When you start something – a fun adventure, a new program or plan, a fresh commitment, A NEW YEAR – it’s easy to be excited. Fresh starts are a kind of power launch that thrust you forward. Still, with life demands and problem-solving each day, how can you live with strategies of rest after the newness of a launch wears off?
What is the best gift you’ve ever received? Was this special present something you received when you were a child? Or does this memory come from when you were a teen? Maybe your most favorite present came after you became an adult. Whenever you received it, you likely still remember it as the best gift ever!
If you’ve ever experienced sadness in the holidays, you know how hard it is to jump into cheer and celebration when your heart is hurting. Sometimes sadness is because life is hard all year, filled with losses, bad news, declining health, broken relationships. At times you can’t even pinpoint why you feel sad. Melancholy lingers even when you are grateful for many blessings. But Christmas is still going to come. So if you are sad, how do you get through the holiday sadness?
As we enter the holiday seasons and the final portions of this year, most of us get pretty busy. Still, it’s essential to ask questions that matter most during these months of celebration. One question in particular often associated with Thanksgiving, affects life every day. What exactly is gratitude? Have you regularly asked yourself that question? I’ll throw in another question – “part B” to the first question. Are you “doing gratitude” each day?
If you were to stand in the middle of a busy intersection of pedestrian and vehicle traffic, you’d get significant impressions. Besides being concerned for your safety, you’d also notice it doesn’t always go well. The hair-raising screech of tires and squeal of brakes in a near miss of cross traffic. A motorcycle driver almost clips you with his daring zig-zag around another car. A pedestrian pushes through and almost knocks others over. Someone does lose grip and drops a package. Then there’s the motorist in a hurry and blazes right through a red light. You are almost run over as a bicycler whips by you. On top of all that, there’s the airplane overhead much too low for comfort. You haven’t even thought about a possible pick-pocket.
Have you ever thought about how many things you manage in a day? It’s overwhelming. From a home and yard, to your budget. You manage health, weight, and wise shopping for food. How about keeping everything clean, fixed, ready to use? You manage your career, family, friendships. Even time-off needs management for constructive fun and rest. And – seriously – all your techie stuff needs managing. (Have you noticed?!) Computers, phones, devices, apps for everything you can imagine. There’s another thing you need to manage to have an Alive and Active Life. You need to manage your feelings.
It’s been a rough couple of years! People are feeling it. Communities, countries, the global community have challenges and threats that are astronomical with limited solutions. In addition, it has become increasingly hard to know who to trust. All this upheaval can sometimes make a person feel – “I Just Don’t Care Anymore!”
Depression is real. It’s not something you aim for, but as life happens, depression sometimes visits. It’s real enough it must be managed. But so many people simply do not know how. People are looking for help and hope. There is help. And there is hope.
Sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up! Days can get pretty tough as the years slip by. Yet – there is encouragement for the taking – all around you. Little things here and there. Have you found God’s little thing that encourages today?
I remember realizing years ago – it takes growing in alertness to notice God’s little thing that encourages. I’d like to share just a couple of examples from my life.
You’ve heard of wash ‘n’ wear. Those are the garments you throw in the washer, then the dryer, and even if you miss the dryer buzzer, they don’t wrinkle. You pull them out, put them on, and off you go! They look great. We like to think of ourselves as wash ‘n’ wear. But many days, it’s more like wear ‘n’ tear! We start a day as wash ‘n’ wear . . . and end up as wear ‘n’ tear.
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Why not refresh your walk with Jesus and renew your commitment to Bible Study?