We just drove home today from the last of the Christmas family gatherings, so I haven't really even began to consider the new year and what it might hold and what I hope for it. In the back of my mind, though, there has been the hope that this year might be less stressful.
I checked out a few blogs on that long ride home today, and browsed Pinterest yesterday, so I did come across the seasonal glut of reflection questions / goal setting ideas / One Little Word / #Verse2014...and I think I've already got what I want to focus on this year.
About six weeks ago I wrote about choosing big prayers to pray for each of my family members. I didn't share what each one was at the time, but the one I was praying for Nolan was that he would have a cheerful heart, based on Proverbs 17:22 that says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Maybe it was the stage he was at, or maybe just bad habits that needed nipping in the bud, but he was easily upset, and I was praying that a cheerful heart would make him more open to trying new things, enable him to go sleep on his own better, and be less resistant about obeying.
That prayer, more than the others, has stuck with me, and I've found myself praying it for all four of us. So while relationships are still important to me ('relationship' was my word for last year), this year I really want to focus on my family, and that each of us would have a cheerful heart. We each have different struggles, but that is one medicine that I think will be a cure-all. And I can't change them; I can only change myself. So if I focus on remembering to have a cheerful heart myself, I am hoping it will be an inspiration to them as well. Especially if I start to print it on the walls or some other visible reminder for myself!
Thank you for reading. I wish you a blessed and cheerful 2014, and if you have any tips on how you keep choosing to be cheerful in your life, I'd love to hear them.
(You can read about the other words that I've chosen here.)