Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Making the New Year Bright

I've spent this evening playing word games with my sister, watching TV Land's count down to the number one I Love Lucy show of all time (the one where she and Ethel work at the candy factory), and counting my blessings. In an e-letter that came to my mailbox today, the writer suggested four pillars for making the new year a good one: gratitude, faith, laughter, and outreach/service (my single words summarizing her paragraphs).

For me, these are easy things, as they fit into my everyday life pretty easily, considering I work at a Christian school where I am grateful every day for the kids who make me laugh and the colleagues with whom I pray and serve. But she also suggests keeping a gratitude journal where we spend 15 to 30 minutes a day freely contemplating the things we appreciate and are grateful for in our lives. This forces us to focus on the good things and let go of the trials and frustrations.

Her discussion of faith cited studies that confirmed the healing power of prayer, and not just prayers you pray for yourself, but those you pray for others, too. Having many times experienced the power of prayer, both in my personal and professional life, I do not wonder at, or doubt, these studies.

And so, as the waning minutes of 2008 tick away, I am counting down the top five blessings in my life. And while I'm contemplating them, I am also offering up a prayer for continued health and wholeness in this new year.

5) I am grateful for the opportunities that come my way to make a difference. I pray that I do not fail to notice or follow up on them.
4) I am grateful for the friends in my life, both near and far, old and new. I pray that I can be as much a blessing to them as they are to me.
3) I am grateful for the work I've been given to do, for the people I work with, and for the way God has blessed us in that work. I pray that we will continue to grow in scope and influence.
2) I am grateful for my family, for our close friendship, for the relative good health of each. I pray for continued health and happiness for years to come.
1) I am grateful for the gift of life, eternal life, that we celebrate at this time. I pray that my life, and the life to come, will not disappoint the One who gave His all for each of us.

Happy New Year! Make it Bright!


Beth said...

Happy New Year, Rondi. I like the idea of a gratitude journal. We do have much to be grateful for.

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