Not so fast!
2/2/2018 11:49:36 AM
A valuable exercise - some introspection and a time to take stock

NOT so fast!   I love a new year! 
by the way - where ya' been?
"So, last day of 2017," I casually quipped to the cashier a few days ago.  She passed my groceries across the scanner, and briefly looked up, "Two thousand Eighteen can't get here soon enough!" The implication - the year has not treated her kindly, and she is hoping for better in this new year.
The. New. Year.  Been really sick for a couple weeks, I have ... bronchitis and yuck, so I feel like I kinda fell backward into 2018 and would like a do-over for New Year's Day happenings.  Will you accompany me, please?
Here's the thing--regularly living with one thought on the past, dwelling on what might have, could have and should have been serves no good purpose. Yet as we move into a new year, a little personal reflection can be so very valuable, as 
a little stock-taking provides awareness, and forward thinking spurs us onto growth.  
"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under Heaven~
. . .a time to plant, and a time to uproot
. . .a time to tear down, and a time to build
. . .a time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them
. . .a time to keep, and a time to throw away
. . .a time to be silent, and a time to speak." from Ecclesiastes 3
Seasons, hmmm. Like the cashier, I am mostly glad to see 2017 behind; however, let's take a time, a brief season to reflect:  [might want to print this out-to think, to write]
Do your mind and soul a favor, and take a little time with this exercise.
*What were the highlights, the joys of 2017? _____________________________
*Blessings? Name 'em: _______________________________________________
*What were the struggles, the trials faced? ______________________________
*Anything that caused great pain? _____________________________________
*How about growth in the year? ________________________________________
*Is there anything you need to 'tear down' from your life? ___________________
In considering these questions myself-blessings as well as trials, I can easily see how God has been so good in my life, how he has guided me, sustained and carried me in the roughest spots.  Truly, looking back reminds me he has been faithful.  
I have to admit, if I did not take this time to take stock, to write things down even, to reflect, I could easily just say 'Oh, 2017 is behind me now,' and kinda' leave it in a heap of bad memories, when there were so many sweet times.  There were times with loved ones, living life-the gift of life(!), writing, sharing sweet moments; I don't want it all to be chalked up to bad things or hard things I experienced. That would be so wrong!  
Now, my friend, no living in last year-no staying there or continuing to look back over your shoulder, or regularly looking in the rearview mirror.  If you have taken just a little time, you recalled what has hurt, where you have lost, and of what you must let go.
The new has come!  If you will just take a hold of it and apprehend it, you can experience freshness in your existence.  Next briefing-how to do that.
Until then ...  HAPPY       NEW         YEAR!