Hope for the New Year

Relax

Recover

Refresh

Renew

Rekindle

shutterstock_165919043-SNOWThese are good words for the last few days of 2016. The holidays are over. It’s time to box up the decorations. And of course, there’s one other “r” word–returns. I plan to wait a few days on that, let the lines shorten.

Hope rises with the sun in the morning. Yes, most of winter lies ahead of us. Many changes lie ahead, too. But still, one of the most renewable energy sources remains strong–Hope.

Hope wakes us up in the morning, keeps us going from one day till the next.

My source of hope is my faith in God, and in my Savior, Jesus Christ. You may regard that as false or foolish hope, but it’s real to me. I’ve lost nothing if I continue through life believing in that blessed hope. I’ve gained a life of peace and contentment (even through the difficult, gut-wrenching losses).

Next week is a New Year! Maybe I’ll investigate a few “P” words–productive, possibilities, peace…

Happy New Year!

All I Want for Christmas Part 3

hot-chocolate-1875870_1280It’s Christmas week. Many of you are manically shopping and baking to get ready for the weekend. It’s one of the most stressful weeks of the entire year. To make matters worse, we have less daylight.

Amid all the wrapping of gifts and checking your list to make sure everyone has a present and everything will be perfect, we tend to neglect something very important. Our mental health. 🙂 And along with mental health, our physical health is at risk.

So here’s something to help you, and it only takes a few moments:

  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Hold it for a count of seven
  3. Release the breath
  4. Repeat steps 1-3, two or three times.

Did you try it? It works by supplying extra oxygen to the brain. They say it also helps you fall asleep. I haven’t really tried that. All I need to fall asleep is to sit still for about five minutes. Works every time. But if I lie down, I tend to wake up.

read-1631169_1280What helps you relax? A relaxing bath, a cup of hot tea or other hot beverage, an interesting book, a beloved pet–those are all good ways to take a break during this stressful season.

Take care of yourself. There are a lot of bugs being passed around right now, and when you’re tired and stressed, your immunity runs low.

Okay, enough grandma talk. What’s my final wish before Christmas? I’ve wished for time (to remember, to meditate on what’s happened this year), I’ve wished for togetherness with family and friends.

So my final Christmas wish is for you to have a wonderful holiday. May you be blessed with time to spend with family and friends. May you have time to remember, and be thankful for what you have. May you have moments of peace and relaxation to help you navigate the maze of the holiday season.

Give to others from your heart, not expecting anything in return. Love with all your heart, but don’t hide it–show it. Say the words, “I love you,” often, and with feeling. The Bible says you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7). That’s a very practical proverb. It’s true, you know. If you plant a tomato seed, you won’t get an apple tree, you’ll get a tomato plant.

So when you do good to others, somewhere along the way, it’ll come back to you.

cropped-merry-christmas.jpg

 

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All I Want for Christmas Part 2

There are a number of Christmas stories, books, and movies that begin with the line, “All I Want for Christmas…” — and one very silly song. I won’t mention that one, because I don’t want to get it stuck in my head. Hey, I’m doing you a very great favor here.

Christmas time is here...
Christmas time is here…

So, Hallmark Christmas movies are a genre all their own. The tendency is toward sap and silliness and incredible situations. Even the credible ones tend to be quite predictable. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of those silly offerings. And every once in a while, you stumble across one that is truly delightful.

I have a few favorites. They’re not all made by Hallmark, but definitely in the genre:

  • One Christmas Eve is a total blast! I laughed so hard.
  • A Season for Miracles–angelic!
  • The Christmas Bunny–different, but I liked it.
  • Christmas with Holly–mostly because of the location, and the Basset hound.
  • A Christmas Card–it has everything–an icky fiance, and curly fries.
  • The Road to Christmas–wonderful actors.

Okay, that’s enough. Most of these are romances or contain romance, but not all. The couples meet and fall into forever love in just days! But something in them appeals to me. Laughter, love, warmth…and honestly, by the time Christmas gets here, I’ve watched too many. I feel like a total glutton. I’m ready to move on. But if you like to watch them all year, they are available. Nice to know.

But the time comes when you need to get your head out of the Hallmark movie and face real life.

family-310364_1280Because there are some people out there who need a positive influence in their lives. They need us to share the love passed down from our Heavenly Father and the Savior we celebrate during this season. Hey, if your pocketbook is a little too slim, find other ways to bless your friends and family. Don’t be a Scrooge!

So what’s my Christmas wish this week? Time to watch movies? No. That would be a little shallow, don’t you think? Fun, but frivolous. And besides, I wished for time last week. So this week, I wish for gatherings and fun and fellowship. My holiday house is open to sons and their wives, their families, and carloads of granddaughters (one of my favorite things). The best recipe for fun and laughter is a house filled with those you love.

chip-1And maybe someone will come and bring their dog. I’d love that.

What’s your greatest wish? Is it an impossible dream, or is it a maybe–something within the realm of possibility. Faith is believing, so I’m going to stock the fridge, do some baking, and be ready for that wish to come true.

All I Want for Christmas-Part 1

crown-1299136_1280If I were a beauty pageant contestant, I’d say, “All I want for Christmas…is world peace.”

But I’m not, nor have I ever been a contestant in a beauty pageant.

Most ordinary people want to live a peaceful life. Especially those who have teenagers living in the house.

cat-787733_1280⇐⇐⇐I’m more like this…

…and my list starts with…something entirely different. It’s been a busy year. If you keep up with my blog posts, you may have noticed that.

I’m not sure what happened to bits and pieces of last year. They’ve disappeared entirely from my memory.

  • Fallen through the cracks between the big stuff.
  • Part of my winter, all of my Spring, part of my summer.
  • Gone.

clock-691143_1280So one thing I’d like for Christmas is time. Time to think. Time to remember the stuff that happened in between. Maybe after I finish my latest work-in-progress. It’s due by end of year. I’m nearly there. Nearly finished, nearly at the end of the year.

Yes, that’s the first item on my list. Time.

turkey-1456681_1280Yes, I’ve overdosed on turkey, so if I’m a little woo-z, that’s why. But there’s a reason behind the madness. I promise. I will have a point.

I plan to share another item or two next week. I’m determined to put some fun in December. Smile at a stranger. Share a joke with a friend. Give a gift. Forgive a transgression. Honor those who love you with your time and presence of mind–not just the big lump of your carcass while you peruse Facebook or play video games. Put the electronic devices down (end of rant).

Most people spend more one-on-one time with their fur babies than they do with their human loved ones. 😦

By the way, in my opinion, Thanksgiving and Christmas–entirely too close together. Let me know what you think. See you next week!

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