Saturday, December 31, 2016

Things I've been learning in 2016

The new year will soon be here, and it’s a great time to reflect on lessons learned this past year. Here is a sampling:

A long-held dream can become reality. 

My goal was to write 50 words a day as a way to make progress on the huge undertaking of writing a book. After two years in the making, Life, Love and Loss was published in April, and I am overjoyed with the sense of accomplishment and the wonderful feedback from many who have been inspired by it. 

Love means letting go.

Things can change in an instant and we can never take them for granted. I lost a friend in January, buried my faithful furry companion in March, and walked with several others who experienced a significant loss. I’ve learned to be grateful for the time we had together and to treasure each moment as if it might be the last.

I can adapt.

My workplace transitioned through huge change this year. But there are new people to work with, new disciplines to learn and new opportunities to pursue. I’m learning to better adapt and go with the flow. 

My perception is not always reality.

It’s not accurate to take limited information and run with it. There is more to the story than the side that I see. Before accepting a conclusion, it is better to open dialog. I thought I was being phased out of my job, but I learned it was not true at all.

Discipline is surprisingly good.

I took the Whole Life Challenge and did things I didn’t particularly want to do (exercise more, pass up carbs and sweets, drink more water and get eight hours of sleep). I was pleased to learn that the way I take care of my body is directly related to fewer aches, improved wellbeing, greater energy levels and better-fitting clothes! 

God still loves to answer prayers.

I thank God for many prayers answered in 2016: improved relationships, better decisions, healed bodies and minds, trouble averted, opportunities given, and the continued blessings of friendships, old and new. God loves with an everlasting love. The impossible becomes possible when I abide in Him.

The possibilities are endless.

Prayers are always needed for wise government, peace in war-torn places, the spread of the gospel and homes for the homeless. The world needs solutions to humanitarian issues. Real change begins with prayer. I am a world changer, right where God has placed me.

Gratefulness is amazingly fulfilling.

Gratefulness trains me to look for the positive among the negative. It flips my view, and gets me out of places I could become stuck. Rather than focusing on the dark details, I can be a light that shines in the darkness. My light gets brighter as I thank and praise God for all He has done, and believe in all He is still doing! I’m determined to head into 2017 in a spirit of gratefulness, amazement and worship.

How about you? What were your most inspirational moments in 2016? What have you celebrated? What have you learned from the most difficult days? How are you better today than you were last January?

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