December 17, 2017

BLESSINGS – My One Word for The New Year – 2017

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

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My sister, Allison, asked me in 2016 to choose one word that would be constant throughout the year, as an important life reminder, kind of like a New Year’s resolution. While many resolve to lose weight, I would choose to remind myself of a personal theme. For example, one might choose strength, courage, perseverance, education, kindness, service, or any other area of sought after reminders for one’s own betterment. One might choose one of these listed words as their intended purpose.

I did not choose a word in 2016, however after a long year of hardship and trials, I am reminded of the blessings in my life of what is good, even when circumstances around seem bad. My chosen word and therefore focused theme for 2017 is BLESSINGS.

I will do my utmost best to remember what is good in my life….to remember the blessings God has given me….not to forgot the obvious ways God continues to demonstrate His continual love and divine grace.

2016 did not go exactly according to plan or the way I expected it to go, but on a positive note, the year brought me closer to family in a new hometown city of Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville, Tennessee. I married the love of my life, Lisa, with a wonderful small ceremony with family and close friends.

I experienced good in the midst of hardship. One must not forget there is still good to be had in the middle of adversity. Someone probably has it worse than what we are experiencing, even if we fail to recognize it.

The world is not ending. Perhaps it is just beginning. Perhaps change is not happening to us but rather for us. What we see as negative changes are, in fact, the positive factors changing us to be better people and even stronger followers of Christ.

We are beginning to be blessed rather than being burdened. Rather than seeing all the negatives in my own existence, I will rather focus on the positive….the good….the evident BLESSINGS before my very own eyes. I am blessed by the love, support, and kindness of others….sometimes more than I know. I am blessed rather than transgressed by awful moments. There is still good to be seen. In hardship, I must choose to recognize that good. Perhaps it is as simple as a choice on the matter.

Oh, I am blessed. Yes, I am very blessed. Happy New Year to you and your family! I sincerely desire that your one chosen word brings hope to you as my word, BLESSINGS, brings hope to me in 2017.

Let Go of Control….then the Blessings We Will See (Guest Writer and Poet Entry)

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This intimate poem was given to me by someone very special. She has stood by to encourage my will to persist and self-confidence when down in midst of an island far from home. I believe this poem will touch your heart as it has touched mine.

For the Glory Given Up

I give up
Where’s my life going I have no lead
I give up
My heart is broken; its hope that I need
I give up
I am stuck in the middle of life’s road
I give up
Carrying many of life’s burdens like a heavy load
I give up
I fall on my knees in total surrender and submission
I give up
I give it all up to the One who makes my life’s final decision
I gave up
Now I can see life through a new light
I gave up
There is something great ahead that I am waiting to see with my sight
I gave up
I will praise God no matter the cost
I gave up
Without Him my life’s passion would be lost
I gave up
I thank him for all he has done and will do for me
I gave up
I know there are many more blessings He will soon let me see

-Lisa C., August 27, 2014

At the bottom of this poem given to me, the author wrote the reference for the following Scripture verse. One could say it inspired the poem above about our relationships with God.

Inspired by Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.