I sit here in the wee hours of another new year and I wonder how this one will be different.
What changes will happen in my life?
What relationships will begin … or end?
How will this year see my children mature?
Will my divorce finally be finalized?
It isn’t just up to fate. Some things are definitely out of our control, but others, we get the opportunity to take charge of our lives! That’s why resolutions are so popular at this time of year. It’s an easy time to re-evaluate where we are in life, to see what changes we can be purposeful about making. It’s a time to take stock and be bold.
I’m not going big this year. There’s far too much on my plate now to be adding a lot more. But I will be stepping out on purpose to make some changes for me. Changes I have control over:
- I’m going to continue keeping God first
- I’m going to keep writing.
- I’m going to keep working and speaking out against domestic violence.
- I’m going to work on getting into better shape.
- I’m going to be purposeful about my self-care.
- I’m going to love and be more open to being loved.
- I’m going to be the best parent I can be.
- I’m going to Live, not just survive 2017.
It’s not easy to make changes in life. Some people need a specific list, others need a more generic goals. Whatever you need, whether you need to look back at your life and see where you’ve come from and resolve to continue on that same path, or decide it’s time for changes. Whether this is something you do at New Year’s, your birthday, or another time of year … This is about you and no one else.
No matter who you are or what your struggles are, God will be there to see you through this year. He will never leave you, just reach out for Him!
If you’re in an abusive relationship, the biggest and best first step is to educate yourself on what is happening. Recognize it. Identify it. Only then can you truly and finally escape it. Reach for help – it’s not a weakness, but a sign of strength. You will find it easier than if you try to do it alone!
If you love someone who is an abusive relationship, educate yourself. It’s easy to judge, to misunderstand why they stay, why they “let” the abuse happen, it’s easy to want to walk away. Be patient, be compassionate. Seek to understand.
If you have children, teach them the warning signs of abusive relationships before they are ready to even consider dating. Teach them that they deserve to be treated with respect and kindness from everyone, but especially those they allow to be closest to them.
If you’re an abuser, get help. Identify areas that you can get help with. Set free those you are hurting. Do the work, make the change to love them as you promised to. Show strength by reaching out for help. Above all, be honest. You cannot change what you refuse to admit.
Above all, treat others with respect and kindness. Be aware that everybody has a hidden pain, a secret challenge, unknown personal challenges. If we deliberately treat others well, no matter what, we form a habit of kindness, we set an example and we change lives.
Happy New Year! I pray it is an amazing one filled with positive change, love and laughter.