1. Be Truthful With Yourself
Sometimes I lie to myself about something that is nagging at me. I want to have put it behind me or not let it bother me but truthfully I’m hanging onto it. Once I admit that I’m having a hard time letting go I can begin steps to truly do so.

2. Write It Down
Writing down regrets makes them concrete. It makes them real. Whether it’s a word or two or multiple pages of thoughts and feelings, putting regrets in writing helps to let go of them. And once you’ve made the decision to let go you can rip up the paper as a symbolic gesture of ridding your life of that weight.

3. Pray About It
Is there a reason you are hanging onto this particular regret? What does God have to say about it? Ask Him to show you if there is something you need to do for proper closure. Have you forgiven or asked for forgiveness? Have you done your best to make retribution where necessary? Remember what God says in about holding on to regret:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.    Romans 8:1-2 ESV

While God desires us to admit our sins and sometimes disciplines us, after that He’s done.

12 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
Psalm 103: 11-13 ESV

If God is telling you that you’ve done all you need to do and it’s time to move forward, do so. If he removes our sins and forgets them, why shouldn’t we? Ask for His help in letting go.

4. Stop Thinking About It
It might sound over-simplified but once we’ve determined we need to move on from a past mistake or unmet goal we are hanging onto it all comes down to choice. We choose to continue to dwell on it or not. When something God has told us to let go of comes to mind we need to shut down that thought. Choose to think about something else. Consider Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

4. Ask For Help If Needed
There are times we need an accountability partner to remind us of our decision and ask us about our progress in areas we are struggling. If you are having trouble letting go on your own find a trusted friend or professional to keep tabs on how you are doing. Often for me just knowing someone is going to ask me about a particular struggle helps me to move forward and make progress.

As the new year approaches, take some time to consider the past year. Remember what is valuable and let go of what is not. The process may take some time but there’s no better time to get started. As we ring in 2015 we can hopefully echo these words of Paul:

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 ESV

Blessings and peace to you as you turn the calendar, leaving regrets behind.
Paula