Did you and your family welcome 2018 with New Year Resolutions and reasons to be grateful! Recording my ‘grateful list’ in a Christmas gift – my new journal – while watching ‘Rockin’ New Year’s Eve and resting in my comfy recliner was a great way to celebrate the beginning of a New Year.
How can we possibly list all the blessings He bestows? Simple pleasures taken for granted- precious peace, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness – flow like milk and honey in our land. Freedom to worship God, while openly sharing His Word and ways without persecution, could be the most endangered on lists of people who call America – Home Sweet Home. Being grateful for goodhearted, Godly people standing strong for Christian values and good news happening across this land we love should be near the top of everybody’s lists. The gifts of salvation, seasons, sweethearts, shelter, snowfalls, Sundays, sweet sleep, sunshine, and eternal Sonshine all made my list! What about yours?
My most grateful gift God sent to love and cherish forever and ever is my family! Oh, how I love them and enjoy growing old while watching God weaving us even closer to Him and one another. My prayer is that all people will cherish loved ones and share time together before circles are broken and memories become treasures. Being grateful for Father, family, friends, and the promise of forever in Heaven – when Jesus lives in our hearts – finishes up my first page. While there are tons of things we wish would go away – bad news, killings, hatred, terrorism, unfairness, ungratefulness, crime, drug abuse, corruption, greediness, hatefulness, disrespect for Christian values, unbelief in Jesus Christ, and people looking for love in all the wrong places….we can be grateful God is in control and wins in the end. Our heavenly Father, who loves all His children, is a promise keeper who will never fail us. If believing in and having a close relationship with Christ is not on your grateful list, I hope you ask Him into your heart and enjoy getting to know Him. I pray He will become your Best Friend! Peace and promise are impossible without Him.
My New Year’s Resolution list took time and two pages to complete. Many things I hope to do and some I hope not to do are repeated resolutions from years past. Breaking bad habits and taking good care of our health and hearts can happen when Christ is welcomed in our homes. Restoring Him as center of our lives while trusting, obeying, and growing stronger in faith every day keeps the enemy away! Our resolutions remind us of things important in our lives that need attention; we are wise to address them while giving God the reins. He can cleanse our hearts and change our ways. What a wonderful world when we keep our eyes on Jesus and enjoy living out loud in love!
A resolution to continue writing good news stories but shorten them is one I hope to keep. Realizing that many lengthy stories may not be read, my pray is to shorten stories while keeping the messages of hope, faith, and love alive in each word of every love story He sends. Thank you for being faithful readers and sharing my writings with people in your lives.
This story stirred during the holidays while thinking of empty chairs around tables where families gathered and grieved. Friends in our community – whose loved ones celebrated their first Christmas in Heaven – need words of encouragement and acts of kindness that mean more than one can imagine…unless you’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death. As they go forth in faith, without the presence of family members who colored their world with love, we can help them most by praying for God’s promise to bind wounds and heal hearts. We should never try to tell people how to grieve or when peace will come. Healing happens in His perfect timing. I’m so grateful God keeps promises, brings good from bad, and puts all things in place according to His plans for His children’s lives in His timing! His healing power can bring sunshine from sorrow and happiness from heartbreak! Most people reading this are living proof that prayer changes things and healing happens…if we take steps forward in faith and believe!
Today, James and I would have celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary if our plans had panned out. When sadness stirs and the devil tries to torment my heart, I tell him my husbands are happy in heaven, I’m happy here, and demand him to depart.
When Satan seeks to make us mad, we read our grateful lists and look to God who makes us glad…and then we don’t feel so bad!
In order to keep my New Year’s Resolution, the rest of this story will come next week. Until then, compile your own Grateful List and complete resolutions you hope to make happen this year. Keep in mind that all things are possible when we put our trust in God and pray…even writing shorter stories!
Happy New Year to family and friends who mean so much to me. I’m grateful for help, health, happiness, and a great place to call home – Clinton, N.C.!
Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.