Happy 2016 everyone! The Christmas tree is hibernating for another year, the yummy goodies are pretty much gone (oops), and school’s back in… normality reigns again! Are you feeling it— that anticipation of a clean slate, fresh goals, and new challenges? I’m not talking New Year’s resolutions here (does anyone still punish themselves with these lofty, soul-destroying ambitions?) I’m thinking more on the lines of readying myself for what is to come and making the very best of EVERYTHING in 2016.

The past few years, I’ve jumped on the wordy-people bandwagon and gone with a “word for the year”. It’s not rocket science, yet it’s been meaningful to me in its profound simplicity. My word for last year was “PRESENT”  and although I didn’t exactly nail it to perfection, I did make a conscious effort to be present for whatever was going on in my life rather than getting distracted or racing ahead to the next thing. So… the reason I have been somewhat absent on my blog the past few weeks? Blame it on my 2015 word— I had a wonderful time being present with my family over Christmas—especially because my daughter flew home! 🙂 Here’s a snippet of some of some moments I was present for in 2015:

 

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For this year, I have a very different word. I’ll be honest, it didn’t come to me until yesterday, but after listening to the first sermon of 2016 I felt like I was hit between the eyes with it. My word?

“BLESSING”

The whole message yesterday made perfect sense to me, and I realized I don’t want this year to be ALL about me, myself, and I. I don’t want to set goals to better myself for ME or achieve milestones making me a better version of myself just so I go up a notch or two as a wife, Mom, friend, author, writer, whatever.

Being a blessing turns a New Year resolution on its head.

Whether it be losing weight, stopping smoking, exercising, travelling, spending less, sleeping more, learning a language, or any other popular resolution—it’s usually for one’s personal gain. It’s an attempt “in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice” (Wikipedia).

 

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Here’s a thought—instead of SELF-improvement, how about blessing OTHERS? Try to improve their self-esteem by encouragement, their loneliness by visiting, their bad day by baking them a batch of cookies, their heartache by simply being a friend who truly listens? Being a blessing isn’t just doing “something slightly nice”; we are actually told to do it by Jesus Himself. Remember He said “Love your neighbour as yourself.”? Mark 12:31.

I don’t know about you, but I have to make a conscious effort in this endeavor—it doesn’t often come naturally! So having a “word” to bear in mind throughout the year really helps me, and hopefully this one will continue throughout each and every year! Imagine if we all went about our business with the desire to be a blessing to others…

Now before you think my halo will be a-glowing as I bless every poor unassuming individual I happen to encounter, please know that this is an aspiration—but one I will fail at miserably and forget continually and mess up royally. But the thing is, I’m going to really try. That’s all God asks of us, isn’t it? Willing hearts. Humble hearts. Hearts for Him…

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3

 

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Blessings to YOU, my friend, as you are a blessing to others!

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Linking up with some fabulous encouragers. Check them out:

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