Sunday, December 30, 2012

Year 2013 - Let's take time to Smell the Roses

(This metal work, a rose was specially and intricately 
handcrafted by Jed for me as his christmas gift.  Jed has
 this special  talent of making me projects with his hands to 
direct my attention back to Jesus!  Here's another 
sample of  his fine work.)

Some time ago, I was working through the night shift with a colleague. She mentioned about her new house up in the hills. I asked, “What is it like to live in a beautiful place?”   The answer surprised me, as she explained how she had gotten used to living in the mountains, she didn’t pay attention anymore.

Another time, I asked another colleague at work how she kept her youthful look and she simply replied with the sweetest smile on her face, “I take time to smell the roses.”

Two people with two very different outlook in life.  Different strokes for different folks, so they say.  But really, can we choose the same option with the same result? What do you reckon?  Regardless of the turn-out  from these two responses, I chose what is best:  I chose to take time and smell the roses.

It's been a wild and chaotic year for me: too noisy, too doubtful, too blurry, too stressful, too many hats! 

After talking to the first colleague at work since that day, I’ve been careful.  I don't want my heart to devastate! (Read about it here.)
This coming year, 2013, will be the opposite. A soaking of God's presence: to listen, to pay attention, to be more thankful, to be positive, to keep still to rest and to do less.  

I will stay out of the trap of ignoring God’s blessings. I WILL PAY ATTENTION and be aware of God's riches and glory around me. When I am aware of God’s blessings in my life, it prompts me to stop and look, listen, and feel more.

I WILL BE MORE THANKFUL.  I will be reminded of God’s amazing grace and faithfulness. All the more I will thank God in all things: the good and in my troubles.   Having a thankful heart is reflected in our prayers, as well as every aspect of my life. I  will  “rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks” (1 Th. 5:16-18).

I WILL BE POSITIVE.  A positive attitude results from smelling the roses.  If anyone had a reason to have a negative attitude, it was the apostle Paul. He had been in prison, beaten, scourged, beaten with rods, stoned, shipwrecked, and poor. But through all this, he remained positive—he focused on good things rather than bad things.

Paul had “learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need” (Phil. 4:12). “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” he proclaimed to the Philippians, and everyone who observed his life (Phil. 4:13).  Paul’s attitude was, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God” (Rom. 8:28). Paul knew that God used everything in his life for good, even when suffering greatly for the cause of Christ.

Our God works all things together for good to those who love Him—no matter what happens.

A QUIET HEART.  Now this is MAJOR!  I want to be an instrument of peace, calm and not be anxious (Phil. 4:6).  I will not only be quiet in heart, but also quiet with my mouth!  I  will speak and proclaim life (Prov. 18:21) to myself, to my family, to my friends and to the people around me. I will only open my mouth when it’s necessary to build someone up and be "quiet" when I don’t need to speak.

I WILL ENJOY LIFE. I mean enjoy life!  I will laugh at the days to come and not worry for God has already settled my concerns of my tomorrow (Matthew 6:25-34). God is the One from whom all my blessings flow—“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (Jas. 1:17).

I WILL GIVE MORE. As the giver of all our blessings, God teaches us to enjoy them while doing good—“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share” (1 Tim. 6:17-18).

My prayer for this year is to slow down... to take time and smell the roses: to smile often, to listen to the chirping of the birds, to feel the soft breeze on my face, and to bask more on God's amazing grace.

Let's start our year right, shall we? May we make an effort to make Jesus more real in our daily walk with HIM!

New Year's fireworks display at Burswood, Perth, Western Australia

HAPPY NEW 2013 family and beloved friends!  The best is yet to come!

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