Here we are, more than halfway through January already, and I still haven't taken down my Christmas tree, much less shared with you my word for 2017.
Tonight, I decided sharing my word was more important than taking down the tree. That can wait until tomorrow. Or heck, next week.
(I'd leave it up all year, but then I would have to dust it.)
Anyway, back to my word for 2017. Here it is...
It's one that has been growing in me over the past few challenging years.
When we're faced with disappointment and heartache, we have a choice. We can either stay positive and believe everything will eventually work out for the best, or we can crumble under the pressure, cowering in a dark hole of fear and dread, believing everything will turn out for the worst.
That's no way to live. At least no way I want to live.
More and more I believe what Oprah Winfrey said...
"What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life."
It's not just about surviving with a smile. It's about allowing ourselves to dream big, to be deaf to self-doubt and limiting thoughts others feel obligated to share with us.
I'm getting better at weeding out those negative thoughts before they have a chance to root and expand, and to seek out the blessings in each day even when they aren't obvious.
But I give God credit for helping me.. .
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."~ Mark 11:24
I do believe in God. I haven't always, and I know all the arguments that prove God doesn't exist. But inside, I still believe.
“Faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” ~Hebrews 11:1
When I started a new career at 54 (not just a new career, but my own business), it was daunting. I was also dealing with the illness and subsequent death of my father, and the care of my mother, along with the other issues that often arise in families.
But it was up to me whether I succeeded or failed. It was up to me if I got a paycheck. I could have failed and blamed my circumstances, but honestly, that wasn't an option. We desperately needed the money. I had to succeed.
Therefore, I had to believe in myself, and my ability to succeed, no matter what else was happening in my life. My family and my clients depended on me.
It helped that I believed it was the path God wanted me to take.
“If we start without confidence, we have already lost half the battle and we bury our talents.” ~ Pope Francis
Of course, it hasn't been easy. It didn't happen overnight. But I kept believing, and this past year, as I learned to let go and just trust that God was in control, I could see how things fit into place. Prayers were answered in ways I couldn't have imagined three years ago. I see that dreams I once thought were out of reach are becoming part of my reality.
"I believe that there is an explanation for everything, so, yes, I believe in miracles." ~Robert Brault
I hope when you're faced with the obstacles that are sure to come in this life, you choose to stay positive, to believe everything happens for a reason, even if you don't see it right away.
"Some things have to be believed to be seen." ~Ralph Hodgson
And in case you didn't get enough pithy quotes in this post already, here are a few more...
"There is no chance, no destiny, no fate that can circumvent, hinder, or control the firm resolve of a determined soul." ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox
"In the end you regret less the things you believed that weren't true than the things that never came true because you didn't believe." ~Robert Brault
And perhaps my favorite...
"If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out."
So. Just. Believe. Good.