Tuesday, October 22, 2019
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How To Make A New Start

Photo courtesy of Steve Mohundro via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Steve Mohundro via Flickr

‘Tis the season to be jolly!

In many people’s minds, the holiday season is a closing of one chapter and a beginning of a new start. As that year passes, we have time to reflect. Did this year meet all of our expectations? Are we on track for our dreams and goals? Well, if you are anything like me, you will list your disappointments first and dwell on how you could have done better or made more progress with certain plans. And you fail to count all of the many victories along the way.

The holidays are a great time to plan a new start and use this time for reflection. For many people it is the time to reflect joyfully on our family relationships, our growing connection with the Lord, or to be grateful for all that we have in life. Then there are the disappointments of not being where we plan to be in our own emotional timelines as we start out on a new year in a continued season of singleness, accumulated debt, a stagnant job or on the journey of dealing with something that is just not changing in our lives.

Our opportunity during the holidays is to embrace the new start. Another year is closing and all endings are really new beginnings. Even if we are overwhelmed with frustration, debt, disappointment or challenges of any kind, we can remember that behind all problems are really solutions that are about to unfold as part of God’s larger plans.

When we focus on fear and worry, we actually allow the problems to grow in our lives. Our opportunity is to choose to worry or to worship. If we step into a mindset of worship, then we magnify the blessings in our lives, focusing on all the positives that surround us each day. We see potential and not limitations and even problems can become exciting challenges as we reach out for solutions. The choice we have is to live in a negative mindset of disappointment or to embrace the new start of another year.

Here are some important starting points to keep in mind to help you to break free from the emotional prison of  disappointments so that you can embrace all of the blessings of the holiday season and beyond.

Holiday Season Tips:

1) Remember that endings are new beginnings. Reflect on all of the blessings, and you will see how the Lord is positively moving in your life.

2) Know that circumstances do change. We can be in an entirely new emotional place of opportunity this time next year.

3) Enjoy your family and friends. When you stop to enjoy those you love and those who love you, you’ll find renewed joy.

4) Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have. You give power to whatever you focus on.

5) Give to others. When we bless others, we become blessed ourselves.

There is that age-old saying that life is what happens in the meantime while you wait for your plans to work out. The holiday season is that time when we can switch tracks, make new plans, close up emotional chapters and anticipate the next year moving forward in the unfolding of God’s greatest blessings in our lives.

About Cathy Patterson-Sterling

Cathy Patterson-Sterling is a Christian counselor with a counseling ministry called Real Life Tool Box. She is an author, speaker, wife, mother and friend. Through her counseling ministry, she offers more than 50 e-learning audio play courses to help people grow in faith and have their healthiest relationships. She is passionate about helping people find freedom from fear or other emotional strongholds that are holding them back from living out their greatest potential in God's plans for their lives.
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