Traditionally almost all of us make at least one or two New Year’s resolutions. We say we’re going to lose weight, exercise more, get our financial lives together, or spend more time with our families instead of our jobs.
We really mean it when we make those resolutions. But by the end of a couple weeks, or at least by the end of January all of those resolutions were forgotten. Discarded. We just can’t seem to make them work. It takes too much effort, or we lose interest.
Personally, I’ve hardly ever made any New Year’s resolutions, because I know I won’t keep them. What’s so special about making a change in our lives simply because it’s a new year? If we don’t change ourselves and our way of thinking, turning over the date on the calendar isn’t going to do it.
Instead of making resolutions I’m going to do something a little different this year. I’m going to list the things that I’m grateful for. The things that really matter to me. And when I get discouraged during the year, I’m going to pull that list out and read it, and remember how I started the new year with a grateful heart, because resolutions don’t last. But the things that we’re grateful for should.
Here are a few of those things which give me reason to enter into the 2016 with a new attitude of hope and expectancy.
My husband’s health – Ben was rushed to the ER a year and a half ago, and flat-lined in front of Ashley and me almost as soon as he arrived. It was the most frightening thing I have ever been through. But he survived, received a pacemaker, and was home the next day. He returned to the ER this summer, shortly after our daughter’s wedding, with congestive heart failure. Eight days later he was back home, and six months later his heart is back to normal and he has no restrictions except a low sodium diet. Praise the Lord!
My health – I am extremely healthy. I may be stressed, but who isn’t!? I don’t exercise. I’m not overweight. My cholesterol and other bloodwork is fine. I am thankful every day for the gift of good health.
Friends – Ben and I have several very close, very dear friends who are always there for us when we need them, just as we are there for them. They are not acquaintances. They’re our family, and we love each other dearly.
Home – I may grumble about having to clean, but we have a comfortable home. It may need fresh paint and a bit of new carpet here and there, but it’s our home, where we raised our daughter, entertain our friends, and just enjoy being together.
A loving and helpful husband – Ben helps me around the house without my ever asking. He brings me my coffee in the morning, does the grocery shopping, helps clean, fixes my lunch for me to take to work every day, and usually has dinner ready when I get home from a job that’s 45 minutes away. He also works full time. He is a gem, and I would not trade him for anything in the world.
Our country – We live in a country where we are free to worship as we please without fear of being arrested or killed because of our beliefs. We are also free to voice our opinions without fear of being arrested or imprisoned.
Our children – Our daughter Ashley is now happily married to her long-time boyfriend Chris, who we love as much as we do her. They have bought their first home; they both have good jobs; and best of all, they are expecting our first grandchild, a daughter, this summer. This is the greatest blessing of all…except…
Our Lord and Savior – who loves us unconditionally, who answers our prayers, even when we don’t like the answers, and promises us the gift of eternal life, just because we love him.
With blessings such as these, who needs to make New Year’s Resolutions?
May each of you have a blessed and Happy New Year! Count your blessings rather than your resolutions, and if you wish to share those blessings, we’d love to hear them!